After a stacked evening of NBA picks last night, there’s a lighter two-game slate on deck Thursday, November 9. Still, one matchup in particular between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Indiana Pacers has plenty of interesting NBA odds to dissect due to the stylistic differences between these two squads.
Read on for my three favorite NBA player props bets featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo beasting the Pacers’ tissue-paper interior and Tyrese Haliburton picking apart the Bucks’ shaky perimeter defense.
Best NBA player props today
- Antetokounmpo Over 26.5 points (-115 at DraftKings)
- Haliburton Over 21.5 points (-115 at DraftKings)
- Haliburton Over 2.5 threes (-115 at DraftKings)
Picks made on November 9 at 2:30 a.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.
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NBA player props for November 9
Prop bet #1: The Greek freaks out
Giannis is this era’s version of Shaquille O’Neal, in that he’s the most dominant paint force in the NBA. He’s averaging 24.4 points per Game this season — a drop off from his production in prior seasons, but there’s little cause for concern, and now value to be found in Giannis Antetokounmpo odds.
He stalled out last night on 15 points only because he was thrown out on a ridiculous technical foul for hanging on the rim. It’s so early in the season that even that one game brought down his average significantly. The Milwaukee Bucks are also still clearly in a learning process with how to maximize he and Damian Lillard together on offense.
Giannis should get back on track on Thursday as he goes against a diminutive Indiana Pacers team. The Pacers are an all-offense, run-and-gun squad this year.
But what the Pacers gain in speed, they give up in size and physicality. Outside of Myles Turner, most rotation players they have are 6-foot-5, or in the case of starting power forward Obi Toppin, plays like it.
They got pushed around by the Boston Celtics to the tune of 155 points for exactly this reason, and Giannis should see similar success attacking them at the rim today. The Pacers allow the most points in the paint of any team in the league at 61.3 points per game and are routinely getting crushed inside the arc by bruising players.
By virtue of getting tossed after just 22 minutes played last night, the Greek Freak will be the freshest player on the court for tonight’s back-to-back.
Giannis Antetokounmpo prop: Over 26.5 points (-115 at DraftKings)
Prop bet #2: How about Haliburton?
Tyrese Haliburton just keeps getting better. After wearing the childish insult of being called a “fake All-Star” last season like armor, he’s come out to begin this year on track to make his first All-NBA team.
Haliburton has bumped his usage and efficiency to new career highs again this season, with 129.7 points per 100 shot attempts per Cleaning the Glass, 86th percentile among point guards. In straight counting stats he’s up to 22.9 points per game on 49.1/37.3/93.5 shooting splits.
Because he also continues to develop into one of the NBA’s best passers as well as shooters, opposing defenses are pressing on him more than ever before.
He’s gotten so good at using that pressure against the opposition, and he’s getting to the rim more. He used to never get to the basket at all, but now he’s in the 75th percentile for rim frequency, which is perfectly respectable given how effective the rest of his game is.
Milwaukee has made a habit of letting opposing guards cook them so far this year. Jalen Brunson and Cam Thomas both recently lit them up for 45 points and Cade Cunningham dropped 33 last night.
Lillard is one of the worst screen navigators in the NBA, and Malik Beasley isn’t much better. With the Bucks playing more drop after their failed early experiment with a pressure defense that saw Lopez at the level on screens, any player that can hit pull up jump shots can feast against this Bucks defense.
Even with strong interior defenders, when the Bucks guards allow blow-bys opponents are scoring at the basket at incredibly efficient rates. I like the Tyrese Haliburton odds in this market, as he'll be the latest guard to wreak havoc on Milwaukee’s disorganized defense.
Tyrese Haliburton prop: Over 21.5 points (-115 at DraftKings)
Prop bet #3: Tyrese takeover
And how exactly will Haliburton rack up all those points? I have a strong suspicion that many of them will come from behind the arc, taking me to my last player prop for Thursday’s slate: Haliburton Over 2.5 threes at -135.
The Bucks' defensive issues this season all start out at the point of attack and become exponentially more problematic when defending against screens.
Haliburton just so happens to be one of the best in the NBA at the pick-and-roll game. He’s not only a dynamic passer and driver, he’s become an elite pull up 3-point shooter, and absolutely punishes teams that go under screens against him. The Bucks allow more above-the-break 3-point attempts than all but three other teams per Cleaning the Glass.
Those threes functionally become practice shots for Haliburton. Brook Lopez or Giannis aren’t going to close out meaningfully, and Lillard, Beasley, or Cameron Payne aren’t getting through a screen in time to impact Tyrese’s shot one iota.
44% of Haliburton’s 3-point shots are unassisted to start the season, and a huge portion of those are off the dribble pull-ups coming in the high pick and roll. That is the exact kind of shot the Bucks’ defense has struggled with.
Tyrese Haliburton prop: Over 2.5 threes (-135 at DraftKings)
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