4/6/21 NBA Props: Joel Embiid and Giannis

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Vaughn Dalzell
·4 min read
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Joel Embiid O/U 27.5 Points vs. Celtics

National TV on TNT, the 76ers versus the Celtics, you know what that means? Joel Embiid is likely to show out in front of the cameras and the Celtics will have their hands full attempting to slow down the Philly center.

Embiid went for 38 and 40 points in back-to-back games on the Celtics. He averaged 30.0 points per game in the four-game playoff series last season as well. In that series, Embiid scored 26, 30, 30 and 34 points.

You can see in his averages over the last three, five and 10 game splits, Embiid has averaged Over this 27.5 number that opened at 26.5.

Embiid splits
Embiid splits

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Over the seven regular-season meetings in 2018 and 2019, Embiid scored 24 or more in three-of-seven games and scored 23 or fewer points in the four others. In Boston, Embiid has scored 11, 23, 26, 34, 34 and 38 points in his last six trips to Massachusetts, including postseason matchups.

Embiid averages 25.8 points per game in his 13 career regular-season games versus the Celtics. He averages 10.1 free-throw attempts per game versus the Celtics. When he shoots 10 or more free-throws this season, Embiid averages 32.0 points per game in 22-of-32 outings (68.7%).

Embiid is making a career-high 85.2% from the free-throw line and attempting a career-high 11.6 attempts compared to 8.5 last year. In the last five games, the Celtics are allowing 25.0 free-throw attempts per game, the third-most in the league.

Embiid is averaging 29.8 points per game on the season and scored 23 and 24 since the All-Star break. I think this game being on TNT, national TV, entices Embiid to go off for 30-plus.

Game Pick: Joel Embiid Over 27.5 Points (1.5u)

Giannis Antetokounmpo O/U 28.5 POINTS vs. Warriors

The second nationally televised game has a matchup between Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Both players are liable to score 30-plus points in this matchup, but what really intrigues me in this matchup is how much Golden State is fouling and how often Giannis has gotten to the free-throw line lately.

In the last three games, Golden State ranks last in the NBA with 33.3 free-throws allowed per game. Giannis has attempted 35 total in his last three games, attempting 10 or more in all three.

Giannis has scored 25, 32 and 47 points over his previous three games with 29-of-104 (27.8%) of his points from the charity stripe.

Golden State ranks last in the last three, five and 10-game splits in free-throws allowed to opponents, so I see frequent trips for Giannis.

You can also expect Giannis to play more than 30 minutes tonight and in a highly anticipated and competitive matchup. When he plays 30 or more minutes this season, Giannis averages 30.5 points per game and 32.0 when Giannis plays 40-plus. As of late, he has played 30 minutes-plus in the last three games and you can see how much better his numbers are below.

Giannis splits
Giannis splits

Giannis also averages more points on the road (29.7) than at home (27.7) this season, which helps for this road trip to Oakland. He has been off and on in his career versus Golden State, but right now, he is on heading into this matchup.

Giannis scored 15 points in the only meeting with the Warriors this season because of a 39-point win. In the only meeting of 2018-19 between the two teams, Giannis scored 30 points in 32 minutes of a nine-point win. I think he can go for 30-points night against Golden State and get somewhere from eight to 10 points alone from free-throws.

The Greek Freak has attempted 13, 21 and 21 field-goal attempts in his last three games, all on this current road trip. He is coming off 47 points versus Portland in 33 minutes and a win, so expect him to continue being aggressive after 25 and 32-point performances against the Lakers and Clippers.

Game Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 28.5 Points (1u)

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