Let’s take a closer look at Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals meeting between the Suns and Clippers with our best player prop bet for tonight’s matchup.
Fortunately for the Clippers, they are familiar with digging themselves out of a 2-0 series hole. That’s exactly what they will try to do when Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals tips off in Los Angeles tonight. Meanwhile, the Suns will look to ride the momentum of their dramatic last-second Game 2 victory to a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Suns vs. Clippers Game 3 Player Prop Bet
Chris Paul Under 9.5 Assists (FanDuel Sportsbook -154)
Some may opt for the cheaper option of Paul under 8.5 assists, which carries a price far closer to even money. However, we much prefer to lay the extra juice for under 9.5, as Paul has already had a game with exactly nine assists during the NBA Playoffs. He also had 11 more during the regular season.
Thus, we improve our odds of winning by 15.0% with the extra assist in our pocket.
Paul will continue to be the center of media attention up to and throughout tonight’s Game 3 as he makes his return from COVID-19 protocols. Los Angeles will have to figure out how to keep him in check now, adding to their growing laundry list of problems. Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker have both terrorized the Clippers, while Paul’s replacement, Cameron Payne, proved Game 2’s high scorer. Payne went for 11 points and nine assists in Game 1 of this series and 29 points and nine assists in Game 2.
Click here to get started with BetMGM Sportsbook and grab a $600 risk-free first bet.
As Paul returns, with the other Suns’ stars already wreaking havoc elsewhere on the court, we expect the Clippers to play the point guard straight up to begin the game.
They will likely want to see if any rust exists after his 11-day layoff, meaning less help defense when he penetrates the lane and less aggressive closeouts along the perimeter early in this one. Until Paul proves his touch has not betrayed him in his time away, Los Angeles will prefer to devote its attention to Booker and Ayton.
With less early opportunities to find open shooters due to this potential approach, Paul’s window to find 10 assists tonight shrinks mightily.
And, frankly, it may not end up being the biggest window to begin with. After all, Chris Paul is 36 years old and we truly do not know how much this layoff will have affected him. He only averaged 31 minutes per game this season as it was. With a red hot replacement available in Payne, why would Phoenix, holding a 2-0 lead in the series, rush Paul back to the 37 and 40 minutes efforts he posted in Games 3 and 4 of the Denver series?
We expect more of a direct time split with Payne, roughly 24 minutes each, with Payne likely to get the nod for extra time late if the game is a blowout for either team. Why risk your team’s engine, it’s heart and soul, in a low-risk game? Expect them to use this as a golden opportunity for him to get his game legs back beneath him ahead of the more important battles to come.
Click here to get a $50 free bet and up to a $1,000 first deposit bonus with DraftKings Sportsbook.
Paul has not averaged double-digit assists since the 2015-16 season when he was still a member of the Clippers. He averaged 8.9 assists per game in the regular season, dipping to 8.7 here in the playoffs. He failed to reach double digits in seven of 10 games this postseason, including a single-digit output in four of his five playoff road efforts. The Phoenix point guard failed to dish out 10 or more dimes in 41 of his 70 regular season games, as well (58.6%).
Coming off of the aforementioned extended absence, it is worth noting that the future Hall of Famer averaged just six assists per game on three or more days of rest this season.
Against the Clippers, Paul posted a paltry 6.3 assists per game average, including just three helpers in his one game against them at the Staples Center. Oddly, Thursdays were easily Paul’s worst day for helping others, averaging just 6.2 assists per game in nine Thursday outings, further condemning any belief that he is likely to post 10 or more tonight.
Chris Paul has produced single-digit assists in 36 of his last 41 games in the playoffs. With a likely guarded approach to his court time this evening, it’s hard to fathom a scenario in which CP3 gets enough opportunities to reach 10 assists in Game 3.
Click here to register with FanDuel Sportsbook and lock in 30-1 odds (bet $5, win $150) on Suns-Clippers.