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Dalzell's Dish

NBA Player Props, Jan. 5: Why to bet Kyle Kuzma and Tyler Herro Points

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: January 5, 2022, 5:36 pm ET

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Kyle Kuzma O/U 18.5 Points vs. Rockets

Did you know that Kyle Kuzma scored 36 points in his last game? I do because I have him in fantasy and bet his Unders for the first two months of the season.

However, lately, the Wizards' forward has picked up his play. Kuzma has scored 22, 25, 29 and 36 points in his last four games, in that order, yet his prop sits at 18.5 and 19.5 points. 

On the year, Kuzma has scored 20 or more points only nine of 35 games (26%), but times are changing.

Kuzma played 34 or more minutes in four straight. When he plays 34 or more minutes, Kuzma is 7-5 to the Over (58%) cashing four of the last five (80%) and six of the previous 10 (60%).

He has attempted 17 or more field goal attempts in four straight games and double-doubled in three straight.

Kyle Kuzma

 

On the season, the Houston Rockets allow the most fastbreak points per game (15.1), fourth-most points in the paint per game (48.8), the third-most free-throw attempts (23.3) and the second-worst defensive rating (114.4).

The Rockets rank 24th or worst in three of those four categories over the past five games.

Kuzma averages 44.9% of his points in the paint and 40.2% from three, so the Rockets' poor defense is favorable for Kuzma, especially if he is getting to the line or a few fast break buckets.

Against forwards, Houston permits the second-most points per game to small forwards (23.45) and the fifth-most to power forwards (22.25). Both are positive factors in backing Kuzma with his increased usage and field goal attempts.

With Spencer Dinwiddie, Rui Hachimura and Montrezl Harrell all out, Kuzma and Bradley Beal are the top two scorers. Kuzma's usage rate is 28.3% over the last four games, tied with Jimmy Butler and right below Zach LaVine (28.7%). 

Kuzma averages a 20.8% usage rate on the season. That is tied with Pacers' rookie Chris Duarte and the Pistons' Trey Lyles. Quite the difference compared to the season and the past four games.

Back Kuzma up to 19.5 or 20-plus points. My friend @ProbBomb and I played him overnight at 18.5 (-122) and moved the line.

Pick: Kyle Kuzma Over 18.5 Points (1u)

 

Tyler Herro O/U 23.5 Points vs. Blazers

Tyler Herro will take a usage jump tonight when he plays the Blazers. Miami is down Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, making Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro the leading candidates for Miami scoring.

Herro has scored 26, 29 and 32 points in three of his last seven games. On the year, he has stayed Under 23.5 points in 19 out of 32 games (59%), but that is no surprise playing a sixth-man role.

When Herro plays 35 or more minutes like he has this season, Herro has scored 24 or more points five out of 11 times (45%) and at least 20 points eight times (72.7%).

Tyler Herro PTS

 

The Blazers permit the most points in the league to teams over the past five games at 126.6 points per game. Opponents field goal percentage is 54.5% against in the Blazers in the five-game span, which is the worst, while 21.2 made free-throws are the second-worst in that span.

The defensive rating is last in the league at 114.8, but in the past five games, that number has skyrocketed to 131.1!

This season, the Blazers have had a subpar defense against opposing guards and forwards, as you would imagine.

Against small forwards, Portland is last with 23.83 points per game allowed, the eighth-most to point guards (23.82), but the sixth-fewest to shooting guards (20.07). 

Herro will play a variety of roles tonight and positions with Lowry and a few others. Last year, Herro scored 29 points on Portland with Butler out and Adeabyo in -- I like the sound of that.

The Blazers allowed Trae Young to drop 56 points and LeBron James to score 43 within the past week, while guys like Kevin Huerter (18 points), Malik Monk (18 points) and Jordan Clarkson (19 points) all hovered around 20 points a few games ago.

Back Herro Over 23.5 points up to 24.5 or the 25-plus point prop.

Pick: Tyler Herro Over 23.5 Points (1u)

 

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