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NBA odds: Zion above LeBron? Zion Williamson's big PPG projection highlights player props bets

Frank Schwab
·3-min read

Zion Williamson has played 24 games in the NBA. He turned 20 years old earlier this year.

He’s expected to score more points per game than LeBron James, at least according to BetMGM’s player props.

BetMGM has released 350 season over/under lines for NBA players regarding their points, rebounds, assists and field-goal percentage. There’s everything from Shake Milton’s points per game (a modest 8.5, if you want to believe in preseason hype) to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s field-goal percentage (55.7%, a mark he has reached in just one season).

You can find props for practically any player you think will have a big breakout season. The most interesting props might be for Williamson, the New Orleans Pelicans’ second-year star whose PPG is projected to be among the best in the league.

Will Zion Williamson have a big season?

Williamson scored 22.5 points as a rookie last season, but he was brought along slowly with limited minutes.

This season, BetMGM set his PPG at 26.5 per game. James is at 25.5. Since averaging 20.7 points as a rookie, James has averaged at least 25.3 points for 16 straight seasons.

It’s an aggressive projection for Williamson. Only nine players averaged more than 26.5 points per game last season. Part of the projection has to be inflation for Williamson’s fame; he became a sensation at Duke, was the No. 1 pick of the draft and immediately became one of the NBA’s most marketable stars.

But given Williamson’s immense talent and his output in limited minutes last season, do you really want to bet the under?

Zion Williamson is looking to build off a solid rookie season with the New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson is looking to build off a solid rookie season with the New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

What are the over/under bets on the top NBA players?

Here are some of the over/under season prop figures for some of the NBA’s bigger names:

LeBron James: 25.5 PPG, 8 RPG, 51% FG
Zion Williamson: 26.5 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 58.7% FG
Giannis Antetokounmpo: 29.5 PPG, 13.3 RPG, 55.7% FG
Luka Doncic: 30.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 47.4% FG
James Harden: 32.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 44.5% FG
Anthony Davis: 26.5 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 51.5% FG
Damian Lillard: 28.5 PPG
Stephen Curry: 27.5 PPG, 46.6% FG
Kawhi Leonard: 26.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 47.4% FG
Kevin Durant: 25.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 51.5% FG
Russell Westbrook: 25.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 46.7% FG
Jayson Tatum: 25.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 45.4% FG

There are dozens more players available, all the way down to Alex Caruso and his 5.5 PPG over/under.

Here are some quick picks: Under on Giannis (his minutes are going down and points are going up, and that trend should change), over on Lillard (scored 30 PPG last season and he’s got another big season coming), under 26.5 on Bradley Beal (ceding shots to Russell Westbrook), over on Tatum (I’m bullish on him taking a bigger role for the Celtics), under 21.5 on Kristaps Porzingis (hard to be optimistic on players coming into the season battling an injury), over 18.5 on DeAndre Ayton (averaged 18.2 last season and just imagine all the lobs he’ll get from Chris Paul).

The NBA gets started this week with Golden State at Brooklyn and the Clippers at the Lakers. Depending on which props you take, every basket could be important.