Shai Gilgeous-Alexander vs Minnesota Wolves: NBA Prop Prediction (3/4)
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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander vs Minnesota Wolves: NBA Prop Prediction (3/4)

Justin Bales

We’re coming off of a tough loss on Jimmy Butler’s assists. I was expecting him to be a significantly better facilitator with Kyle Lowry out of the game, but that wasn’t the case. With that being said, we got elite closing line value (CLV) with the prop actually jumping a full assist on most sportsbooks. It’s always tough to lose that type of bet, but that's also the type of bet that will win over the long run. In this article, I’ll outline my favorite bet involving Shai Gilgeous-Alexander vs the Minnesota Wolves. 

Gilgeous-Alexander and the Oklahoma City Thunder will host the Wolves at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma tonight. These two teams have found varying amounts of success throughout the season. The Thunder sit 14th in the West with a 20-42 record, as they continue their rebuild. The Wolves have performed significantly better, posting a 34-29 record thus far. They rank seventh in the West, although they’ve struggled quite a bit of the road this season. Minnesota’s currently a -9.5 point favorite in a game set at 230.5 points. 

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander vs Minnesota Wolves

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander o28.5 points (-102) vs Minnesota Wolves

Gilgeous-Alexander continues to improve, as he’s one of the best scorers in the NBA this season. He’s averaging 23.6 points with 4.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in 34.4 minutes per game thus far. Overall, he’s shooting 43.8% from the field, 29% from beyond the arc, and 80.4% from the line. 

Gilgeous-Alexander returned from injury only four games ago. He played the majority of those games without a few key pieces in the Oklahoma City offense, including Lu Dort and Josh Giddey. Over that span, Gilgeous-Alexander’s averaging 33.5 points on 21.3 field goal attempts, 4.5 three-point attempts, and 10 free throw attempts per game. He’s scored 29 or more points in each of those four games. 

Gilgeous-Alexander’s been playing well for significantly longer than that, though. He’s scored 29+ points in each of his last seven healthy games. The only time he missed this mark was when he got injured against the Indiana Pacers, where he scored 10 points in 17 minutes. 

According to RotoGrinder’s CourtIQ tool, Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 35.8 points per-36 minutes without Josh Giddey and Lu Dort on the floor. His usage rating jumps to 37% in those instances. This is also over a relatively large sample size with 285 minutes. When you take Ty Jerome, Aaron Wiggins, and Kenrich Williams off the floor as well, Gilgeous-Alexander boasts a 39.6% usage rating while averaging 38.1 points per-36 minutes. Keep in mind, this is a significantly lower sample size. 

The young star is attacking the basket as the clear focal point in recent games. Over his last four games, Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 5.8 field goal attempts per game in the restricted area. He’s also averaging 7.8 field goal attempts in the paint (non-RA) per game over that span. 

Gilgeous-Alexander gets an interesting matchup against the Minnesota Wolves tonight. They’ve performed relatively well against point guards throughout the season, holding them to 23 points per game. This ranks as roughly average, according to Fantasy Pros. With that being said, they’ve allowed the seventh-most (24.7) and third-most (26) points per game to point guards over their last 30 and 15 games, respectively. The Wolves are also allowing 27.6 points per game to point guards over their last 7 games, which ranks as the third-most in the NBA. 

I’m slightly concerned with Minnesota’s defense in the paint. They’ve performed well throughout the season, although they’ve been significantly more average in the restricted area in the recent games. Minnesota also fouls at the highest rate in the NBA, giving Gilgeous-Alexander plenty of opportunities for free points if he’s aggressive. He’ll continue to be the player to completely take over the offense, and I’m expecting him to hit 29+ points for the eighth consecutive game. 

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