Lunch w/ Luuch: Player Props & Picks That Could Feast Thursday (12/22/22)

Image Credit: Imagn

Justin Carlucci takes a bite of some player props and game picks for Thursday’s NFL & NBA games.

Welcome back and happy holidays! I sure hope you have more shopping done than I do so far. It’s the middle of Hannakauh and three days removed from Christmas. You’d think as a young adult that I’d stop procrastinating, but waiting 45 minutes in line at Target or Costco just isn’t appealing to me…

Anyway, we have some ugly weather in the NFL, and a small slate of NBA games. Let’s pick some winners.

Free Player Props And Picks For Thursday

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I’m just not sure where the points are going to come from tonight. The brutal conditions are playing a big factor in my decision. Zach Wilson is not an efficient quarterback, prone to giveaways and awful throws. On the flip side, Trevor Lawrence is having a fantastic season, but the conditions paired with a very good Jets defense leads me to be skeptical of either offense gaining traction in slippery conditions.

Lawrence is from TN, played college ball at Clemson and now plays in sunny Florida for the Jags. Let’s see how he fares in one of the worst weather conditions he’ll be put up against in his young career. If both teams are forced to keep it on the ground, that’s not good news either. The Jets rank 28th in rushing success. They’re a gap-run team and the Jags defend that scheme well. Jacksonville, offensively, is an average-rushing football team, while the Jets rank top-5 defensively in rushing success rate.

SAO Chief Meteorologist Kevin Roth has this game labeled as “red” which is rare for him to do for an NFL game. Directly from Roth’s blurb, “Temps in the 40s, steady (potentially heavy) rain, and gusty winds. Sustained winds 15-20mph with wind gusts 30-35mph. Just ugly, ugly weather, I expect this will have an impact on the passing game and kicking game.”

I’m with you, Roth! Carty’s The Blitz system has him going well under this number too. Additionally, the Jets’ defense is good. They’re top-10 in yielding successful pass plays, EPA Pass, sack percentage and pressure percentage. Lawrence is going to have his hands full tonight from every angle.

Lawrence has covered this number in eight of 14 games this season. However, he has hit this number during six of his seven games with his lowest output of passing yards. When the going gets tough, Lawrence is going to tuck and run. This should be an ugly game tonight with tough sledding for Lawrence and I think he’ll opt to use his legs more against a Jets defense that will apply pressure in brutal weather conditions.

We saw Valanciunas explode for 37 real points earlier this week. However, it was just the second game he played more than 30 minutes, while recording his fifth-highest usage rate of the season. The door is open for him to have another outing to exceed the 16.5 points line. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are out, while Larry Nance is questionable. If Nance is out, I might bump this to a 2-unit play. The Spurs yield the third-most points per game to opposing centers this season. Jo-Val is hot and the circumstances are right. RG currently has him to go over this number as well.