NBA betting: Five picks for Monday’s slate

NBA betting: Five picks for Monday’s slate

There is a big, 10-game slate in the NBA tonight, including a battle of MVP contenders in Nikola Jokic‘s Nuggets vs Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s Bucks, and a battle for the top seed in the Western Conference with the Timberwolves facing off with the Clippers. As always, let’s dig in for some angles of interest.

The Raptors haven’t been playing the best ball of late, particularly as they’ve dealt with injury absences from RJ Barrett and/or Immanuel Quickley, but the Spurs seem to have hit a wall. The Spurs have lost seven straight games overall, but five of those losses, including the last four in a row, have all been by at least 12 points. During that 4-game span, they are losing by an averaged of 16.0 PPG. The Spurs are a very young team, led by rookie Victor Wembanyama, who has already played more NBA games this season than he has ever played games in a season before. His scoring and rebounding have both dipped of late, including him grabbing an eye-poppingly-low five total boards in his last two games, and it just seems they are in need of the All Star Break to recover. According to the ESPN Analytics Game Predictor, the Raptors should be favored in this game to win by 8.1 points.

Miller is coming off two straight “down” games in which he has averaged 17.0 PPG, which came on the heels of a six-game streak of scoring 20-or-more in every game when he averaged 27.7 PPG on 49.2%. I think he’s ready to bounce-back on Monday. His two teen-scoring games came against a Bucks team playing inspired ball and a Grizzlies defense that has quietly allowed the sixth-fewest points to opposing power forwards. Miller faces a Pacers defense on Monday that allows the eighth-most points to opposing small forwards and has averaged 28.0 PPG in his two NBA starts against Indiana. He dropped a career-high 35 points on the Pacers just last week.

DeMar DeRozan over 24.5 points (-140).

DeRozan has been much more aggressive as a scorer in the last week, averaging 30.3 PPG in his last three outings, all against strong defenses. The Magic, Grizzlies and Timberwolves all rank in the top-10 in the NBA for fewest points allowed to opposing small forwards, and DeRozan lit up all three for at least 28 points. On Monday, DeRozan’s scoring running mate Coby White (GTD, ankle) is probable to play, but could be slowed a bit by his injury. In his one game against the Hawks this year, DeRozan dropped 25 points during an otherwise “lower”-scoring 12-game span in which he averaged 21.0 PPG.

Minnesota Timberwolves and LA Clippers over 224.5 points (-105).

This clash of the titans features two strong defensive teams, but both offenses are built to take advantage of the weaknesses of the opposing unit. The Clippers are good defending the perimeter, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George able to make life hard on opposing wings, but they aren’t particularly big or strong in the middle. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves feature one of the biggest, most productive frontlines in the NBA featuring Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert and should be able to break down the defense from the inside-out. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are the number one defense in the NBA built center-out around Gobert, but the Clippers are one of the best long-range shooting teams in the league and will be playing at home. Both teams should get theirs, leading to a potentially high-scoring game. According to the ESPN Analytics Game Predictor, the estimated total for this game is 231.8 points.

Nikola Jokic to Record a Triple Double (+190).

With 16 triple-doubles, Jokic just fell one behind Domantas Sabonis (17) for the league lead in triple doubles this season. On Monday, he’ll face a Bucks defense that has allowed the most assists and is among the bottom-10 in points allowed to opposing centers this season. The Bucks are good on the boards, but Jokic is tied for third in the NBA with 12.2 RPG. These two teams have already played within the last two weeks, and Jokic dropped a 25-point, 16-rebound, 12-assist triple-double.

Projections and Injury Reports

Odds provided by ESPN BET. Basketball Power Index by ESPN Analytics Injury aggregation by

Indiana Pacers at Charlotte Hornets
7 p.m. Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

Records (Against the Spread)
Pacers: 30-24 (29-23-2)
Hornets: 11-41 (19-33-0)

Line: Pacers (-11.5) Total: 238.5
Money Line: Pacers (-650), Hornets (+475)
BPI Projection: Pacers by 10.7, straight up 82%, 239.4 total points.

Injury Report:
Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton, (GTD – Hamstring); Jalen Smith, (OUT – Back); Marcus Morris Sr., (OUT – Not Injury Related)
Hornets: Cody Martin, (GTD – Knee); LaMelo Ball, (OUT – Ankle); Mark Williams, (OUT – Back)

Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers
7 p.m. Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland

Records (Against the Spread)
76ers: 31-21 (30-22-0)
Cavaliers: 35-16 (28-22-1)

Line: Cavaliers (-9.5) Total: 229.5
Money Line: 76ers (+345), Cavaliers (-450)
BPI Projection: Cavaliers by 11.5, straight up 86%, 222.2 total points.

Injury Report:
76ers: Mo Bamba, (GTD – Knee); De’Anthony Melton, (OUT – Back); Nicolas Batum, (OUT – Hamstring); Robert Covington, (OUT – Knee); Joel Embiid, (OUT – Knee)
Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson, (OUT – Suspension); Ty Jerome, (OUT – Ankle)

Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks
7:30 p.m. State Farm Arena, Atlanta

Records (Against the Spread)
Bulls: 25-28 (27-25-1)
Hawks: 24-29 (17-36-0)

Line: Hawks (-4.5) Total: 237.5
Money Line: Bulls (+140), Hawks (-165)
BPI Projection: Hawks by 3.6, straight up 63%, 238.0 total points.

Injury Report:
Bulls: Alex Caruso, (GTD – Toe); Coby White, (GTD – Ankle); Torrey Craig, (GTD – Toe); Patrick Williams, (OUT – Foot); Lonzo Ball, (OUT – Knee); Zach LaVine, (OUT – Foot)
Hawks: Bruno Fernando, (GTD – Illness); Patty Mills, (GTD – Illness); Seth Lundy, (GTD – Ankle); Clint Capela, (OUT – Thigh); Mouhamed Gueye, (OUT – Back); Wesley Matthews, (OUT – Illness)

San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors
7:30 p.m. Scotiabank Arena, Toronto

Records (Against the Spread)
Spurs: 10-43 (23-29-1)
Raptors: 19-34 (25-28-0)

Line: Raptors (-6.5) Total: 235.5
Money Line: Spurs (+210), Raptors (-250)
BPI Projection: Raptors by 8.1, straight up 76%, 233.9 total points.

Injury Report:
Spurs: Charles Bassey, (OUT – Knee)
Raptors: None reported

New York Knicks at Houston Rockets
8 p.m. Toyota Center, Houston

Records (Against the Spread)
Knicks: 33-20 (30-22-1)
Rockets: 23-29 (26-24-2)

Line: Knicks (-4.5) Total: 222.5
Money Line: Knicks (-175), Rockets (+150)
BPI Projection: Knicks by 1.6, straight up 56%, 227.8 total points.

Injury Report:
Knicks: Isaiah Hartenstein, (GTD – Achilles); Jericho Sims, (GTD – Illness); Duane Washington Jr., (OUT – Thumb); Julius Randle, (OUT – Shoulder); OG Anunoby, (OUT – Elbow); Mitchell Robinson, (OUT – Ankle)
Rockets: Alperen Sengun, (GTD – Back); Cam Whitmore, (OUT – Ankle); Fred VanVleet, (OUT – Thigh); Tari Eason, (OUT – Lower Leg); Steven Adams, (OUT – Knee)

New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies
8 p.m. FedExForum, Memphis

Records (Against the Spread)
Pelicans: 31-22 (29-23-1)
Grizzlies: 18-35 (23-30-0)

Line: Pelicans (-8.5) Total: 223.5
Money Line: Pelicans (-380), Grizzlies (+300)
BPI Projection: Pelicans by 8.6, straight up 78%, 225.3 total points.

Injury Report:
Pelicans: Cody Zeller, (GTD – Knee); Zion Williamson, (GTD – Foot); Dyson Daniels, (OUT – Knee)
Grizzlies: Derrick Rose, (GTD – Ankle); Jake LaRavia, (OUT – Ankle); Ziaire Williams, (OUT – Hand); Brandon Clarke, (OUT – Achilles); Marcus Smart, (OUT – Finger); Desmond Bane, (OUT – Ankle); Ja Morant, (OUT – Shoulder); Bismack Biyombo, (GTD – Not Injury Related)

Denver Nuggets at Milwaukee Bucks
8 p.m. Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee

Records (Against the Spread)
Nuggets: 36-17 (22-29-2)
Bucks: 34-19 (20-33-0)

Line: Bucks (-1.5) Total: 232.5
Money Line: Nuggets (-110), Bucks (-110)
BPI Projection: Bucks by 1, straight up 54%, 234.1 total points.

Injury Report:
Nuggets: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, (GTD – Hamstring); Michael Porter Jr., (GTD – Knee); Vlatko Cancar, (OUT – Knee)
Bucks: Damian Lillard, (GTD – Ankle); Giannis Antetokounmpo, (GTD – Knee); Khris Middleton, (OUT – Ankle)

Washington Wizards at Dallas Mavericks
8:30 p.m. American Airlines Center, Dallas

Records (Against the Spread)
Wizards: 9-43 (24-27-1)
Mavericks: 30-23 (29-24-0)

Line: Mavericks (-13.5) Total: 247.5
Money Line: Wizards (+750), Mavericks (-1200)
BPI Projection: Mavericks by 10.9, straight up 84%, 232.7 total points.

Injury Report:
Wizards: Isaiah Livers, (OUT – Hip)
Mavericks: Kyrie Irving, (GTD – Thumb); Luka Doncic, (GTD – Nose); Maxi Kleber, (GTD – Toe); Dante Exum, (OUT – Knee); Dereck Lively II, (OUT – Nose)

Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz
9 p.m. Delta Center, Salt Lake City

Records (Against the Spread)
Warriors: 25-25 (25-23-2)
Jazz: 26-27 (31-22-0)

Line: Warriors (-1.5) Total: 240.5
Money Line: Warriors (-120), Jazz (+100)
BPI Projection: Jazz by 1.2, straight up 54%, 244.2 total points.

Injury Report:
Warriors: Gui Santos, (GTD – Knee); Chris Paul, (OUT – Hand)
Jazz: Brice Sensabaugh, (GTD – Hip); Otto Porter Jr., (GTD – Foot)

Minnesota Timberwolves at LA Clippers
10:30 p.m. Arena, Los Angeles

Records (Against the Spread)
Timberwolves: 36-16 (26-23-3)
Clippers: 35-16 (28-23-0)

Line: Clippers (-4.5) Total: 223.5
Money Line: Timberwolves (+150), Clippers (-175)
BPI Projection: Clippers by 3.9, straight up 64%, 231.8 total points.

Injury Report:
Timberwolves: Jaden McDaniels, (GTD – Finger); Jaylen Clark, (OUT – Achilles)
Clippers: None reported

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