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Hopefully, the NFC South toilet bowl for Monday Night Football doesn’t eat up too much of your bank roll because there’s are interesting matchups in the NBA.
Most notably, a rematch of last year’s playoff series between the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks. On top of that, I’ll break down and give a best bet in the Heat-Grizzlies and Celtics-Raptors meetings as well.
Phoenix Suns (16-7) at Dallas Mavericks (11-11)
This will be the second Suns-Mavericks meeting of the season. Phoenix rallied back from a 22-point deficit to beat Dallas 107-105 at home in each team’s first game of the year.
It was a revenge game for the Suns who were eliminated in the second-round of the Western Conference playoffs last season by the Mavs.
Phoenix is the right side Monday as well because it’s playing with an edge this season after an embarrassing exit in last year’s playoffs and …
The Suns are trending in a better direction
Over the past two weeks, Phoenix is 6-1 straight up (SU) with a +10.6 non-garbage time net rating (nRTG), per CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG). Dallas is 2-4 SU with a +0.3 non-garbage time nRTG over that span.
It’s a ‘good spot’ for Phoenix
Dallas is 0-10 ATS this season following a win with a -9.5 ATS margin. Phoenix is 10-3 ATS as a road underdog since 2021 with a +4.3 ATS margin. Also, the Suns play better on no rest.
On the second of a back-to-back (B2B), the Suns have covered five of their last six dating back to last season. Whereas the Mavericks are 1-3 SU with a -3.0 non-garbage time nRTG (20th) and 0-3-1 ATS with a -8.0 ATS margin (28th) this season.
The Suns play better against good teams
Phoenix is second in adjusted nRTG and Dallas is seventh, per CTG. The Suns are 5-0 SU with a +10.7 non-garbage time nRTG vs. top-10 teams (second) and a +9.5 ATS margin (first). The Mavs are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games vs. teams with a winning record.
This is a matchup between two legit MVP contenders. Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic is tied with Celtics wing Jayson Tatum for the best odds to win NBA MVP (+270). Phoneix All-Star Devin Booker is tied for seventh (+2000).
But, in the regular season, Booker’s Suns are 8-1 SU all-time vs. the Mavs when Luka plays. Booker is outshooting Luka from everywhere on the floor and has a better assist-to-turnover ratio.
Finally, both teams play a ton of half-court offense and at a bottom-10 pace. However, the Suns have a better net effective field goal percentage (eFG%) at +2.8% vs. +0.8%.
NBA Best Bet #1: Suns +3 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, down to +2
Miami Heat (11-12) at Memphis Grizzlies (14-9)
Each team is 4-1 SU in their last five games. However, all of Miami’s opponents over that span had a winning record while just two of Memphis’s were a winning team.
They split last year’s regular-season series 1-1 SU and ATS with the road team winning and covering both. I like the road team in this Heat-Grizzlies meeting Monday because this is tough schedule spot for Memphis.
This will be the Grizzlies fourth game in the last five nights and just beat the Pistons 122-112 last night (Sunday). Whereas the Heat are playing on two days rest.
This season, Memphis is 0-2 SU in the second of a B2B with a -16.9 non-garbage time nRTG and a -17.5 ATS margin, both dead-last in the NBA, per CTG. Miami is 2-0 SU with a +3.4 non-garbage time nRTG vs. opponents playing with no rest.
Most importantly, the Heat are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA and the Grizzlies play poor half-court offense. Miami’s defense is first in paint PPG allowed and sixth in fastbreak PPG.
Memphis loves to get out in transition and crash the glass on offense. The Grizzlies are just 22nd in points scored per 100 half-court plays run and 21st in offensive eFG%.
This is a Pros vs. Joe’s game in the betting market. DraftKings is reporting via VSIN that nearly 70% of the bets placed are on Memphis at the time of writing. But, more than 60% of the cash is on Miami.
Typically, it’s wise to follow the money when it’s counter to the public since the wiseguys bet bigger units than the average Joe.
NBA Best Bet #2: Heat +1.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook
Boston Celtics (19-5) at Toronto Raptors (12-11)
Buyer beware: My record betting against Boston this season is terrible. I keep finding value in fading them and the Celtics torching my dumb ass. Also, Boston was 3-1 SU and ATS last season vs. Toronto, which includes three straight victories.
That said, this is a “scheduled loss” for the Celtics who are also playing their fourth game in six nights. The Raptors apply a ton of pressure to ball handlers, attack the paint, get out in transition and crash the glass. I.e. Toronto is a pain in the ass to play.
Furthermore, there’s “reverse line movement” headed toward Toronto in the betting market. Boston opened as a slight favorite but have been steamed down to a slight ‘dog even though more than 80% of the bets placed at DraftKings are on the Celtics.
Lastly, Boston is a little banged-up. The Celtics have already ruled out starting C Al Horford, PG Marcus Smart sat out Sunday with a hip injury and PG Malcolm Brogdon is listed as “questionable” on the injury report.
NBA Best Bet #3: Raptors -1.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook
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