Three NBA Best Bets For Monday, November 28

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Personally, Steelers-Colts is a down-week for Monday Night Football so I’m actually excited about the NBA docket. My favorite matchups from a betting perspective are the Hawks-76ers, Cavaliers-Raptors, and Bulls-Jazz.

(The games are handicapped in the order of my favorite to least favorite bets).

Cleveland Cavaliers (13-7) at Toronto Raptors (10-9)

These teams met in their first games of the season on Oct. 19 and Toronto won 108-105 at home. The Raptors lead the Cavs in three of the “four factors”.

Toronto has somehow kept its head above water while missing several contributors, however …

Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam could return Monday

Siakam has missed the last 10 games with a groin injury but practiced all of last week and posted this little religious/basketball hype video on his social media.

The Siakam return would be massive for the Raptors. He leads Toronto in points (24.8), assists (7.7), and rebounds per game (9.3). The Raptors score 12.7 more points per 100 possessions when Siakam is on the floor, per CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).

Also, Toronto wing Scottie Barnes is “questionable” to play after missing the last two games. He’s second behind Siakam on the Raptors in non-garbage time net rating (nRTG) at +11.1, according to CTG.

If Barnes and Siakam can play, I love the Raptors here. But, I’m willing to gamble on their returns because there is …

‘Sharp’ line movement toward Toronto

The look-ahead line for Cavaliers-Raptors was Toronto -1 and has been steamed up to -3, which could mean NBA bettors are trying to get ahead of Toronto’s injury news.

Per VSIN, a slight majority of the cash at DraftKings Sportsbook is on the Raptors at the time of publishing. Whereas roughly 60% of the bets placed are on the Cavs.

Toronto Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam drives against Cleveland Cavaliers big Evan Mobley at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada.
Toronto Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam drives against Cleveland Cavaliers big Evan Mobley at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada. (Cole Burston/Getty Images)

Typically, you want to follow the money when it’s counter to the public because professional bettors wager a lot more money than your average Joe. Perhaps sharps are backing Toronto because this is a …

Better spot for the Raptors

Toronto is 10-2 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) as short home favorites (-3 or less) since the beginning of last season. The Raptors have a +7.8 margin of victory and a +5.8 ATS margin in those contests.

Furthermore, the Cavs are 2-4 ATS on the road vs. teams with a winning record while the Raptors are 9-2 ATS vs. winning teams (5-1 ATS at home).

Not only that but …

Toronto is better in the fastbreak

The Raptors outscored the Cavs 20-7 in fastbreak points in their first meeting this season. Toronto leads the NBA in both offensive transition points added per 100 possessions and defensive transition points allowed per 100 possessions, per CTG.

NBA Best Bet #1: Raptors -3.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook

The Toronto Raptors' odds vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Nov. 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
The Toronto Raptors’ odds vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Nov. 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Chicago Bulls (8-11) at Utah Jazz (12-10)

I was all ready to take the Bulls in this bounce-back spot after losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder 123-119 in overtime Friday. My initial thought was Utah’s offense cannot duplicate how OKC beat Chicago.

The Thunder outscored the Bulls 68-46 in the paint and OKC averages the most drives per game (66.9). But, the Jazz are actually third in drives per game (53.0).

Utah has a couple of floor-spacing bigs — Lauri Markanen and Kelly Olynyk — to drive and kick to. Jazz guards Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton are going to blow by defenders and find wide-open 3-point shooters.

Utah Jazz SG Jordan Clarkson reacts to a 3-point shot against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Utah Jazz SG Jordan Clarkson reacts to a 3-point shot against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Chicago’s defense is 23rd in shot quality allowed, per CTG, and 27th in 3-point attempt rate (3PAr) allowed. Also, the Bulls are 22nd in defensive effective field goal shooting (eFG%). The Jazz on the other hand fifth in 3PAr and seventh in offensive eFG%.

Don’t get me wrong, Utah is a bad defensive team as well. But, Chicago hasn’t exploited bad defenses. According to CTG, the Bulls are 0-4 SU vs. bottom-10 defenses. They have a -8.0 non-garbage time nRTG (ranked 29th) and a -11.5 ATS margin (dead-last).

The reason for this is the Bulls are 22nd in shot quality, according to CTG. Chicago attempts the fourth-highest volume of mid-range shots, which are considered inefficient nowadays, and 28th in 3PAr. I.e. the Bulls let bad defenses off the hook with long-contested 2-pointers.

Finally, Chicago is terrible vs. Western Conference competition. The Bulls are 0-5 ATS this season vs. the West with a -10.4 ATS margin and 2-9 ATS as road ‘dogs vs. the West with a -7.0 ATS margin since 2021.

NBA Best Bet #2: Jazz -125 ML at DraftKings Sportsbook up to -140 before laying as much as -3 with Utah

The Utah Jazz's odds vs. the Chicago Bulls from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Nov. 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
The Utah Jazz’s odds vs. the Chicago Bulls from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Nov. 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Atlanta Hawks (11-9) at Philadelphia 76ers (11-9)

These teams split a home-and-away back-to-back 1-1 SU and ATS Nov. 10 and 12. Philadelphia has been playing much better recently even though Sixers All-Star big Joel Embiid has missed the last four games with a foot sprain.

Over the past two weeks, the 76ers are 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS with a +6.0 adjusted nRTG (fifth) and a +10.9 ATS margin (first), per CTG. The Hawks are 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS with a -4.7 adjusted nRTG (26th) and -5.6 ATS margin (28th).

Atlanta’s main issue on both ends of the floor is shot quality. The Hawks are dead-last in offensive shot quality and 24th in defensive shot quality allowed, according to CTG. The Sixers are ninth in defensive shot quality allowed.

Also, Philly has a more reliable offense. The 76ers are seventh in offensive FT/FGA rate and Atlanta has the third-worst defensive FT/FGA rate. Granted, Embiid is a big reason Philly spends so much time at the foul line.

Atlanta Hawks PG Trae Young passes the ball against Philadelphia 76ers C Joel Embiid at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Atlanta Hawks PG Trae Young passes the ball against Philadelphia 76ers C Joel Embiid at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

However, as of the 12:30 p.m. ET NBA injury report, Embiid is “questionable” to play. If Embiid can play, this line will shoot up to -3.5. If not, the Hawks are still a bad road team and the 76ers are profitable as home ‘dogs.

Either way, there is suspicious line movement. More than 90% of the money is on Atlanta, per Pregame.com, but the Hawks have gone from a slight road favorite (-1) to a slight road ‘dog (+1).

Perhaps the sportsbooks know something we don’t. The oddsmakers must because the public is barreling into the Hawks and the House will need the Sixers if Embiid is out.

NBA Best Bet #3: 76ers -115 ML at DraftKings Sportsbook. Take Philly up to -3.5 if Embiid plays

The Philadelphia 76ers' odds vs. the Atlanta Hawks from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Nov. 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ odds vs. the Atlanta Hawks from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, Nov. 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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