There’s a jam-packed Monday slate in the NBA due to the league taking Election Day (November 8th) off. All 30 teams are in action Monday with games tipping off every 15 minutes starting at 4 p.m. ET and concluding at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Below, I’ll give out my best bets for Monday’s NBA card including two picks to win and a total. (The games are in order of my favorite to least favorite bets).
Brooklyn Nets (4-6) at Dallas Mavericks (5-3)
This 217-point total feels like a trap. These teams met on October 27th and the Mavs won 129-125 in overtime. The total for that game was 226 and the Over cleared by 28 points. Yet this total is nine points lower?
Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving scored a team-high 39 points vs. the Mavs in that game. Kyrie is suspended Monday for posting a movie with anti-semitic ideas on Twitter and not showing remorse once called out.
Irving not playing is worth a few points to the total but not nine. In fact, per CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG), Brooklyn scores 2.6 fewer points per 100 possessions when Kyrie is on the floor.
He’s a ball-stopping guard who is just as likely to waste a possession with a poor shot selection as he is at scoring. Irving is also a bad defensive player so his absence could improve Brooklyn’s defense.
The public is falling for said trap because, at the time of writing, VSIN reports that more than 90% of the action at DraftKings Sportsbooks is on the Over.
Also, there’s some basketball logic behind an Under bet in Nets-Mavericks. Brooklyn is 23rd in pace and Dallas plays at the slowest pace in the NBA.
Furthermore, both teams are in the top-10 of offensive turnover rate and in the bottom-10 of offensive rebounding rate. Turnovers and offensive rebounds lead to easy buckets.
Both teams get to the free-throw line at a top-seven rate and send opponents to the charity stripe at a bottom-10 rate. But, they might not get the benefit of the whistles because Monday’s assigned referee crew has a 5-14 Over/Under record this season.
Lastly, Dallas developed more of a defensive identity under 1st-year head coach Jason Kidd last season. The Mavs had by far the highest rate of Unders played at home in 2021-22 with a 17-36-1 O/U (-4.9 total margin).
NBA Best Bet #1: UNDER 217 in Nets-Mavericks at DraftKings Sportsbook, down to 215.5
Denver Nuggets (6-3) at San Antonio Spurs (5-5)
The Nuggets annihilate bad defenses and the Spurs had the 2nd-worst defensive rating in the NBA. Last season, Denver was 22-4 straight up (SU) vs. teams with a bottom-10 defensive rating, per CTG. The Nuggets had the 2nd-best spread differential vs. those teams (+5.1 ATS margin) last year.
Denver dominated bad defenses despite being without All-Star PG Jamal Murray and SF Michael Porter Jr. So far this season, the Nuggets are 2-0 SU against bottom-10 defenses with a +15.5 adjusted net rating (ranked 5th) and +12.0 ATS margin (4th), per CTG.
One of these Nuggets’ beatdowns came against the Spurs Saturday, 126-101, in Denver as 11.5-point home favorites. The Nuggets hit 51.7% of their threes Saturday (15-of-29) and have sunk 47.4% of threes over their last four games.
San Antonio has the 2nd-worst effective field goal shooting (eFG%) in the NBA and Denver has the best eFG%. Also, the Spurs don’t close out on threes. They contest the sixth-fewest 3-point attempts per game.
Denver’s reigning 2-time MVP Nikola Jokic destroys San Antonio. He averaged 32.5 points, 15.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in his four games vs. the Spurs last season with a +15 net rating. Jokic shot 90% from the field vs. the Spurs Saturday.
NBA Best Bet #2: Denver Nuggets -7.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -8
Boston Celtics (6-3) at Memphis Grizzlies (7-3)
My 1st instinct when seeing the odds for this game was to take the points with the home underdog Grizzlies. Memphis was 26-17-1 ATS vs. teams with a winning record last season and 14-6 ATS at home vs. winning teams.
But, this is a bad matchup for the Grizzlies and the Celtics are even better in this spot. Memphis relies on creating points off of turnovers and putbacks. But, Boston is seventh in points off of turnovers allowed per game and 5th in 2nd-chance points allowed per game.
The Celtics were 11-0 SU and ATS as road favorites vs. teams with a winning record. Boston had a 20-point margin of victory in those games and a +15.1 spread differential.
Celtics All-NBA wing Jayson Tatum balls up the Ja-led Grizzlies. In their three career meetings, Tatum’s Celtics are 3-0 SU vs. Morant’s Grizzlies. Tatum is averaging 29.7 points per game on 58.9% shooting (47.4% from three) in those games.
Also, Boston has two strong defensive point guards to sic on Memphis All-Star Ja Morant. Celtics PG Marcus Smart is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and backup PG Malcolm Brogdon has been an above-average defender his whole career.
NBA Best Bet #3: Boston Celtics -3.5 (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -4
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