NBA Best Bets | Our Staff’s Top 4 Picks for Monday, Feb. 12
Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Rudy Gobert (27) of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
NBA Best Bets · Monday, Feb. 12
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By Joe Dellera
The Philadelphia 76ers visit the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight and will be without their MVP, Joel Embiid. This sets up for a softer interior matchup for both Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley.
Evan Mobley is back in the Cavaliers starting lineup, and I do not think lines have adjusted enough yet even with him on a minutes limit. He’s seen at least 24 minutes per game over his last five games and has achieved a double-double in four of those games.
Mobley has been incredibly efficient on both sides of the ball. He has exceeded this 22.5 Points + Rebounds line in five straight games and 75% of games this season. Additionally, playing alongside Allen has not impacted this: he actually has a higher hit rate (83%) when playing together. Granted, in many of those games Mobley played 30 or more minutes, but recently he has demonstrated that he can be effective even on a minutes restriction.
Against an undersized Sixers team, I like Mobley to exceed his 22.5 PR line and would sprinkle some on Double Double (+175).
Pick: Evan Mobley Over 22.5 Points + Rebounds
While the consistent scoring has been more difficult to come by, Max Strus has rebounded very well this season.
At about five rebounds per contest, the former Miami Heat feast-or-famine shooter has gone over 3.5 boards in 18 of his last 22 contests, where he's averaging 4.8 per contest. Last game he just had two, but he hasn't gone under 3.5 boards in consecutive games since Dec. 21 and 23.
I think Strus goes over tonight given the recent pace and the Sixers' newfound lust for building brick houses since Joel Embiid's latest injury. Even beside Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, the long boards have been there, and Strus should take advantage.
Pick: Max Strus Over 3.5 Rebounds (-125)
By Joe Dellera
The Charlotte Hornets host the Indiana Pacers tonight in what could be a high-scoring affair. Miles Bridges avoided being traded in an effort to boost his earning potential, but this is still a way to fade the Hornets’ small forward.
One of the changes the Hornets made at the deadline was moving off of PJ Washington and Gordon Hayward while bringing in Seth Curry, Grant Williams, Davis Bertans, Tre Mann and Vasilije Micic –all of whom are capable 3-point options. Essentially, the Hornets brought in a lot more shooting and spacing.
While that shooting may be valuable in other matchups, it’s significantly less valuable against the Indiana Pacers who allow the fewest 3-point attempts in the league.
Bridges is a fine 3-point shooter (38%), but this game sets up much better for him to drive into the paint and attack the rim. He only takes 34% of his shot attempts from 3, and when these teams played earlier this season he was 0-for-2 and 1-for-5 from 3-point range. I expect him to go under his 2.5 3s line.
Pick: Miles Bridges Under 2.5 3s
By Joe Dellera
The Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Los Angeles Clippers for a showdown between teams at the top of the Western Conference. One matchup I’m looking at is in the paint between Rudy Gobert and Ivica Zubac.
Gobert has absolutely dominated Zubac throughout his career but especially since 2021. In nine games, Gobert is averaging 15.9 points and 14.9 rebounds per game with some massive rebounding numbers. Those nine games are bookended with seven and nine rebounds, but the middle seven games feature rebounding totals of 20, 15, 17, 16, 16, 13 and 21.
This doesn’t get better with Daniel Theis or Mason Plumlee, either; and Gobert just recorded an 18-rebound game when Zubac missed on Jan. 14.
This is a great matchup for Gobert; he has a clear rebounding advantage and the history to back it up. None of Zubac, Theis or Plumlee is a threat to stretch the floor, and that will keep Gobert tied to the paint.
I fully expect Gobert to exceed his 12.5 Rebounds line and would play some alts.