NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Best Bets for Bulls vs. Celtics & Rockets vs. Heat (Monday, April 19)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Christian Wood
- There are big-time matchups galore on Monday night in the NBA, and our team of NBA analysts is here to tell you where the value is.
- Find out which games have been highlighted as ones that bettors should be attention to.
Editor’s note: The Pacers have announced Myles Turner has suffered a partial tear of his plantar plate in the great toe of his right foot.
We’re kicking off the week with an NBA slate that is anchored by two exciting games on ESPN: Warriors vs. 76ers (7:30 p.m. ET) and Jazz vs. Lakers (10 p.m. ET).
For tonight, our NBA analysts are focused on three other games and are betting one spread, one prop and one total in those matchups.
Take a look their in-depth analysis and picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics
Joe Dellera: The Celtics will have Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum for this matchup while the Bulls will be without their star wing, Zach LaVine. This line had been sitting on Celtics -6, but with the availability of both Brown and Tatum being confirmed I expect this to move throughout the day.
LaVine is a fantastic perimeter scorer, and one of the Bulls best offensive players as evidenced by his 128.2 points per shot attempt and +6.3 points per 100 possessions on offense, per Cleaning the Glass. The Bulls will need to scrape some points together in his absence, but considering they are just 3-5 straight up without him over the past two seasons, that may be too tall of a task.
The Celtics struggled a bit this season, but they’ve now won six games in a row and covered the spread in their last five games. They’re scoring 4.8 points more per 100 possessions than their opponents over this stretch on a blistering 56.4% Effective Field Goal percentage.
While the underlying shot selection makes this feel slightly unsustainable, both Tatum and Brown have a knack for being streaky shooters. But if they’re on, it’s a good time to ride that wave of hot shooting, especially against a Bulls team that has an allowed eFG% of 54.4%, 20th in the league, per Cleaning the Glass.
Back Boston as a home favorite, a spot where they have been especially profitable this season. I like this up to -7.
Houston Rockets vs. Miami Heat
Brandon Anderson: Christian Wood is finally back, and with a vengeance. Wood was having a breakout campaign for the Houston Rockets before an injury sidelined him for around six weeks and derailed his Most Improved Player campaign.
But Wood is back now, and the numbers have quickly returned. Wood has played 17 games since returning from injury. He’s averaging 20.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, picking up right where he left off even though he’s sharing the court with almost an entirely new set of teammates.
Wood played six games, then missed five days and a couple games, but he’s played every game since and is averaging almost 34 minutes a game so he’s back to full strength now. For the season, Wood is averaging 9.4 rebounds per game. His rebounding average is down a little since his return, but mostly due to a time of reduced minutes ramping back up.
For the season, Wood has gone over 8.5 rebounds in 21-of-34 games, hitting this over 62% of the time. And with three outlier games below 25 minutes thrown out, that’s really 21-of-31, so close to 68% to the over.
And check out the floor and the ceiling. Wood’s floor has typically been around seven rebounds. He’s hit that number in 79% of his games this year, putting us very much in range of an over in a majority of his games. He’s also had 17 games with double-digit boards. That’s 10 or more in exactly half of his games, plus five games with at least 15.
All of that suggests this line is probably a rebound too low and a bargain over for us today. We project Wood at 9.9 boards, right at his median outcome. I played this at -112 and like the over to up to -135.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Indiana Pacers
Raheem Palmer: Myles Turner has been the catalyst on defense for the Indiana Pacers. With him on the floor the Pacers are allowing just 110.4 points per 100 possessions compared to 116.0 with him off the floor.
Although it didn’t show up against the Atlanta Hawks, who rank eighth in Offensive Rating scoring (115.3) in their non garbage time minutes, the San Antonio Spurs aren’t very good offensively — they’re just 18th in Offensive Rating (111.8), per Cleaning the Glass.
The Spurs take most of the shots (38.2% of their field goals) from the mid-range area and are making 42.9% of them, which ranks 11th in the NBA. The Pacers are solid at defending this area of the floor, so it’s hard to expect the Spurs to put up the same offensive output the Hawks produced. The Spurs rank 20th in field goal percentage at the rim (62.5%) and 17th in 3-point shooting percentage (36.5%), which are the most efficient areas of the floor.
The interesting thing about Turner is that while he has a positive impact on their defense, he has a negative impact on their offense. The Pacers score 111.2 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor vs. 113.7 with him off (-2.5).
It’s pretty clear that the Domantas Sabonis and Turner frontcourt isn’t ideal for today’s NBA and the Pacers still rank 17th in Offensive Rating (111.8), despite the move from former head coach Nate McMillan to Nate Bjorkgren that was supposed to revolutionize this offense.
The Pacers are still shooting just 35.3% of their field goals from behind the arc, 18th among NBA teams. The Spurs are even worse, as they rank last in 3-point shooting frequency, taking just over a third of their attempts from behind the arc.
Overall, we have two 3-point shooting teams that don’t get to the line very often — Pacers are 23rd in free throw attempts (19.7) and the Spurs are 13th (21.9) — and aren’t very good offenses in general.
The last time these two teams met, they played just 97 possessions and while they both were extremely efficient, but I’m not expecting that here.
The Pacers coming off a back-to-back, playing three games in four nights and having their first game back from a three game road stretch, which included flying to Houston on Wednesday, Utah on Friday and Atlanta on Sunday before coming back home to Indiana today.
My model makes this game 229 and while this number got steamed down from 232 to 231, I think there’s still some value on the under. I’ll play the under 231.5 here and would play this down to 230.5
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