NBA Expert Picks, Predictions, Odds: Monday’s Best Bets, Including Celtics vs Clippers, Cavaliers vs. Spurs
Tyler Ross/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the L.A. Clippers.
- Our NBA analysts have three best bets for Monday's seven-game slate.
- Among their bets are player props and a bet on the over/under in Cavaliers vs. Spurs.
- Check out our experts' best bets for Monday and their analysis below.
Monday night's NBA schedule is quite robust with seven games in total, all of which have plenty of interesting storylines.
The red-hot Brooklyn Nets face the slumping Washington Wizards ( 7 p.m ET). A point guard battle between Trae Young and Ja Morant leads NBA TV's doubleheader with Atlanta Hawks vs. Memphis Grizzlies (8 p.m. ET). The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers (10:30 p.m. ET) close out the slate with a battle of two contenders in each conference.
Our betting analysts are targeting two of those matchups and another on tonight's slate and have two player props and an over/under as the best bets for Monday. Check out their betting analysis an expert picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Brooklyn Nets vs. Washington Wizards
Joe Dellera: Kevin Durant heads home to Washington D.C. to take on the Wizards in a Monday night showdown. While Durant has played well in his hometown, he generally becomes more of a scorer than a facilitator.
Let’s target his assists. His prop is set at 5.5 assists, and he’s only exceeded this line in 11 of his 27 games this season, but when he plays alongside Kyrie Irving and Benjamin Simmons, his facilitating decreases. He has exceeded 5.5 assists in just three of his 13 games with those two and this is a spot to take his under.
Both Brooklyn and Washington play at below average Paces, and this should decrease the opportunities for buckets, dimes, and most importantly, assists.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. San Antonio Spurs
Andrew O'Connor-Watts: It’s become increasingly less common to see totals below 220 since the take foul rule was implemented this season.
There are only a few teams that get designated with totals under 220 and the Cavaliers are one of them, but don’t let that scare you away from the under.
The Cavaliers boast the best Adjusted Net Rating in the league, according to Dunks and Threes, and they are 17-10 to the under this season. Perhaps counterintuitively, most of those unders come in games where the bookmakers don't expect a lot of scoring to begin with.
In games where the total is under 220, the Cavaliers are 12-4 to the under.
Most of their overs came in the beginning of the season when their defense was still adjusting as a unit. In the past 12 games, the under is 11-1.
Donovan Mitchell is questionable with a lower leg injury that's kept him out of the last two games. If he sits–which i think is likely against this lackluster Spurs team–that's better for an under, but even if he plays, there is value in a low-scoring game.
On the Spurs side, they are 14-11-1 to the under this season and 6-3-1 to the under in the last 10 games. One cause for concern with this play is that the Spurs have the worst Adjusted Net Rating in the league at 119, but they are third-worst in Adjusted Offensive Rating (108.6).
My raw numbers have this game closer to 215 and that's with Mitchell playing. I’ll take the under down to 218.
Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Baker: It’s clear that Kawhi is struggling to get back into form on offense as he is shooting below 40% from the field and just 17.2% from 3-point range. Kawhi should be able to get going against this Celtics defense that allows the most mid-range attempts in the NBA.
The Celtics also rank 28th in mid-range accuracy allowing their opponents to make 46.2% of their attempts. Leonard has traditionally lived in the mid-range area and there is no reason to expect this Boston team to prevent him from getting to his spots. With Al Horford out, the Celtics just don’t really have the rim-protectors necessary to dissuade Kawhi from relentlessly attacking the rim.
The second reason why I like this is that this is somewhat of a pace “up-spot” as he has played two consecutive games against bottom-5 pace teams. The Celtics are just 17th in pace but it still represents a major increase in number of possessions relative to how slow the Heat and Magic are currently playing.
The third major reason I like this is that we should see his minutes and usage rate ramp up following Paul George logging 41 minutes and scoring 36 points in a win over the Wizards on Saturday. George had a heavy workload as he had a 33.7% Usage Rate (97th percentile) while Kawhi had just a 23.9% Usage Rate.
With just one day of rest I expect them to lean on Kawhi a little more given how much they’ve been asking of Paul George. I expect Kawhi to come out with urgency in a primetime matchup versus this high-powered Celtics offense.
If Kawhi is just 80% of his old self this number should be cleared easily given his current Usage Rate. Trust Kawhi to clear 17.5 points in primetime on Monday night.