NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Best Bets for Celtics vs. Grizzlies, Hawks vs. Clippers (Monday, March 22)
Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks.
- There are eight games on Monday night's NBA schedule, but the late slate of games seems to be providing the most value for our analysts.
- They are looking to bet three over/unders and one moneyline in three games tonight.
- Check out their picks and analysis below.
The weekend was unkind to a few stars around the league with injuries to LeBron James Giannis Antetokounmpo and LaMelo Ball taking some of the wind out of an already shaky season. But the NBA will roll on Monday night with eight games on the schedule, including the Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks at 9 p.m. ET on NBA TV.
Our NBA analysts have their eyes on a three of games including Pacers vs. Bucks, and they are targeting three totals and a moneyline bet on Monday night. You can check out their game analysis and picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Boston Celtics vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Raheem Palmer: The Celtics come off a 112-96 win over the Orlando Magic and now fly out to start a four game road trip against the Memphis Grizzlies on the first night of a back-to-back. At 21-21 and sixth in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics need to make a run if they want to move up the standings as we get closer to the playoffs.
They’ll likely be without the services of Kemba Walker who is averaging 17.7 points per game and is the team’s best facilitator as he regularly sits back-to-backs. The Celtics will be facing a Grizzlies defense that ranks eighth in Defensive Rating, holding opposing teams to just 110.1 points per 100 possessions. The Grizzlies also rank eighth in Defensive Field Goal Percentage at the rim (62%), and area of the floor where the Celtics score pretty well.
The Celtics don’t play at a very fast pace either, ranking 22nd at 98.61 possessions a game. While the Grizzlies are a fast paced team, they rank just 21st in Offensive Rating this season scoring 109.6 points per 100 possessions.
The Grizzlies are 29th in 3-point shooting percentage (34.2%) and 18th at the rim (62.1%). Even a Celtics defense that has dropped off in previous years should be able to contain this Grizzlies offense. Overall, I think this total is a bit too high. I grabbed this at 220, but I would bet down to 219.
Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Kenny Ducey: In the early bets we’ve tracked on this game, we’ve seen a lot of tickets on the over, as well as some sharp action. For me, though, the under is where it’s at.
The Bucks will all but certainly be playing this game without Giannis Antetokounmpo, which has made them worse by whopping 15 points per 100 possessions when he’s off the floor this season.
Their offense, especially, has cratered in the minutes it’s played with Antetokounmpo on the bench, scoring 10.5 fewer points per 100 possessions. What we know about these minutes is that Khris Middleton has seen a 7.6% boost in usage, which aligns with the Bucks’ slight increase in 3-pointers per possession. The thing here, though, is the Pacers have been defending 3s very well over the past five games, letting them fall at just a 34.4% clip.
Indiana’s offense has been strong of late, but this Bucks defense is a different animal. Even without Giannis, it’s still allowing just 110.1 points per 100 possessions this year.
I’m anticipating a strong effort from the Bucks’ defense, and an affinity for 3s without Giannis, which should lead to a lot of empty trips down the floor against a good perimeter defense. I think this should lead to a grind-it-out, low-scoring contest. I’d take this down to 230.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Malik Smith: Betting the under on Hawks games was an extremely profitable play early in the season. Around early February, though, that trend made a hard u-turn in the other direction. Since Feb. 5, the under is 7-13 in Hawks games compared to 16-6 before that date, per Bet Labs.
According to NBA Advanced stats, their Offensive Rating from February to early March was impressive at 116.7 points per 100 possessions, but the defense was also allowing 117.7 points per 100 (27th in the NBA), which almost certainly contributed to former head coach Lloyd Pierce’s departure.
Since then, Nate McMillan has taken over and the Hawks are undefeated. The defense has been second in the NBA in terms of efficiency allowing 105 points per 100 and the Hawks have gone under in five of their eight games. But if you look closer at the games that went, you’ll notice the Hawks didn’t play a ton of amazing offensive teams: Heat (without Jimmy Butler), Kings, Cavaliers, Thunder, Lakers (without LeBron James).
The Clippers rank second in the NBA Offensive Rating (116.6) and, with all due respect to coach McMillan, I’m not sold at all that the Hawks are suddenly a great defense just because he took over the reigns. Inconsistent as the Clippers might be, their offense can still be potent without reaching its peak levels.
This game opened at 226 and fell by just a half point, but I’m going to take the over here up to 227.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Brandon Anderson: Are the Atlanta Hawks the hottest team in the NBA?
It sure feels like they might be, though that doesn’t mean much these days. The Hawks are one of only two teams in the entire league with longer than a two-game winning streak. Atlanta’s streak is much longer, of course. Atlanta has won eight straight games, and the Hawks are riding a wave of momentum under new interim head coach Nate McMillan.
The Hawks are suddenly fourth in the East, though it’s fair to point out this hasn’t exactly been the most difficult stretch of season you’ve ever seen: Heat, Magic, Raptors, Kings, Cavs, Rockets, Thunder, Lakers. Miami was missing Jimmy Butler, and the Lakers were missing Anthony Davis and most of LeBron James.
Still, wins are wins, and the Hawks rank top-10 in the league on offense. Trae Young looks likely to suit up tonight (stay away otherwise), and De’Andre Hunter may finally be back too. Danilo Gallinari is healthy and playing well. Bogdan Bogdanovic is starting to find his way. John Collins is balling out ahead of the trade deadline.
It’s no coincidence that the Hawks have started winning during their easiest schedule stretch of the season, but it’s also no coincidence that they’re winning now that the team is whole.
The Clippers continue to feel underwhelming. They’ve lost eight of their last 14 games and feel like something is missing. LA is still the better team, but would they win this game 68% of the time?
That’s what this +210 moneyline at FanDuel would imply, and that simply feels too high with the Hawks playing this well. I’ll roll the dice on Atlanta to keep it going under McMillan and adding another win on their LA road trip.