NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Hornets vs. Wizards, Pacers vs. Bulls & More (Monday, November 22)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Ja Morant
- Action Network NBA Analysts break down their five best bets for Monday's NBA slate.
- Our analysts have eyes on four spread bets and one total.
- Check out their analysis and picks below.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching and no games scheduled on Thursday, the NBA schedule is going to be heavy on nearly every other day of the week.
Monday night’s NBA slate is loaded with 10 games and our analysts are all over five of tonight’s matchups. They are betting the spread in four of tonight’s games and the total in another.
Read on for their game analysis for those matchups and best bets for Monday night.
NBA Odds & Picks
Charlotte Hornets vs. Washington Wizards
Austin Wang: The Washington Wizards host the Charlotte Hornets on Monday evening in a matchup of two of the East’s top five teams.
Wait, did you read that correctly? If the season finished today, the Wizards would be No. 3 seed (11-5) and the Hornets (10-8) would be fifth in the East. These young squads have been impressive in the first quarter of the season.
The Wizards have been winning thanks to their defense. Their Defensive Rating is fourth (104.0) in the league, per NBA Advanced Stats. In addition, they are 11-5 to the under this season and have gone 8-2 to the under in their last 10 games.
Their Pace has continued to trend downwards week-by-week. Their average Pace is 97.4 for the season, but their games have had an average pace of 92.7 in the last two weeks. Kyle Kuzma, Daniel Gafford and Montrezl Harrell have given this team a boost defensively.
The Hornets are 5-1 to the under in their past six games and rank sixth in Defensive Rating (103.5) during that span. In addition, they have not been shooting the ball as well and I don’t see them catching fire against the defensive-minded Wizards.
In their last matchup just last Wednesday, the Hornets won 97-87, a combined total score of 184.
Regular season rematches between teams that played within a week span where the first game went under the total and the total in their second matchup has decreased, have gone 87-46-4 (65.4%) to the under since the 2014-2015 season, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme the Dog.
I make this total 212 and would recommend a pick on the under in this matchup down to 214.5.
Brandon Anderson: We’ve got three clear double-digit road underdogs on Monday night. All three of them are presumably lottery bound teams on the road against an Eastern Conference foe that’s largely struggled so far but is starting to get things right.
One of those games features the Magic in Milwaukee to take on the finally healthy defending champs. In another, it’s the terrible one-win Rockets heading to Boston. The third game features the 6-10 Thunder against the still-not-even-a-play-in-team Hawks. Does that really seem fair? It feels a little disrespectful to me.
The Thunder have lost four of five now that teams are starting to take them seriously, but this is still a decent team, and certainly a much better team than the Magic and Rockets so far. Oklahoma City is playing tough, organized defense.
The Thunder rank 13th in Defensive Rating at Basketball Reference. Mark Daigneault has his young guys tuned in and playing good D. The offense has been tough, but it’s much easier to score when your opponent’s defense is so bad, and that should be the case against the Hawks.
Atlanta is finally stringing together some wins, but the Hawks have played down to the bad opponents this season. Trae Young even admitted that they tend to get up for the big games but struggle for the others. Oklahoma City is still squarely in the “others” camp.
The Thunder are 4-2 against the spread this season as double-digit dogs. The only two failed covers came against the Warriors and Jazz, arguably the two best regular season buzzsaws we’ve got in the NBA right now. OKC covered the other four, and that would be 5-2 after a close weekend loss in Boston we already played, but that line got bet down after we played it.
I’ll play OKC down to 10, following the trend.
Kenny Ducey: The Bulls are 2-0 ATS on the second night of back-to-backs, and I’ve got my doubts about the Pacers in this specific matchup.
Any time we’re dealing with Indiana, we need to assess its ability score inside with Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. Sabonis in particular has seen a Usage Rate of 21.5% this year and has made 24% of the Pacers’ shots.
While Caris LeVert and Malcom Brogdon are also seeing good Usage, it’s important to note that they opt for the 2-point shot a good amount, with the latter getting just 22.9% of his points from distance.
The Pacers’ attack on offense should be predicated on the drive and the post-up, which is bad news against the Bulls. Chicago ranks second-best in field goal percentage allowed in the paint (not including the restricted area) according to NBA Stats.
When you mix in the fact that the Pacers have struggled to defend the perimeter and sit 16th in defensive efficiency, there should be a clear path to victory here for the Bulls, led by strong guard play and rock-solid defense inside.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Jacob McKenna: The Minnesota Timberwolves will travel to New Orleans to take on the 3-15 Pelicans in a Western Conference matchup to begin the week. The Timberwolves come into the matchup with a record of just 7-9, but this team is one of the hottest teams in the league on the offensive end of the floor and they are once again in a position to beat up on a bad team.
Over the course of the last three games, Minnesota is averaging 120 points per game and has been able to get whatever it wants on the offensive end of the floor. The Wolves’ shooting has been marvelous: They are averaging 51% from the field and 40% from behind that arc in that same stretch, an increase in their season averages up to this point.
Sure, their last three games have come against the Kings, Spurs, and Grizzlies, three teams that are in the bottom half of the league in Defensive Rating according to NBA Advanced Stats. However, the Pelicans are ranked 29th in the league in Defensive Rating, so Minnesota will once again have the opportunity to play against a bad defensive unit, one that will still be without Zion Williamson and potentially Devonte’ Graham.
Furthermore, Minnesota is not afraid to shoot the three ball, averaging a league leading 41.4 attempts from behind the arc on the road this season according to Team Rankings. New Orleans just so happens to allow its opponents to shoot above 37% from behind the arc on a per game basis, the fourth-highest percentage in the league.
Stellar play on offense has been mirrored by great defense for Minnesota as well, a team that is surrendering an average of 94 points per game in their previously mentioned three game win streak. Once again referring to NBA Advanced Stats, the T-Wolves are a top-10 team in Defensive Rating, so their play on that end recently does not come as too much of a surprise.
New Orleans is just 7-11 overall against the spread this season and the T-Wolves are winning by an average of 26 points per game during this win streak. I’ll take the points with Minnesota on the road up to 4.5.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz
Raheem Palmer: The Memphis Grizzlies are coming off a 43 point loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night after back-to-back wins over the Clippers and Rockets. The Grizzlies are on a bit of a tailspin, losing four of their past six games and now find themselves without Dillon Brooks and De’Anthony Melton.
The Grizzlies have the league’s worst defense, allowing 115.5 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes according to Cleaning the Glass and it certainly doesn’t help to be missing Brooks who is one of their best defenders.
Meanwhile the Utah Jazz are rolling, they’ve won their last three games agains the 76ers, Raptors and Kings by an average of 23 points and sport the league’s’ best Offensive Rating, scoring 116.5 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes.
While normally I’d like to back a team coming off a 43 point loss but this is another bad spot for the Grizzlies as they’re short handed against a Jazz team which is hitting their stride. I’ll lay the points with the Jazz up to -10.