NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets For Kings vs. Pelicans, Nuggets vs. Warriors (Monday, April 12)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets.
- From east to west, our staff of NBA analysts at The Action Network has you covered on Monday night.
- Here are three best bets for the nine-game slate of action.
As the NBA season wanes, the games are becoming increasingly more interesting and important for teams in the postseason hunt. Monday’s schedule features two such games on national TV: 76ers vs. Mavericks and Nuggets vs. Warriors.
With nine games to choose from, our NBA analysts are focused on three matchups and are betting one moneyline, one spread and one total.
Take a look their in-depth analysis and picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Dallas Mavericks
Kenny Ducey: Historically, Ben Simmons has absolutely owned Luka Doncic.
In three games against the Sixers, Doncic has averaged just 17.3 points — his worst mark against any team. When these two teams played back in late February, Doncic had just 19 points with a whopping seven turnovers and the Mavericks lost by 14.
Put bluntly, this is not the spot for Doncic to go off. Nor is it a good spot for the Mavericks, who are on the second night of a back-to-back, where they’re just 4-6 against the spread this season, and at home where they’re a poor 10-14 ATS, according to Bet Labs.
On the other hand, Joel Embiid has seemed in the mood lately, and 100% healthy to boot. Embiid shocked us all by playing on the second night of a back-to-back on Saturday against the Thunder and scoring 27 points in just 27 minutes to lift Philly to a decisive win.
The Sixers have won three of four with Embiid back in the lineup, and the big man has given them a big lift on offense this season when he’s been on the floor to the tune of 12.3 additional points per 100 possessions, according to NBA Advanced Stats.
Dallas has stepped up its defense of late, but I only think we’re beginning to see just how good this Sixers team can be. Matisse Thybulle has grown into a force on the defensive end, and this bench is beginning to rise up the ranks.
I’ll take this uber-efficient offense, which has a stopper like Simmons to back it up. Doncic should struggle once more, and as we’ve seen all season, the Mavs go as far as Doncic does. I wouldn’t bet this past -150.
Sacramento Kings vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Raheem Palmer: My model makes this game 239 and while Lonzo Ball is doubtful to return to the lineup, I’m expecting a high-scoring game with a ton of possessions.
Ball playing would certainly help this over, but I like it regardless as the Sacramento Kings rank last in Defensive Rating (119) in their non garbage time minutes according to Cleaning the Glass.
The Pelicans aren’t any better on that end, ranking 28th in Defensive Rating (116.6) in their non garbage time minutes. Post All-Star break, the Kings and Pelicans rank ninth and 11th respectively in Pace, so it’s tough not to expect a ton of possessions here.
These teams have met twice this season, combining for 251 points in their first matchup and 227 points in their second matchup where the Pelicans scored just 109 points and shot 9-of-30 from behind the arc.
For a Pelicans offense that ranks eighth in Offensive Rating (115.7 points per 100 possessions excluding garbage time), that performance feels like an aberration. Zion Williamson is one of the best players in the league at scoring at the rim and he’ll be facing a Kings defense that ranks 29th in Opponent Field Goal Percentage at the rim (67%).
The Kings are also 28th in Opponent 3-point Field Goal Percentage, so the Pelicans should have no problem scoring against a team that is a sieve in two of the most efficient areas of the floor.
The Kings are no slouches offensively. With De’Aaron Fox’s ability to drive into the lane, they’re second in field goal percentage at the rim (68%) facing a Pelicans defense that ranks 27th in that area (66.5%).
The Kings are 12th in Offensive Rating (114.5) this season and while they aren’t a great 3-point shooting team, they are facing a Pelicans defense that gives up the third-highest frequency of 3-point field goal attempts (40.5%).
Overall, there’s a ton of factors which lead to this game being high scoring. I’ll take the over 236.5.
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors
Brandon Anderson: Sunday afternoon’s loss agains the Boston Celtics was a harsh reality check for the Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets were undefeated since trading for Aaron Gordon, and they’ve been absolutely cruising. Denver had won eight in a row and looked well on its way to a ninth win before things absolutely fell apart against the Celtics. The Nuggets scoring just eight points in the fourth as the Celtics ran them off their own floor.
It was a quiet game for Gordon and a downright bad one for Michael Porter Jr. Nikola Jokic recorded a triple-double, but did not look like an MVP late, too often whining about another missed call while the Celtics ran out for easy buckets on the other end.
Now they’re playing on the second night of a back-to-back and I trust them to get right back on track.
This was not a meltdown. This wasn’t even an embarrassing loss. The Nuggets were missing their second best player, dominated for three quarters without him, then went cold and lost to a very talented team. It happens.
A big reason the Nuggets lost on Sunday was their non-Jokic bench minutes. The Celtics bench ran the Nuggets, but the Warriors are not built to do the same thing; their offense is historically bad when Stephen Curry leaves the court, and they’re missing Kelly Oubre tonight too.
The Nuggets are really good, and sometimes after an ugly moment like Sunday’s late loss, the best antidote is just to get back out on the court and get the next win. I expect them to take care of the Warriors with ease, just too much offense for a one-man show. I’ll play Denver to -6.
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