NBA Odds & Best Bets: Our Top Picks for Monday, Including Cavaliers vs. Pacers and Spurs vs. Bucks (May 10)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks.
- Looking to start the NBA week with some NBA bets? We've got you covered.
- With just six games on Monday night's slate, our NBA crew sees value in two games: Pacers vs. Cavaliers and Bucks vs. Spurs.
- Check out where they are finding an edge in both games below.
Monday night's NBA slate is light on games with just six matchups on the schedule.
However, there's still plenty up for grabs in the two games on tonight's nation TV schedule with the Washington Wizards facing the Atlanta Hawks (7:30 p.m. ET on NBATV) and the Utah Jazz playing the Golden State Warriors (10 p.m. ET on NBA TV) for postseason positioning.
As far as our crew’s favorite bets for tonight, they are betting more of tonight’s loaded slate and see value in the total of one matchup and on the underdog in another.
You can read their full analysis and picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Brandon Anderson: With Myles Turner still out for the Pacers, overs in Indiana gams have become one of the best bets in basketball.
Per Killer Sports, 15 of the Pacers' 20 games with Turner on the sidelines have gone over the total. Turner was a Defensive Player of the Year candidate before going down and the Pacers defense has been far worse with him off the court. His absence has also led to the team playing faster on both ends, another boon for scoring.
In games without Turner, Pacers games have averaged 242.5 points, compared to an average of just 233.1 to the over/under line. These games aren't just going over — they're doing it by almost 10 points a game. And the books aren't adjusting enough either. Everyone knows Pacers games are higher scoring now, and the over has still hit in seven of the last eight.
The Cavs aren't the hottest offense in the world, but Collin Sexton and Jarrett Allen can run and get some points, and they'll do it against this poor defense. Indiana will score too, especially the way Domantas Sabonis is playing right now.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. San Antonio Spurs
Raheem Palmer: Unless Mike Budenholzer wants to be nice and lay down to his former boss Gregg Popovich, this Bucks-Spurs line is short. My post All-Star break model makes this game Bucks -8.5 and this could be a game where that gets out of hand from my view.
The loss of Derrick White, the Spurs' best wing defender, has been downright catastrophic for this defense. The Spurs have allowed 117.4 points per 100 possession in the past seven games and it’s no surprise they’re 1-6 during this stretch and losing by 12.5 points on average.
Although two of those were in blowout losses against the Utah Jazz, they were missing both Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley. They also blew a 30-point lead to the struggling Boston Celtics, so I’m not sure how anyone can back the Spurs right now — especially against the red-hot Bucks.
If the Spurs' defense isn’t the top-10 unit we’ve seen for most of the year, they just don’t have the offense to compete with elite teams. The Spurs rank 18th in Offensive Rating (111.5) in their non-garbage time minutes and are 29th in 3-point frequency and 19th in 3-point percentage.
That’s not going to cut it against a Bucks team that ranks sixth in Offensive Rating, scoring 117.5 points per 100 possessions in its non-garbage time minutes. The Spurs are one of the worst teams in the league at scoring in transition — 28th in points added per 100 possessions — and they’re facing a Bucks team that ranks first in opponent points added per 100 possessions defensively.
The Spurs should find some success in the mid-range where they rank second in shooting frequency and ninth in efficiency (43.5%) against a Bucks defense that ranks 27th in opponent mid-range shooting percentage (43.5%).
Of course, that means DeMar Derozan should have a big game, but trading 2s for 3s isn’t going to work out well for San Antonio. The Bucks rank 11th in 3-point shooting frequency (37.7%) and fifth in 3-point percentage (39.3%). The Spurs are just 20th in opponent 3-point percentage (37.6) this season, so I don’t see them slowing down the Bucks, especially without White on defense.
The Bucks are simply the better team and they’re catching a discounted price against a Spurs team that’s struggling to defend.
I grabbed this at -6.5 and expect the Bucks to continue winning as they build momentum for the postseason and make a last run for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.