Monday’s NBA Best Bets: Our Staff’s Picks for Bucks vs. Wizards, Clippers vs. Mavericks (March, 15)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks.
- The NBA's Monday schedule includes a battle of New York and a battle of California.
- Our staff has found value in betting the slate of games in a myriad of ways.
- Continue reading to find out our best bets.
Before the madness officially starts this week, the NBA has gifted us with two awesome national TV games for Monday’s eight game slate: New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets (8 p.m. ET) and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET).
NBA Odds & Picks
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards
Brandon Anderson: Russell Westbrook had a monster game against the Milwaukee Bucks just two days ago. With Bradley Beal sidelined, Westbrook looked like the Russ of old. He poured in 42 points along with 10 rebounds and 12 assists, a ginormous triple-double that kept the Wizards in the game until the final minutes.
Those counting stats weren’t the only numbers that reminded us of old Westbrook. He jacked 32 shots — nearly twice his season average — including 11 from behind the arc for one of the worst volume 3-point shooters in NBA history. It just happened to work out, with Westbrook hitting five of them.
Beal is back tonight, though, and that huge Westbrook volume game was in stark contrast to the Russ we’ve seen over the past month. In the previous month, before the Bucks outlier, Westbrook played 14 games.
He attempted 3.0 3-pointers per game during that stretch. That’s not makes — that’s attempts! In 14 games, Westbrook made a grand total of nine 3s, shooting 21% from behind the arc.
Westbrook all but eliminated the 3-pointer from his game over the previous month, and one game against the Bucks shouldn’t change that. This prop has been at 0.5 in recent weeks, and rightfully so since Russ had gone without a 3-pointer in nine of those 14 games.
The Bucks do build their defense around getting the opponent’s worst shooters to jack a bunch of 3s, and that’s certainly Westbrook, but he should be more controlled with Beal back to run the offense.
Westbrook has gone under 1.5 3s in 11 of his last 15 games, even counting the 5-for-11 game Saturday night. I’ll play the under here to -160.
I’m also thinking about fading Rui Hachimura. Hachimura also had a big game against the Bucks on Saturday, scoring 29 points in over 38 minutes, including a season-high three 3-pointers. His minutes and shots should fade with a healthier team too.
Hachimura is averaging just 2.6 3-point attempts on the season and hitting only 32% of them, and he’s gone under 1.5 in 25 of his 30 games. Even at -245 at DraftKings, that math too is in our favor.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Detroit Pistons
Raheem Palmer: If you follow my picks in the Action app, you might have noticed that I’m been playing a lot of unders lately.
Post All-Star break is always a weird time in the NBA; half of the league is preparing for the playoffs and the other half of the league is preparing for next season.
Narratives aside, looking at this particular matchup, you have two teams prone to going under — the Spurs are 19-16 to the under and the Pistons are 20-18. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Spurs rank 20th in Offensive Rating, scoring 110.9 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes and the Pistons ranking 25th at 108.0.
Both teams are much better on defense than offense with the Spurs ranking seventh in Defensive Rating allowing just 110.2 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes. While the Pistons may be 18th in Defensive Rating (113.0) over the past two weeks they’re 11th in Defensive Rating.
The also rank towards the bottom half of the league in 3-point percentage and 3-point makes and with the Pistons playing the third-slowest pace (97.89) in the league, the opening total of 220.5 feels too high. When you factor in the Spurs flying to Detroit to play the second game of a back-to-back after a 134-99 loss against the 76ers, I think we could see some tired legs here.
There’s quite a discrepancy between my model and the market number, and despite DeMar DeRozan’s absence dropping this total, I like the under here. I bet this under at 220.5, but I’d still take the under at 212 on FanDuel.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks
Kenny Ducey: It takes courage to fade the Clippers off of a loss on the second night of a back-to-back, but I’m going to do just that on Monday. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.
LA checks in at a perfect 6-0 against the spread in that spot this season per Bet Labs, and have gone 9-5 ATS after dropping its previous game, but I think both runs slow down in this spot. The Dallas Mavericks are simply too hot, and playing too well with Kristaps Porzingis.
Many of us, myself included, have touched on the fact that this Mavericks stating five leads the NBA in offensive efficiency (min. 100 minutes) at 132.4 points per 100 possessions. That’s due in large part to the job that Kristaps Porzingis has done; he’s averaged 22.3 points and 10.8 rebounds, shooting a red-hot 46.4% from three over his past four contests and comes into Monday off back-to-back games of 25 points or more.
The Clippers are reeling, going 1-4 ATS over their past five and have done a particularly bad job defending of late, posting the sixth-worst defensive rating at 116.2 points per 100 possessions in that mini five-game window. A lot of that is because their defensive leader in Pat Beverley is currently sidelined with knee soreness.
Given LA’s defensive woes, the Mavericks’ red-hot offense and an improved defensive attack which ranks seventh in the NBA over the last 10 games — in which Dallas has won seven games — I’m going with the Mavs to keep it rolling here at home, where it’s 2-1 ATS as the underdog.