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Moore’s Monday NBA Betting Picks & Angles: Brad Stevens Ain’t Great as a Heavy Favorite

Credit:

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics.

Here are some betting angles for Monday’s games based on matchups and trends.


Odds as of Wednesday morning and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.


76ers at Pacers

  • Spread: Pacers -2
  • Over/under: 213.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET

The Angle: The Sixers are Jekyll and Hyde

I’m 0-2 betting the 76ers without Joel Embiid in this current stretch. I took the Celtics and the Sixers still pounded them, and I took the Sixers on the road vs. the slumping Mavericks and Dallas pulled away. So yeah, I’m a little gun-shy, and this is a particularly tricky spot.

Since 2017 when Embiid first took off, the Sixers are 5-4 straight up vs. the Pacers and 4-5 against the spread. They’ve faced the Pacers without Embiid once and went 0-1 ATS.

The line opened Sixers -1 and moved to Pacers -2.5 with early money coming in on the Pacers and then going to the Sixers when it hit 2.5.

The matchup itself is baffling because the combination of Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis (questionable, via our BetLabs Insider Tool) should be able to exploit the Sixers without Embiid. But the results don’t bear that out conclusively. The Pacers at home are 11-8-1 ATS.

I just don’t know what I’m going to get out of the Sixers.

The Play: Stay away

Pelicans at Pistons 

  • Spread: Pistons -3.5
  • Over/Under: 224.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET

The Angle: Playing Injury Mix-and-Match

The Pelicans without Derrick Favors are 5-12 ATS this season, and they are 14-8-1 ATS (64%) when he plays. They are just a drastically different team defensively with a competent interior defender.

Meanwhile, the Pistons are 7-15 ATS without Blake Griffin this season.

Now, there are a ton of other injuries for the Pelicans to track. J.J Redick, Brandon Ingram, Kenrich Williams, and Jrue Holiday have either been ruled out already or likely will be ruled out before tip.

But Favors is the one that matters most to me. If Favors plays, the defense shifts dramatically as does New Orleans’ ability to win this game. He’s an impact player.

If Ingram (50% to play in our BetLabs Insider Tool) plays, and Favors plays, I like the Pelicans and the over up to 226. If Favors plays and Ingram doesn’t, I like the under. If neither Favors nor Ingram plays, I move to Pistons -2 and the total is a stay-away.

The Play: Wait to see who plays

Bulls at Celtics 

  • Spread: Celtics -10.5
  • Over/Under: 216.5
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Angle: A Perfect Storm Against Stevens  

This one blew me away. Via our BetLabs tool, here’s how teams are performing as a double-digit dog facing Brad Stevens.

The Celtics are 2-1 in that spot this year, but the trend over his entire tenure is consistent.

Meanwhile, I’ve written consistently about the Bulls being undervalued in the market. They have a great shot profile and a terrible shot performance, which should tick up over time, though I believe coaching has contributed to it suffering.

Either way, the Bulls are a top-15 defensive team, believe it or not, and while Boston exploded vs. the Pelicans in a get-right game over the weekend, they’ve been shaky over the last few weeks.

Additionally, Daniel Theis is questionable for this game, a non-line-moving injury that does in fact impact the Celtics’ defensive profile. Chicago’s guards should be able to get to the lane a little easier with slower or more inexperienced defenders down low.

The Play: Bulls +10.5

Hornets at Trail Blazers

  • Spread: Trail Blazers -9
  • Over/Under: 215
  • Time: 10 p.m. ET

The Angle: Favored by How Much?!

This is just the second time this season the Blazers have been double-digit favorites at home. The last time, they lost outright to the Golden State Warriors early in the season, the first real “ruh-roh” moment in what has turned into a nerve-wracking Blazers season.

Portland is 6-11 ATS this season at home and Mario Hezonja, who is questionable, is actually a significant injury for them. The gap between these two teams is significant, but it is not 9.5 points significant, even on a back-to-back. Charlotte is 6-4 ATS this season with rest disadvantage.

Devonte’ Graham should be able to get loose vs. the defense, and the Hornets’ big weakness — their complete and total lack of interior defense — doesn’t matter much vs. the Blazers outside of the relatively empty-calorie stats Hassan Whiteside will put up.

The only caveat? Terry Stotts is one of the best coaches in our database against the spread after the turn of the year.

The Play: Hornets +9

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