Monday’s NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Heat vs. Wizards, Bucks vs. Bulls, More
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Donovan Mitchell (45), Royce O’Neale (23) & Joe Ingles (2) of the Utah Jazz.
There are six games on the NBA schedule for Monday night and our experts are betting on four specific matchups:
- 7 p.m. ET: Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic
- 7 p.m. ET: Miami Heat at Washington Wizards
- 8 p.m. ET: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls
- 9 p.m. ET: Detroit Pistons at Utah Jazz
See what bets they’re making below.
Odds as of Monday afternoon and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Rob Perez: Heat at Wizards
- Spread: Heat -8.5
- Over/Under: 227.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
The Heat are sizzling in every aspect of the pun. Fresh off three-straight emotional wins at home, things couldn’t possibly be better for the Eastern Conference’s hottest team. However, let’s pump the brakes for a second and not act like they are worthy of being 8.5-point favorites on the road against any team.
They’re a solid team from top-to-bottom, but tonight they face a Wizards squad that has one held constant through their trials and tribulations: Speed. They’re going to run the damn court and make you run with them.
That doesn’t mean they’re going to win, but you have no choice but play highway basketball. Miami wants to live in the half court and after a week of bliss, this is the spot where they’re susceptible to a letdown. Expect the Wiz to come out flying, and the Heat to join them in the second half.
The PICK: Wizards +8.5
Matt Moore: Bucks at Bulls
- Spread: -9
- Over/Under: 221.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
OK, even I wasn’t expecting this trend to be this strong: Mike Budenholzer is 19-5-1 against the spread vs. division teams since last season. Not straight up, ATS. When at least a nine-point favorite, as they are as of this writing now that Eric Bledsoe and Giannis Antetokounmpo are likely to play, the Bucks are 10-3 ATS since the start of 2018-19.
The Bulls have the best defense in the league over the past five games (?!), but a lot of that is due to Thaddeus Young (100 defensive rating). Giannis is 16-6 straight-up vs. Young in his career, averaging 22-10-5 and has notched at least 30 points in three of their past four meetings.
The Bulls surrender the fifth-fewest shots inside 5-feet per game, but are middle of the pack in percentage allowed there (60%) and the Bucks will force more shots there by virtue of Giannis’ overpowering presence.
The Bulls’ offense has been a mess, and trying to keep contact with the Bucks who push the pace and cram it down your throat constantly will be a challenge. I like the Bucks all the way up to -11.5 tonight.
The PICK: Bucks -9
Brandon Anderson: Magic, Heat, Bucks, Jazz Parlay
I’m having fun with some parlays lately. Yesterday I parlayed a Chiefs cover with a Dolphins win at 18-1, and I also hit a 23-team college hoops parlay over the weekend that may or may not have paid out at barely +EV odds. So let’s have some fun with an NBA parlay!
The Hawks are awful and missing Trae Young on the road against a Magic team that is 9-2 straight up as a favorite. The Heat are on the road against a Wizards team that will push the pace so I don’t trust the cover, but they should take care of business, especially against a banged up Bradley Beal.
The Bucks line is beginning to rise, which makes me think Antetokounmpo is a go, though I’m not sure it matters against the Bulls. And finally the Jazz, who are balling without Mike Conley, 12-3 at home and 17-5 as a favorite.
It’s the holidays and I don’t feel like sweating out one of these teams covering a meaningless 10-point spread. Just give me all four favorites on a moneyline parlay at +EV odds and let me coast to victory.
The PICK: Four-team moneyline parlay (+116)