NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Nuggets-Pistons and 2 Other Monday Games
John Glaser, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen
- There are six games on the NBA slate on Monday night including an interesting game between the Bucks and Nets.
- Our NBA experts picked their favorite bets including a home underdog, a road favorite and a player prop.
With the Super Bowl firmly in the rearview, the NBA takes center stage on Monday night with a six-game slate, including an intriguing matchup between the Bucks and Nets.
Our experts are making picks on the following games:
- Denver Nuggets at Detroit Pistons 7 p.m. ET
- Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets 7:30 p.m. ET
- Houston Rockets at Phoenix Suns 9 p.m. ET
John Ewing: Rockets -8 at Suns
The Suns are a bad team.
In the final third of the season, defined as game 55 or later, it has been profitable to bet against bad teams as they are more likely to tank to improve their draft position.
The optimal situation to wager against the worst teams, won less than 40% of their games, in the league is when they are home underdogs: 566-468-17 (55%) ATS since 2005.
Ken Barkley: Pistons +4 vs Denver
On Saturday I faded Denver on a back-to-back on the road, and they beat Minnesota by 1 (and we won on the under, by the way).
Now rested, the Nuggets head to Detroit, another particularly bright and cheery place in the winter time, and the Nuggets continue to be short-handed. Gary Harris won’t play. Jamal Murray probably won’t play. Paul Millsap was added to the injury report before the game with ankle soreness.
Meanwhile the Pistons are about as healthy as they can possibly be. We all know NBA teams play better at home than on the road, but the Nuggets are particularly polarized when it comes to those splits: the team actually allows more points/100 possessions than they score on the road, which, for a team battling for a No. 1 seed, is incredible.
In particular, their offense is much, much worse in this situation. The total is already incredibly low (209.5) so not sure there’s any value in going under, but I will take Detroit here with very pronounced health and home-court advantages.
Matt Moore: Nets +7 vs. Bucks
Milwaukee’s been dominant this year, but only 13-10-2 ATS on the road. Meanwhile, Brooklyn got off to a horrible start but since December 1st, they are 11-5 against the spread at home and 5-1 as a home dog.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee gives up the most 3-point attempts per 100 possessions in the NBA, and the Net are a top-flight team in taking and making 3’s (6th in attempts per 100 possessions, 10th in 3pt% allowed). The variance on this game, on the road, is such that I feel good grabbing Brooklyn at home.
Bryan Mears: Jarrett Allen over 10 points
I like targeting big men against the Bucks, who have one of the most extreme defensive schemes in the league. They sell out hard in limiting 3-point attempts and rank first in the league by a country mile in that regard. Shots have to come from somewhere, though, and as a result Milwaukee allows the highest percentage of shots at the rim.
That should mean some extra opportunities for the Nets center, who was on track to beat this prop easily in their first meeting of the year but oddly played just 20 minutes.