NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Blazers-Kings, 2 More Monday Games

NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Blazers-Kings, 2 More Monday Games article feature image
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Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) reacts against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

  • Our NBA experts offer their favorite betting picks for Monday's six-game NBA slate.
  • You'll find a number of intriguing betting angles, including historical trends, matchup analysis and why the Kings should keep smashing overs.

There are six games on tap Monday night starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. That means there are plenty of betting opportunities in the marketplace. Let’s dive into some of our experts’ favorite wagers.

This piece will cover the following games:

  • Charlotte Hornets at San Antonio Spurs: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Detroit Pistons at Utah Jazz: 9 p.m. ET
  • Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings: 10 p.m. ET

 


Rob Perez: Kings-Blazers Over 227.5

Here are the stats that matter to me other than the fact the Kings lead the league in cashing overs:

  • The Kings are second in the league in pace. These guys are an actual real version of Mike D’Antoni’s “8 seconds or less offense.” They shoot like they’re paid on commission by the attempt. Even though their efficiency is left to be desired (16th), they make everyone run with them. There is no other choice.
  • The Kings defense stinks right now. Because of their offensive prowess, they’re somehow above .500 in a gauntlet of a Western Conference. Their Defensive Rating ranks 20th in the entire league. They’re going to give up points, and if they ever run into a team that’s willing to run with them — there are more possessions to be exposed.
  • Speaking of efficiency, the Trail Blazers may not play fast (18th in pace), but when they do have the ball, they get good looks (10th on offense) and buckets. Sacramento plays even faster at home than their average, and the Blazers will be more than happy to run when their backcourt is as trigger-happy as Lillard and McCollum are.
  • Nurkic is going to eat the Kings alive on the glass. Bunnies will be available off rebounds like the Golden 1 Center is a PetSmart, as the only line of defense against the best rebounding team in the league is… Willie Cauley-Stein? Doomed.

There is absolutely no excuse why this line shouldn’t be at least 230.5 points. Book the over.


Matt Moore: Spurs -8.5 vs. Hornets

Charlotte is at the end of a West Coast road trip. Teams that are on their fourth consecutive road game or more this season are 29-35 against-the-spread. The Spurs, meanwhile, are 17-6 ATS at home.

The Spurs have rebounded so well, they have the best Net Rating in the entire NBA since Dec. 1 and Charlotte has quietly slid off the map in that same span, falling to 27th in Defensive Rating.

The Spurs have a big advantage inside; the Hornets are just not the same team without Cody Zeller. Their starter with Zeller out, Bismack Biyombo, has been fine; he has the best Net Rating on the team in this awful stretch since Jan. 1. But the backup, Willy Hernangomez, who coach James Borrego keeps playing way too much, has a -21.9 Net Rating.

Rudy Gay’s out for this contest, but against a worn out, exhausted Hornets team vs. a squad that has been this consistently good at home, I’m going with the Spurs.


Ken Barkley: Jazz -8.5 vs. Pistons

Utah’s 2019 is going a whole lot better than the end of 2018 so far.

The Jazz have two losses in the new year — at Toronto and at Milwaukee — which were both competitive, and they’ve won every other game. Despite their once-vaunted depth being tested by recent injuries, they are in the middle of a good stretch of play — a stretch that has been punctuated by outstanding performance at the defensive end.

Is it possible they’re finally going to start playing as well as we’ve hoped all season?

Detroit, meanwhile, is on the final game of a road trip and has been awful for basically a month. Yes, in the team’s last game against the Clippers, Blake Griffin went totally nuts and the team looked better, but it was pretty obvious that there was huge motivation with Griffin for that contest that won’t be present on a random Monday-nighter in Utah.

I’d make this closer to double digits (about 10 actually) and could see a Pistons letdown after such an important win for their superstar.


Bryan Mears: Jusuf Nurkic Over 11 Rebounds (-145)

In general, I don’t think player props always adjust enough for matchups. An example is Nurkic’s rebound prop today, which is set at 11 rebounds.

On the season, he’s at 10.4 per game, and that likely undersells him given his minutes have fluctuated a lot recently due to blowouts. In 18 games this season without Maurice Harkless, who missed yesterday’s affair with a sore left knee, he’s been at 10.7 per game.

>>See Nurkic’s rebound projection and many more in our Player Props tool.

He’s unlikely to be in a blowout today as a short road dog in Sacramento, and the matchup in terms of rebounding upside is pristine. The Kings this season rank 26th in rebound rate, including 27th on the defensive glass. Opposing center Willie Cauley-Stein is a poor rebounder for his position.

And finally, in the first game against the Kings this year, Nurkic went for a season-high 23 rebounds — including five on the offensive glass. The juice is already high at -145, but I’d certainly bet it even at 11.5 if it moves up.

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