NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Warriors-Lakers, 2 Other Monday Games
Photo credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kevin Durant
- Our experts offer their favorite NBA betting picks for Monday's five-game evening slate.
- You'll find a number of intriguing betting angles, including historical trends, matchup analysis and why there's value on the over/under in Warriors-Lakers.
There are five games on tap Monday night starting at 5:30 p.m. ET. That means there are plenty of betting opportunities in the marketplace.
Let’s dive into our experts’ five favorite wagers in the following games:
- Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers: 8 p.m. ET
- Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz: 9 p.m. ET
- Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers: 10:30 p.m. ET
Rob Perez: Rockets +4 at 76ers
The day is going to come when the 76ers finally rest Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler (both questionable tonight) with their lingering back/wrist injuries.
Embiid is still somehow playing well, but he looks like he can barely walk when play stops. I just don’t understand why Brown is playing him, despite Joel being the only person knowing how injured he actually is.
This is a big game and the players will want to play, but the day off is coming and this line is going to flip on its head if it’s today.
I’m willing to risk 1 unit that today is that day. Even if it’s not, the Rockets still have the guard version of Wilt Chamberlain last time I checked.
Ken Barkley: Blazers +5 at Jazz
My advice on this game: Don’t be fooled.
It may seem so obvious: Utah has a nice winning streak going. Utah has played great defense recently. Utah seems to be finally achieving its preseason expectations. Utah manhandled Portland in two previous matchups, both over the course of a few days in December.
Considering Utah’s home-court advantage is probably closer to 3.75 to 4 points, what gives here?
Well, first, the Jazz’s recent streak is incredibly misleading.
Here are the teams they’ve played over that span: Orlando, the LeBron-less Lakers, Chicago, Chicago, Detroit, the Clippers and Cleveland.
All but one of those games came at home. If you were ever looking for a slate of teams to improve ALL of your metrics against, let it be a homestand against that group.
If you toss the Lakers game because of the adjustment to being LeBron-less, in Utah’s last three games against actually competitive teams (Milwaukee, Toronto, Philadelphia), the defense was abysmal, the complete reverse of what you’re seeing against the bottom-dwellers recently.
Most importantly, those two wins over Portland over December were driven by a pair of very impactful players in Ricky Rubio and Dante Exum, neither of whom is now healthy.
Rubio is questionable to play, and Exum is out. They were a combined +30 in the first game and slightly less in the second, and they helped limit Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum’s effectiveness.
With neither available in the same capacity in this game, I expect a different result. I like Portland at a just-slightly-too-big number.
Matt Moore: Jazz -5 vs. Blazers
I’ll actually take the other side on that one.
The Jazz are 4-2 ATS against the Blazers the last two years. They’ve been lights-out over the last month and are 4-2-1 ATS this season without Ricky Rubio, who practiced on Sunday and may return from a hamstring injury.
The matchup of Rudy Gobert vs. Jusuf Nurkic leans heavily towards Gobert; the Jazz are 10-5 vs. Nurkic all-time in his career.
The Blazers have won six of eight; however, their only two games against teams over .500 since beating Houston? Their two losses.
Grab the Jazz at home laying less than 6. (I got this number at 4.5.)
John Ewing: Lakers +12 vs. Warriors
The Warriors have won seven straight, while the Lakers have struggled since LeBron James was injured. Without the King, L.A. is 5-8 straight-up.
Recent form is influencing the betting market. The Dubs have moved from 10.5 to 12-point favorites with more than 80% of spread tickets backing Steph & Co on the road in Los Angeles.
The public loves the Warriors.
However, as a double-digit road favorite in the regular season under Steve Kerr, Golden State has gone 41-8 straight-up but 23-26 against the spread.
It has also been profitable to wager on unpopular teams: Since 2005, when a team receives 30% or less of spread tickets and the line moves one or more points against them, like it has for the Lakers, they have gone 714-578-23 (55%) ATS.
The Warriors have been inconsistent as large road favorites, and history suggests the Lakers can keep it closer than the spread. Take the points with the home team.
Bryan Mears: Under 232.5 in Warriors-Lakers
The Lakers will be without LeBron James, Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo tonight, who are the three main ball-handlers this season. LBJ leads the team, per NBA.com/stats, with 17.5 “assist points created” — Rondo (16.6) and Lonzo (12.6) are next on that list.
Ingram is fourth on the team at just 7.3, and he’ll be tasked with being the team’s starting point guard tonight. Lance Stephenson will likely get the backup minutes. They have the lowest assist rates on the team behind just Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Alright, so the Lakers will have trouble scoring. Further, per Bet Labs, teams coming off games in which they’re playing at home after scoring 130-plus points have been 126-99-3 (56%) to the under since 2004.
The Lakers qualify after taking the Rockets to overtime this weekend, and I think people will wrongly think they’ll be able to score in this one because they did in that one with Lonzo playing.