Today’s NBA Best Bets: Expert Picks for 76ers vs. Nuggets, Suns vs. Jazz
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Devin Booker #1 and Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns.
- We're kicking off the week with eight NBA games on Monday night.
- Action Network's betting analysts have four bets across three games, including player props, spreads and totals.
- Check out their expert picks and predictions below.
As one NBA week goes into the books we’re getting geared up for another wild week with the finish line for the NBA season in sight. Monday’s slate features eight games with two games on National TV, including the 76ers and Nuggets (9:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV) in the second matchup between MVP candidates Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.
Action’s analysts are betting three games total for their best bets today. Read on for their expert picks and predictions below.
NBA Odds & Best Bets
Dallas Mavericks vs. Indiana Pacers
Chris Baker: I’ll bite on the Mavericks in a game that is essentially their season. Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic are questionable, but you would have to expect them to play if they have any sort of pride given the playoff implications of this game.
Even if both sit I don’t hate this Mavericks team as an underdog against a Pacers team whose season is objectively over. The Mavericks defense also matches up well with this Pacers offense as they excel at running three point shooters off the 3-point line. The Mavs defense ranks fourth in the NBA in opponent three point attempt rate allowed (33.6%) on the year.
Indiana’s offense ranks sixth in 3-point attempt rate this season. Indiana also loves to push the pace, ranking first in transition offensive rating and 3rd in transition rate. The Mavericks have been solid in transition defense, ranking 12th in defensive rating and ninth in transition rate allowed. I like the way this defense matches up here and I expect the Pacers to struggle in the half-court tonight.
Even without their stars, the Mavericks still have some players in Jaden Hardy, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Christian Wood capable of soaking up some of that usage on offense. Not to mention that the Pacers have their own litany of questionable designations heading into this one. Myles Turner and Tyrese Haliburton are both marked as questionable and Chris Duarte has already been ruled out.
If we can get one of Kyrie/Luka ruled in I expect this line to move closer towards -2.5/-3. Maybe the Mavericks just punt on their season and choose to rest their stars but if these guys have motivation to compete I expect them to play and if either of them play we will have value on the Mavericks as underdogs.
Take the Mavericks as underdogs and play this up to -2.5 if one of Irving/Doncic plays tonight.
Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz
Joe Dellera: The Phoenix Suns are expected to welcome back Deandre Ayton tonight after he’s missed the last few games with a hip injury.
Devin Booker should see an uptick in his assist rate with Ayton, as he’s averaged 5.6 per game alongside Ayton; however, that is a bit inflated because some of those games were played without Chris Paul.
When Booker plays with both CP3 and Ayton, he has averaged just 4.7 assists per game. This game against the Jazz on Monday sets up well for Booker to be a scoring threat and less of as a passer.
I’m betting under 5.5 assists (+110) — a line he’s gone under in seven straight games and 70% on the season with Paul.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Denver Nuggets
Bryan Fonseca: Joel Embiid to make one three is the smart bet, but as of this writing, that’s -194. That’s fine if you’re willing to go down that road, and I might as part of a parlay, but I’m also taking a shot — as in not guaranteeing, but sprinkling — on Embiid to make multiple threes against the Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets tonight.
Last time these two faced off, Embiid finished with a 47-18-5 line, including seven free throws, and about 30 of the 40 points from field goals were against Jokic.
Jokic gave Embiid space defensively, and Embiid killed his drop by pulling up from beyond the arc, where he shot 4-of-7 on 3s. Jokic and the Nuggets don’t really have another solution to guard Embiid from out there — perhaps, in general — so I’m taking a chance that Embiid, while perhaps not replicating all that production, finds the openings to make a couple 3s, which he’s done 16 other times this season.
He hasn’t made two threes in a game over his last six contests, and that could mean two things. One: It won’t happen, or two: he’s due!
Look, it’s +280 for a reason. I’d recommend taking Embiid 1+ if the number drops, but that likely won’t be significant enough for great value, so we’re sprinkling on two, and if we cash, so be it. If not, we’ll try again tomorrow.
Bottom line is, Embiid will have his looks from the perimeter — if he can get you 4-5 attempts, which he’s done in each of his last two, you have a chance.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Denver Nuggets
Matt Moore: Nuggets home games are 20-16-1 to the under this season (54%). Denver’s defense is just much better at home than it is on the road. The Sixers have the fourth-longest offensive length of possession, while Denver is at 18th.
I’m expecting Joel Embiid to have a monster game, given the MVP stakes on the line for him, but for the most part, those will be 2-point attempts and free throws, not threes, which will drag some of the scoring down.
Denver’s defense is much better at home than on the road, and with an extended home stay, they should be in a good spot to compete here, while the Sixers are likely a little road-weary in their third game in four nights.
If the Sixers win, Embiid has a dominant defensive showing and puts up huge points while holding down the Nuggets’ offense. If the Nuggets win, their defense shows up and contains the other guys as Embiid wins the MVP battle and the Nuggets win the war.
Either way, I like this under, I have this projected at 220.
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