NBA Best Bets: 6 Expert Picks for Monday, Including Bucks vs. Hawks, Knicks vs. Timberwolves (November 7)
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Hartenstein #55 of the New York Knicks.
- Wall to wall basketball in November? Yes, please.
- Monday night brings us 15 games to bet over five hour span and hour analysts are eying six picks for tonight.
- Read on for their best bets for Monday night's loaded slate.
Thirty teams, 15 games. Monday night is going to be loaded with the NBA taking the night off on election. That means NBA bettors get an early Christmas.
With so many games, our betting analysts couldn’t help but dive headfirst into the slate and they are targeting six games in particular. Among those bets are spreads, a moneyline bet and a player props same game parlay.
Check out our expert picks and predictions for Monday night below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Thunder vs. Pistons
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: We have a big slate today. In fact, we have the biggest slate possible. Every team will play tonight in order to clear the slate for Tuesday, in an effort to encourage people and players to vote in the midterm elections.
This is a win for democracy and Monday-night gamblers because we have a lot of games to choose from. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities, I’ve focused my attention on a line I think is as wrong as they get.
The 4-5 Oklahoma City Thunder are 1.5-point underdogs against the 2-8 Detroit Pistons. While neither team is blowing anyone’s minds, I see a significant advantage for the Thunder in this matchup.
While neither offense is much to write home about, the Thunder’s defense is what stands apart. They currently rank seventh in Defensive Rating (108.6), while the Pistons rank dead last (118.1).
Despite a sub-par offense the Thunder do one thing well on the offensive end: limit turnovers. OKC ranks second in TOV% (12.4%) and Detroit struggles at forcing opponents to give up the rock, ranking 22nd in Defensive TOV%.
In fact, the one area Detroit excels, is in limiting 3-pointers. They rank 10th in allowing threes and defending them, however the Thunder are in the bottom-half of the league in 3-point attempts and are second-worst in 3-point percentage. And yet they still keep games competitive.
OKC was the second-best ATS team last season (49-30-3), and that trend has carried over to this season where they are 6-3. While the Pistons have fared well against the Thunder lately — covering in five of their last six meetings — their ATS record this year is a meager 3-6-1.
I make this game OKC -1.5 and already bet Thunder +1.5. I like the moneyline as well, but I’ll take the points.
Pelicans vs. Pacers
Joe Dellera: This matchup puts an elite offense against a porous defense and that offense is recently healthy and can perform even better.
The one edge the Pacers have is their volume of 3s. They shoot the 3 ball at the seventh-highest frequency (39.3%) compared to the Pelicans’ who are last (27%). This could create a math advantage for the Pacers if they are able to get hot from 3-point range.
The issue for the Pacers though is although they may be able to create that shot volume, the Pelicans are the best team in the league at defending the 3-point line and opponents shoot just 32% from long range. The Pelicans can neutralize that math advantage.
The Pelicans are the superior team and with an off day tomorrow, I expect them to run their starters rather than limit their minutes — this is an opportunity for the Pelicans to shine and I’ll lay the points.
Bucks vs. Hawks
Jim Turvey: Milwaukee will put its perfect record to the test on Monday, as the Bucks head to Atlanta to take on the Hawks.
Let’s start with the injury caveat: Giannis Antetokounmpo is probable after sitting out last game, while Trae Young is questionable with shin soreness (he also played through an eye injury last game).
This bet is fine regardless of if Young sits or plays, but if Antetokounmpo is ruled out for tonight, it’s a no go. I don’t think that will happen though.
The first-half Bucks are officially a thing again. Their +13.6 first half net rating trails only the Dallas Mavericks this season, and it’s no fluke. They were one of the best teams to bet first half covers on last year, and the trend is continuing this year.
On the flip side of that coin, the Atlanta Hawks have been slow starters this season, with a -3.2 net rating in the first halves of their games. Add in the fact that the Bucks are just a better team (their spread at -3 is a good look too) and this becomes a best bet.
Raptors vs. Bulls
Tyler Schmidt: The Toronto Raptors beat the Chicago Bulls, 113-104, on Sunday, but the Bulls will get a chance at redemption right away as they are four-point home favorites on Monday night.
Chicago will likely get Zach LaVine back after he sat out due to injury management in the first half of the back-to-back. The Raptors have some injuries as well, but getting Fred VanVleet back was pivotal. Pascal Siakam is out for the next two weeks, which is a huge loss for the Raptors. They may have lost by nearly double-digits last night, but returning home and likely getting LaVine back into the lineup is a big plus for the Bulls.
I’ll take the Bulls to cover this spread, but make sure LaVine is actually playing first. Take the Bulls up to six points if VanVleet gets ruled out.
The Raptors found a way to win at home, but not having Siakam for two weeks is going to be a problem. He was playing incredible and I’m not sure if Barnes and Anunoby are ready to take the next step offensively quite yet.
Celtics vs. Grizzlies
Jim Turvey: This is just a much better Celtics team at this moment in time. Add in the fact that the Grizzlies are on a back-to-back and that Adams could be out Monday, and all signs point to Boston -4.
I was slightly nervous the Grizzlies maybe would be the type of team the market overcorrected for on back-to-backs, but that hasn’t been the case. In fact, betting Memphis on back-to-backs has returned a positive ROI since the start of last season (+2.4%), but that has more to do with the market underselling them as a whole.
For player props, the big thing will be to see if Steven Adams is out. If he is, look for Brandon Clarke escalators. He thrives in spot starts.
Knicks vs. Timberwolves
Joe Dellera: Every week I write about Player Props that I’m targeting in advance, one of those players is Isaiah Hartenstein of the New York Knicks. Mitchell Robinson is missing the next week and tonight the Knicks have a Pace Up game against the Minnesota Timberwolves without defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert.
Hartenstein is a malleable big who has excelled in an expanded role whenever he has been given the opportunity throughout his career. We all know that Coach Thibs likes to run his starters and he just played 37 minutes against the Celtics as a starter.
Looking at his last two seasons, Hartenstein’s per 36-minute stats are 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.4 steals, and 2.3 blocks. Tonight all of these are exploitable. I think there are multiple ways to play his props as they are all too low. His PRA is 21.5 and he just recorded 25 against the Celtics, and he has averaged 30.3 PRA per 36 mins the last two seasons with the Knicks and Clippers.
Additionally, He has recorded a steal in seven of nine games and a block in eight of nine games this season. I would play over 0.5 steals at (-140) or 1 steal and 1 block in a Same Game Parlay at (+105 DraftKings).