NBA Betting Odds, Picks & Previews: The Action Network Staff’s 3 Best Bets for Monday, Including Bucks vs. Hawks & Thunder vs. Timberwolves (January 17)
Harrison Barden/Getty Images. Pictured: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- It's a great day to be an NBA fan as there are 12 games on MLK Day.
- Our Action Network NBA analysts have three best bets, including plays on Bucks-Hawks and Thunder-Timberwolves.
- Check out their analysis and picks below.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day brings with it a plethora of NBA games, with tip-offs scheduled throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
Our analysts have their eyes on two games in particular, both starting in the evening. We have two bets on a nationally televised game between the Bucks and Hawks, as well as one on Thunder-Mavericks, which is also part of the night slate.
Here are our three best bets from Monday’s NBA slate.
NBA Odds & Picks
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks
Raheem Palmer: The Milwaukee Bucks have been struggling, losers of three of their last four games, including a duplex series against the Charlotte Hornets and Friday night’s 103-96 loss against the Toronto Raptors.
This isn’t too surprising for a Bucks team that is coming off a championship and has dealt with injuries all year. Nonetheless, this team has shown up for big games, like last Thursday’s 118-99 destruction over the Golden State Warriors.
They find themselves in another big spot, this time against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks, who they defeated in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals last season. The Hawks have been reeling, they’re just 17-25 on the season and the defense has completely fallen off a cliff. They’re 28th in Defensive Rating, allowing 115.1 points per 100 possessions and they’re dead last in Defensive Rating, allowing 124 points per 100 possessions over the past two weeks.
Things won’t get any easier today against Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is slowly making his MVP push. The Hawks will be without Clint Capela which weakens their interior defense, which is already giving up 65.4% at the rim — 18th among NBA teams. In addition, the Hawks are 28th in half-court defense, 22nd in opponent 3-point shooting percentage (36.3%) and 29th in transition defense.
This Bucks offense should be able to score at will, so I’ll lay the 5.5 points with the defending champions in a solid bounce-back spot in a national TV game.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks
Austin Wang: There’s something seriously going wrong with the Atlanta Hawks this season. After overachieving all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, they’ve regressed big time. They have put up a huge dud with a 17-25 record as we approach the midpoint of the 2021-2022 campaign.
They have been a great fade this season as they are only 16-26 (38.1%) against the spread. They’ve lost and failed to cover for five consecutive games.
Until they show they have turned the corner, we will continue to fade them today.
The Hawks will once again be missing Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic, two key rotation players. They will sorely miss Capela’s size as they try to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo. They are also playing their third game in four nights, so fatigue could come into play here.
The Milwaukee Bucks will still be without Jrue Holiday as he recovers from an ankle injury. They’ve had a light schedule for the past few games, so I expect them to be more well-rested than the Hawks. I also see them coming out with some fire after losing outright to the Toronto Raptors in their last game as large favorites.
Finally, I see a revenge component come into play here as the Bucks lost to the Hawks 120-100 back on Nov. 14. Look for that as additional fuel to their fire.
Give me the Bucks today. They also do especially well in the first half. They are 24-12 ATS in the first half as favorites this season (as opposed to 18-18 ATS full game), per our Bet Labs tool. My best bet is on the Bucks 1H -2.5.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Matt Moore: I won’t lie, I’m worried I’m trying to stop a runaway train here. Dallas is 8-2 in its last 10, and 7-3 against the spread. The Mavericks been playing great basketball on both ends of the floor.
But this is too many points.
Dallas is 2-6 this season when favored by 6 or more points, per Bet Labs. The Thunder, on the other hand, are 16-7 (69.6%) when dogs of six points or more.
Dallas’ half-court offense has been mediocre this season and OKC’s half-court defense is average. The Mavericks play almost exclusively in the half court.
That’s enough for me to grab the 11.5 here.
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