Sunday capped another fun week of NBA action with what ended up being an extremely tough to predict nine-game night. We didn’t make it out on top, going just 4-5 (dropping to 467-240 on the season) thanks to weak efforts by the Wizards, Warriors and Trail Blazers. We got nipped by last second injury hits via Stephen Curry (ankle) and LaMarcus Aldridge (wrist), and that surely didn’t helped their teams (who both lost). We also picked the Hornets to take down a depleted Mavs squad (in hind sight, that was ill advised), while the Celtics failed us in an overtime thriller against the hapless Lakers.
Despite finishing below .500 on the night, we’re taking it all in stride, as we haven’t had many losing nights on the year and sometimes you can’t predict injuries and weak performances from favorites. That’s NBA betting in a nutshell, so we’ll regroup and shoot for perfection to start the week. Let’s dive right into Monday’s NBA picks, which boasts a solid eight games on the schedule:
76ers @ Heat
The Sixers are rolling with Isaiah Canaan at the point and they have almost no real NBA talent on their roster. The Heat are still getting acclimated with new point guard Goran Dragic, but outside of Chris Bosh (blood clots) being done for the year, they’re pretty healthy. Hassan Whiteside should control the paint as the Heat earn a big home win.
Pick: Heat 106, 76ers 101
Raptors @ Pelicans
Anthony Davis is out for the next week (shoulder) and Ryan Anderson could sit out two full weeks, significantly hurting New Orleans down low and overall on offense. Toronto has been rock solid as winners of seven of their last 10, so they should come in and control this one.
Pick: Raptors 105, Pellies 99
Bucks @ Bulls
Milwaukee has been fantastic (8-2 over their last 10) and they play great team defense, while the Bulls oddly have been average (16-11) on their home floor all year. They should be healthy and ready to take on the Bucks, but Milwaukee is suddenly just 3.5 games out of first place in the Central division and they have all of the momentum.
Pick: Bucks 98, Bulls 95
Timberwolves @ Rockets
Houston continues to be without Dwight Howard, but James Harden is absolutely wrecking and a healthy Terrence Jones has helped them down low. Minny is at full strength but they don’t play much defense and winning in Houston should be a problem for a T’Wolves squad that is an abysmal 5-21 on the road this year.
Pick: Rockets 106, Timberwolves 94
Nets @ Nuggets
Ty Lawson and Deron Williams are both back in the saddle for their respective clubs, which could make for a nice up-tempo showdown on Monday night. Lawson has the slight edge in the one on one battle, but his team lost Arron Afflalo last week (trade) and has been in a free fall for the past month. Denver has a slight edge at home, but the Nets are more complete from top to bottom.
Pick: Nets 107, Nuggets 104
Celtics @ Suns
Boston plays their second game of a back to back, which could render them dead tied (they played in overtime last night), while being on the road again can’t help. Phoenix has Brandon Knight activated after a trade and center Alex Len is coming on strong, so we like the new-look Suns at home.
Pick: Suns 103, Celtics 102
Spurs @ Jazz
San Antonio have not been themselves at all with two losses in a row, so they’ll have to get focused to come in and take down a young Utah team that is suddenly playing better defensively. The Spurs are still the more experienced and deeper squad, and losing the season series 2-1 would be unacceptable.
Pick: Spurs 98, Jazz 94
Grizzlies @ Clippers
In what is easily the game of the night, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph enter the Staples Center to try to chip away at DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers. Chris Paul has kept the Blake Griffin-less Clips afloat (winners of four straight), but the Grizz have the edge defensively and won the earlier meeting this year. I might take the Clips with Griffin, but without him they may end up struggling to score like they normally do.
Pick: Grizz 104, Clippers 98