The NBA is back in full force on Monday night, with a huge 10-game slate that offers plenty of fun games worth betting on. The Raptors face off with the Thunder in what is easily the featured game of the night, but there are 9 other games to dive into and picks. Let’s get to it:
Knicks @ Pelicans
Line: Knicks -5.5 Total: 202
New York gets to run into a bad team that is in atrocious shape, as the Pelicans won’t be sporting even a D-League quality roster tonight. The Knicks will probably allow New Orleans to hang around long enough to beat the spread, cuz Knicks gonna Knicks, but I like New York to get the road win.
Pick: Knicks 101, Pellies 98
Hawks @ Bulls
Line: Hawks -3 Total: 205.5
Atlanta is fighting to stay in the running for the Southeast Division crown, but they could have their work cut out for them on the road against a fairly healthy Bulls team. Chicago has nose dived lately (three losses in a row), but they at least play well at the United Center (24-13). Still, Atlanta has owned them (3-0 in the season series) and has more momentum.
Pick: Hawks 104, Bulls 100
Kings @ Blazers
Line: Blazers -13 Total: 217.5
Sacramento would normally have a great chance in an explosive shootout with the Blazers, but they’re resting just about everyone tonight. With Rajon Rondo, Boogie ad Rudy Gay all out, the Kings should lose big in Portland.
Pick: Blazers 112, Kings 94
Celtics @ Clippers
Line: Clippers -4 Total: 208.5
The last time the Celtics and Clippers faced off, we were blessed with a crazy 139-134 OT gem. That isn’t likely to happen again with the Clips already wrapping up a playoff spot, but we should still be in for a good amount of points and a reasonably close game. L.A. is stout at home, though, so CP3 and co. have the clear advantage.
Pick: Clippers 109, Celtics 104
Nets @ Heat
Line: Heat -9.5 Total: 213.5
Miami has been outstanding in South Beach this year (24-13), while they continue to fight for first place in the Southeast Division. Brooklyn has kept all of their three previous meetings this year close, but Miami is at home and holds a 2-1 advantage on the season.
Pick: Heat 105, Nets 99
Thunder @ Raptors
Line: Thunder -2.5 Total: 211
Toronto continues to hold down the fort at home (28-8), but topping OKC for the second time this season could prove to be difficult. The Thunder come in red hot with seven straight wins, and are a solid 21-13 away from home.
Pick: Thunder 108, Raptors 106
Suns @ Timberwolves
Line: Timberwolves -7 Total: 218.5
Phoenix and Minnesota have combined for two explosive battles, while the Suns have had the edge on the year (2-1 in the season series). Minnesota is young and inexperienced, but they have more talent and seem to be trending in the right direction. They’re also at home, so look for their young guys to step up and even the season series tonight.
Pick: Timberwolves 107, Suns 102
Spurs @ Grizzlies
Line: Spurs -6 Total: 192
San Antonio is on the road and will be without Kawhi Leonard and a slew of other players, but they still have LaMarcus Aldridge and a killer system. Memphis hasn’t been handling injuries very well, either, so the Spurs are an easy pick here, even with the depleted lineup.
Pick: Spurs 101, Grizz 92
Mavs @ Nuggets
Line: Nuggets -1.5 Total: 212
Dallas has been in a total free fall lately, losing three straight and going just 2-8 in their last 10 games. Dirk Nowitzki is largely playing well, but injuries and atrocious defense have marred what once was a playoff team. The Mavs continue to slide to new lows tonight as the lose to Denver, who is at their best at the Pepsi Center.
Pick: Nuggets 106, Mavs 104
Lakers @ Jazz
Line: Jazz -14 Total: 190.5
Kobe Bryant is likely to suit up yet against as his retirement tour draws closer to an end. That shouldn’t help the Lakers much on the road against a nasty Utah defense, however. Not only are the Lakers atrocious on the road (5-31), but Utah has won 7 of 10 and continues to look good in their fight for a playoff spot. They won’t blow it tonight at home against an awful Lakers squad.
Pick: Jazz 104, Lakers 90