Monday night bets in the NBA
Your expert NBA betting advice
The Brooklyn Nets just got word that Jeremy Lin is going to miss another three to five weeks, or more, after re-aggravating his hamstring injury. This, truthfully, doesn’t change much for them: They are still bad, and they will look even worse going up against the powerhouse San Antonio Spurs.
Although the Spurs will once again be without Pau Gasol and Tony Parker, this shouldn’t concern us. They beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night without both players and have been statistically a better team this season when these two aging vets take a seat, according to NBA.com.
This line only becomes a problem if head coach Gregg Popovich decides to bench some combination of Danny Green, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard. And yet, even then, the Spurs’ bench is probably deep enough to obliterate a talent-starved Nets faction.
The Pick: San Antonio Spurs (-11)
While the Charlotte Hornets have been a good team at home, the Washington Wizards are in the midst of a red-hot stretch. They have been near-unbeatable at home and, equally important, are destroying opponents on the offensive side of the ball whenever John Wall is in the game, per NBA.com.
Following his snub from the All-Star starting lineup, we should expect Wall to play with a chip on his shoulder until the reserves are announced. He goes up against a worthy foe in Charlotte’s Walker, but he has the defensive chops to slow, if not completely halt, his rival.
Remember, it’s not like the Wizards have to win this one. They merely need to keep it close. And given how their top-six or seven players have fared of late, it’s a safe bet they’ll do just that.
The Pick: Washington Wizards (+4.5)
The New York Knicks are working off an abysmal Saturday night home loss to the Phoenix Suns and have been absolute trash while playing on the road.
The Indiana Pacers haven’t been juggernauts themselves, but should we really expect a crappy Knicks squad playing with a banged-up Kristaps Porzingis to be anything better than it’s been all damn season? Not at all.
Take the Pacers here, and feel really good about it. In the event it’s the Knicks who do cover, you at least lose knowing there’s no way in hell you could have justified picking them in the first place.
The Pick: Indiana Pacers (-5.5)
It’s weird that this spread isn’t higher—much higher.
The Blake Griffin- and Chris Paul-less version of the Los Angeles Clippers is not a good basketball team. It’s as simple as that. They let a winnable game get away from them against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday, then got positively pummeled by the Denver Nugget on Saturday night.
Now they travel to face the Atlanta Hawks, who have won 11 of their last 13 games, sport a top-notch defense and own the Eastern Conference’s fourth-best record.
In other words: There’s no way this game ends well for Los Angeles.
The Pick: Atlanta Hawks (-7.5)
LeBron James called out the Cleveland Cavaliers for their shoddy late-game execution in their Saturday night loss to the San Antonio Spurs. So while this team has a penchant for playing down to the level of its opponent—particularly on the road—you have to believe James’ running mates will take his words to heart.
The one thing to watch out for as we near tipoff is an audible from Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue. If he decides to rest any one of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, you’ll want to distance yourself from this line like the plague.
That holds doubly true if the star who’s given a rest day is LeBron. The Cavaliers can barely function without him, and the New Orleans Pelicans’ defense is not to be underestimated.
For now, though, it looks like the Cavaliers will be at full capacity. And that, coupled with LeBron’s anger over Saturday night’s letdown, should culminate in them covering this spread.
The Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-7)