Thursday, February 29, 2024

Nuggets-Bucks, Warriors-Jazz Among 3 NBA Monday Best Bets

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Now that Super Bowl LVIII is in the books, the NBA takes center stage in sports betting until March Madness. It sucks because football is the GOAT but what other choice do I have? Most of you sports bettors might be taking a siesta for the next six weeks. However, I’m firing away with these three … 

NBA Monday Best Bets

  • The odds chosen are the best available at the time of writing.

New York Knicks (-2.5) at Houston Rockets, 8 p.m. ET

New York beat Houston 109-94 as -7 home favorites Jan. 17th. The Knicks were at full strength in that meeting. They’ll be without SF OG Anunoby and All-Star Julius Randle on Monday, and starting C Isaiah Hartenstein is “questionable” as well. 

However, the Rockets are missing PG Fred VanVleet and SF Tari Eason, and starting C Alperen Sengun is “questionable” too. In addition to Hartenstein possibly sitting Monday, NYK is missing C Mitchell Robinson. So the loss of Sengun takes away a massive would-be edge for Houston. 

Also, VanVleet and Eason lead the Rockets in non-garbage time on/off net rating, per CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG). VanVleet is a defensive pest and his absence will make it easier for Knicks All-Star PG Jalen Brunson to operate. 

Furthermore, Brunson has scored the 4th-most points in the paint in the NBA and his “floater game” is 2nd to none. According to CTG, Houston ranks 23rd in defensive field goal shooting vs. short-mid-range jumpers. 

Lastly, New York has been profitable when facing worse competition. As road favorites this season, The Knicks are 9-3 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS). They are 22-4 SU and 20-5-1 ATS vs. teams with a losing record and the Rockets are 23-29 SU. 

BET 1.15u on the Knicks -2.5 (-115) at BetMGM. New York is playable up to -4. 

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Denver Nuggets at Milwaukee Bucks (+100), 8 p.m. ET

I was on the wrong side of the 1st Nuggets-Bucks meeting this season Jan. 29th. Denver closed as -4 favorites and beat Milwaukee 113-107. Yet, these teams are similar when looking at their home-road splits. Meaning, both teams are great at home and suck on the road.  

The Nuggets are 15-13 SU on the road but have a -2.3 non-garbage time net rating (ranked 16th) and a -4.3 spread differential (28th), per CTG. The Bucks are 22-6 SU at home with a +6.6 non-garbage time net rating, which ranks 8th in the NBA. 

With this in mind, Milwaukee should be at least -2 favorites at home Monday. Typically, role players perform better at home and the Nuggets have one of the worst benches in the NBA. Denver’s bench is 26th in net rating (-2.9) and Milwaukee’s is 14th at home (+1.1).  

Plus, the Bucks have the size to make life difficult for Nikola Jokic. Milwaukee won’t stop Jokic but C Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo are as good as you could ask for. Jokic had a 25-16-12 triple-double vs. the Bucks Jan. 19th. But, Milwaukee held Jokic to 40.0% shooting. 

Finally, Nuggets SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (KCP) is “questionable” for Monday and has missed Denver’s past two games. KCP is 2nd on the Nuggets in on/off net rating (+17.1), per CTG, behind Jokic and is their best perimeter defender. If he misses Monday, Damian Lillard might stomp a mud-hole in Denver. 

BET 1u on Milwaukee’s moneyline (+100) at FanDuel. The Bucks are bet-able up to -2. 

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Golden State Warriors (-110) at Utah Jazz, 9 p.m. ET

Even though I unsuccessfully faded Golden State Saturday when it upset the Phoenix Suns 113-112, I’m buying stock in the Warriors post-All-Star break. They are fully healthy and have a championship DNA. 

Adding to that, since Draymond Green returned from suspension Jan. 24th, Golden State has been playing much better. The Warriors are 7-3 SU over that span with a +8.2 non-garbage time net rating (ranked 4th) and a +9.1 spread differential (1st), per CTG. 

If Steph Curry isn’t cooking, Golden State’s offense tends to struggle. That said, Utah has the worst defensive efficiency in the NBA over the past two weeks, according to CTG, and ranks 25th on the season. 

Both teams are clumsy with the rock, chuck threes, and crash the glass. But, the Warriors score more points off of turnovers per game, allow fewer 2nd-chance points per game, and have a better 3-pointer-per-game made differential. 

BET 1.1u on Golden State’s moneyline (-110) at Caesars. Gimme the Warriors up to -3. 

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LISTEN: OutKick Bets Podcast with Geoff Clark

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