Last night was a gaffe by me, as I rushed out my NBA pick and took the Knicks before anyone knew for sure if Kristaps Porzingis was going to sit out. He was eventually ruled out and ideally bettors would have waited for that information before making their bet. I honestly just didn’t trust Orlando, so I felt if Zinger did end up playing, I could get nice value with the Knicks at home.
That didn’t work out and this is precisely why you want to wait for information whenever possible. Unfortunately, this was the first game of the Sunday slate (at 3:30 pm) and I rolled with the Knicks blindly. That dropped my season NBA picks record to 9-6, but I think I can bounce back and recover with a win tonight.
Monday offers a huge 11-game NBA betting slate, so regardless of whether or not you agree with my pick for this slate, you have numerous options to consider.
There are several spots to consider and my favorite picks are the Spurs (-3.5), Bucks (+5.5) and Nuggets (+2.5). These are my three favorite bets, but Denver as an underdog against the Dallas Mavericks probably takes the cake for me. Let’s break that matchup down and see which betting angle is your best bet:
Denver Nuggets (+2.5) @ Dallas Mavericks (-2.5) Total: 209
Truth be told, I hate this spread for the Nuggets just because it’s tight and doesn’t offer any wiggle room. Luckily I love the Nuggets to win this game, so the +125 Money Line at Bovada makes the spread a moot point for me.
I get that the Nuggets aren’t good on the road (3-7) and they’ll be down two very key interior players in Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic. The crazy thing, however, is that even with them being under-manned, they still look better than the Mavs on paper.
Dallas is no world-beater. Dirk Nowitzki is well past his prime and this is a slow team that can’t produce efficient offense. They’re just 6-17 overall this year, 4-10 on their home court and in addition to a pathetic offense, they can’t defend (18th in defensive efficiency). The Mavs are headed for the NBA Draft Lottery in a hurry and anytime I can get value like this against them, I’m going to consider it.
I absolutely will consider it tonight, as the Nuggets got a win in their last game with Jokic out and have very serviceable bigs in Mason Plumlee and Kenneth Faried as their replacement options. They hypothetically won’t miss a beat, as both of these guys are starting-caliber players and won’t be out-worked by anyone – especially not anyone on the Dallas roster.
It’s not just about Denver’s size, of course. Jamal Murray poured in 28 points in his last outing and faces a Dallas defense that specifically has a difficult time containing point guards. Denver can often sway the way Murray goes, so in a positive matchup, I have to like the Nuggets’ chances on offense at first glance.
Denver should also have a healthy Wilson Chandler on hand, which only thickens their wing depth. Gary Harris and Will Barton add to that and give the Nuggets a very deep and explosive offensive arsenal.
There are just two things I’m hesitant about; the fact that this game is on the road and that Dallas could slow down the tempo of this game to keep Denver from blowing the lid off. That could happen, but it doesn’t feel sustainable with such a wide talent gap.
Trusting Dallas as a favorite is usually a poor choice. The Mavs are just 9-14 against the spread on the year and have not worked out (1-3) when favored. Considering this +2.5 point spread doesn’t install much safety, I’m willing to just dive in head-first with the Nuggets. They’re playing great team ball and the Mavs just aren’t a good team this year. I like Denver to get me strong value at +125 and get the win.