Yesterday Klay Thompson, today Kyrie Irving. While it’s technically Irving’s second game back, some of the NBA’s sidelined stars are finding their way back onto the floor. Who’s next — Ben Simmons? I guess we’ll see.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Monday’s action.
Written Picks YTD: 70-69-0 (+13.0u)
Model ATS Picks YTD: 70-56-2 (+9.4u)*
Model ML Picks YTD: 10-19 (+2.3u)*
*Follow me @is_sirois for the model’s picks.
1. Knicks -6 | -110 at DK Sportsbook
Yes, the San Antonio Spurs just forced the Brooklyn Nets to overtime yesterday afternoon. However, they find themselves so shorthanded that the Knicks should beat them handily tonight. The Spurs have had to play without Doug McDermott, Derrick White, Devin Vassell, and Keldon Johnson of late. That forced them to feature Dejounte Murray for 40 minutes yesterday, and all but one member of their starting five played 36-plus minutes.
In contrast, the Knicks haven’t played since Saturday, and they could get a number of key players back. Nerlens Noel and Kemba Walker are both questionable after their multi-game absences, and Evan Fournier is questionable after missing New York’s second battle against the Celtics.
The Knicks are just 8-12 ATS in Madison Square Garden this year, but they are 6-5 ATS when they have more rest than their opponents. The fact that absences have shrunken San Antonio’s rotation so much should only add to that advantage, and the Knicks should run away with this one as the night goes on.
2. Pistons 1H +7 | -115 at DK Sportsbook
I expect the Pistons to cover against the Rudy Gobert-less Utah Jazz, but bettors can get a bit more value out of this line than the full-game spread. That number sits at +11, so we’re getting all but four of Detroit’s points just in the first half.
Two angles justify this play. First, the Jazz have been a better as a second-half team than as a first-half one. They rank fourth in first-half margin (+3.9) but second in second-half margin (+4.8). Second, the Jazz have been awful without Gobert. They rank dead last in defensive efficiency without him and have allowed 117.6 baskets per 100 possessions.
To be fair, the Pistons haven’t played great basketball this year. Their first-half margin (-5.4) ranks fourth-worst, and their second-half margin (-4.2) ranks worst. However, we’re getting away from their terrible second half performances by playing this line, and they should be healthy enough to cover here.
3. Isaiah Stewart o15.5 Points + Rebounds | -125 at DK Sportsbook
The juice for this prop isn’t great, but DraftKings has the number off by one. For some perspective, FanDuel has this number at 16.5 with pretty much the same juice (-122). As a result, we’re taking the value and running.
The Pistons should get a solid performance out of Stewart here. No Gobert means Hassan Whiteside will have to start for Utah, and it’s small-ball lineups for the Jazz when he is off the floor. That setup led the Pacers to gash the Jazz for 46 points in the paint. The Jazz have also allowed their opponents to nab 52 boards per game without Gobert, a tick up from their season average.
Stewart won’t account for all of Detroit’s interior production, but he should do enough damage to go over this number. The big man finished with 14 points and rebounds in his last two games, his first two back on the court, but he had been averaging 20.4 points and rebounds per game in the five games before that point. Let’s take advantage of a discounted number and hope he can return to form.
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