The Most Important Matchups and Best Bets for Monday’s NBA Slate
The NBA Season continues rolling right along, and we’ve got another nine-game slate on tap for Monday. The action gets underway with two games starting at 7 p.m. ET and wraps up with a matchup between the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors at 10 p.m. ET.
Speaking of the Warriors, Steph Curry was able to break out of his slump in a big way last night vs. the Blazers. He finished with 62 points – which was a new career-high – and he was hyper-efficient from the field. Can he continue to produce at an elite level and save the Warriors’ season?
The Bucks will also square off against the Pistons as massive 16-point home favorites. How have big favorites historically fared against the spread?
Let’s dive in.
Curry was nothing short of sensational last night. He shot 58.1% from the field, 50.0% from 3-point range, and 94.7% from the free-throw line, and he also commanded a massive 49.5% usage rate. Overall, it was a great reminder of just how special he can be regardless of who’s on the court with him.
As impressive as that performance was, he’s still going to need some help to drag this roster into the playoffs. Draymond Green returning to the rotation should help – particularly on the defensive end of the court – but Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre are going to have to play better than they have to start the year.
Wiggins has failed to live up to the hype after being drafted No. 1 overall back in 2014, but there was some optimism that playing in a new offensive system would help him. That said, that hasn’t been the case so far. He’s shooting just 39.6% from the field, which puts him on pace to finish with the worst mark of his career in that department. Wiggins brings very little value to the table outside of scoring – he’s averaged just 1.8 assists per game this season – so he needs to improve in that area if the Warriors are going to be competitive.
Luckily, he has started to put things together. He’s shot 46.8% from the field and 43.8% from 3-point range over his past three contests, resulting in an average of 21.0 points per game. Unsurprisingly, the Warriors have won two of those contests. If he can continue to play at that level, the Warriors have a chance to improve as the season progresses.
The bigger problem has been Oubre. He has been an absolute disaster to start the year, shooting just 32.0% from the field and 6.7% from 3-point range. Those marks are well below his career averages, so he’s a major candidate for positive regression.
The fact that the Warriors have managed to go 3-3 despite such minimal production from Wiggins, Oubre, and Green is actually a positive for their stock moving forward. It’s hard to imagine those three players being any worse, so the Warriors are definitely still a threat to qualify for the playoffs. You can grab them at +138 to make the playoffs on FanDuel Sportsbook, and that number could have some value.
There’s no doubt that the Bucks will be in the playoffs once again this season. They have absolutely dominated to start the year, posting a Net Rating of +12.99 through their first six games. Their 3-3 record is mediocre, but this team is still one of the best in basketball.
They are expected to take care of business tonight vs. the Pistons, but can you back them as massive favorites? Milwaukee has actually gone 16-19 against the spread when favored by at least 10 points since the start of last season, so history suggests you might want to exercise some caution. Head coach Mike Budenholzer is very quick to pull his starters if they build a comfortable lead, which could hamper their ability to grab a cover vs. the Pistons.
We’ve seen some notable line movement for tonight’s contests.
The biggest move involves the Raptors. They opened as 2.5-point home favorites vs. the Celtics, but they’re up to 4.5-point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook. The Celtics have listed Marcus Smart as questionable and already ruled out Jeff Teague, and Kemba Walker remains sidelined with a knee injury. That means the team will be without three of their top point guard options on today’s slate. Toronto is also seeing massive sharp action, garnering 99% of the spread dollars on just 53% of the bets.
The Pelicans are another team generating significant buzz among the sharps. They’ve received 99% of the spread dollars in their matchup vs. the Pacers, which has caused this game to move from a pick ‘em to Pelicans -1.5.
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