On this Monday, the NBA has a nine game slate, but one of the first games has my attention. The Utah Jazz are in Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers. That means Donovan Mitchell will be playing his first game against his former team while Lauri Markkanen is returning to Cleveland (Collin Sexton is out).
Meanwhile, the late game has the Charlotte Hornets in Sacramento to battle the Kings. The Hornets are on the second end of a back-to-back and gave up a historic performance to Nikola Jokic last night. Can Domantas Sabonis take advantage tonight?
Let’s dive into Monday’s NBA player props and picks.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Donovan Mitchell Over 28.5 Points (-135)
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Donovan Mitchell spent the first five years of his career with the Jazz. For the first time, he will get to go against them. With this game being in Cleveland, emotion should be less of a factor. Regardless, this is a great spot for Mitchell.
Mitchell is averaging 29.5 points per game this season and ranks eighth in the league in scoring. Recently, he has been on a tear. He has scored 28 points in six of his last 10 games. In December, he is averaging 34.2 points per game. His old teams ranks 24th in the league in points allowed per game and 23rd in field goal percentage defense. The Jazz are also 17th in shooting guard defense according to props.cash.
I like to bet on Mitchell because volume is never an issue with him. He is averaging 20.7 field goal attempts per game and 9.3 3s. In December, those averages have gone up to 22.7 and 10, respectively. However, he has also been efficient with his opportunities. This month, he is shooting 53.5% from the field, 42.9% on 3s, and 90.3% from the line.
Mitchell is also playing big minutes, averaging 36.9 MPG this season and 38.6 in December. Another efficient scoring could see Mitchell blow past this line. He is also +250 to score 35 points and +550 to score 40 points on DraftKings.
Anfernee Simons Over 22.5 Points (-111)
|Spread||Trail Blazers -7|
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pss|
Last week, I targeted Blazers guard Damian Lillard for this piece and cashed on his points + assists line against the San Antonio Spurs. While Lillard has been on fire, his backcourt partner has not been far behind, albeit a little more inconsistently.
Simons has scored 23 points in five of his last 10 games and finished with 22 points in two others. However, when he has gone over this line in that span, he smashed it. In four of the five games he went over, Simons had games of 37, 45, 31, and 32.
When Simons really gets going, he is the kind of player who can score 23 points in a quarter in part because he has developed into an elite sharpshooter. Simons is shooting 38.7% from beyond the arc and ranks third in the league in both 3s per game (4.0) and attempts (10.3).
Simons has a great matchup on Monday night against Oklahoma City. The Thunder rank 27th in scoring defense, 26th in 3-pointers allowed per game, and 21st in 3-point percentage defense. They are also fourth in Pace, which could lead to a few extra possessions in this game.
Simons is averaging 23.4 points per game this season and I expect him to have another big night and could approach 30 points again. Simons’ alternate props are not available yet, but if you want to dabble in a lotto tonight, a parlay of Mitchell for 35 points and Simons for 30 points will have a great shot tonight.
Domantas Sabonis Over 20.5 REB + AST (-102)
|Time | TV||10 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Speaking of games that could be fast paced, the Kings rank sixth in Pace and the Hornets rank 13th. More possessions mean more rebound opportunities on missed shots and more potential assists on makes.
Sabonis comes into tonight’s action averaging averaging 18.1 rebounds and assists combined (19.9 combined in December). That would go just under this line, but you may be aware of what Nikola Jokic did to the Hornets last night: 40 points, 27 rebounds, and 10 assists, becoming just the fourth player in NBA history with a 35-25-10 stat line.
Jokic is an anomaly, but Sabonis is a beast on the glass as well and the second best passing center in the league. He ranks fourth in the league in rebounds and 14th in assists. He also had 23 rebounds + assists (16 rebounds and seven assists) in the first matchup against the Hornets. De’Aaron Fox also left that game with an injury, which possibly hurt his assist opportunities.
Additionally, according to Fantasy Pros, the Hornets allow the fourth-most rebounds to centers and the 10th-most assists to centers per game. I expect Sabonis to take advantage tonight.