There is an eight-game NBA slate on Monday with several notable matchups. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads the surprising Oklahoma City Thunder into Atlanta to battle the dynamic backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. James Harden has missed the 76ers’ last 14 games with a tendon strain in his right foot. However, he is expected to return against his former team tonight.
In a second-round rematch from the playoffs, Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns will take on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Doncic has had his way with the Suns of late, and that may continue tonight. However, I will begin in Orlando where the Milwaukee Bucks will face the Magic.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Jrue Holiday Over 6.5 assists (+115)
|Time | TV||7:10 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Jrue Holiday has recorded seven or more assists in just four of his last nine games. However, tonight he gets to play the Orlando Magic. Targeting point guards against the Magic has been a successful proposition this season. Orlando is 18th in scoring defense, allowing 114.4 points per game. The Magic also rank 15th in assists allowed and fourth in assists allowed to point guards, according to props.cash.
While Holiday is under 50% with this line of late, he had two close misses where he finished with six assists, but he also had games of 13 and 11 assists in that stretch. Friday night marked the return of Khris Middleton for Milwaukee, giving the Bucks the third piece of their big three. Middleton’s return gives the Bucks another knockdown shooter and assist valve for Holiday. With Middleton back on the floor, Holiday had nine assists against the Lakers.
For the season, Holiday is averaging 7.4 assists per game. Over his last eight games, he has averaged 13 potential assists, which the Bucks have converted into 6.6 assists per game for him. With Middleton back on the floor, Holiday should get the one extra he needs to go over this line.
Eric Gordon Over 10.5 Points (-106)
|Time | TV||8:10 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Eric Gordon is averaging 12.2 points this season, which puts him over this line on average. He will see a lot of familiar faces for Philadelphia tonight, including former teammates James Harden (who is probable to return), P.J. Tucker and Danuel House.
The 76ers present a tough matchup on paper as they allow the second-fewest points per game (106.6), 3-pointers allowed per game and are fifth in defending shooting guards. However, players often get up for games against former teams/teammates.
Gordon has scored 11 points in four of his past seven games. In the other two games in that span, he finished with 10.
Volume will be key for Gordon. In games where he takes at least 10 field goal attempts, he is 10-for-10 scoring double digits and 9-for-10 in scoring at least 11 points. Overall, he has gone over this line in 13 of 19 games this season. Expect this trend to continue tonight.
Luka Doncic Over 31.5 Points (-122)
|Time | TV||8:30 p.m. ET | NBATV|
The Phoenix Suns have had one of the NBA’s best defenses over the last few seasons. That has continued this season as the Suns are fifth in points allowed per game (108.4), third in 3-pointers allowed per game and ninth in field goal percentage allowed. However, that has not mattered when facing Luka Doncic.
Doncic scored 35 points against the Suns on opening night. Dating back to last season, he has scored 32 or more points in five of his last eight meetings against the Suns. He averaged 32.5 points against the Suns in their playoff series last May.
This season, Doncic is averaging 33.4 points per game. He has scored 32 or more points in six of his last 10 games and in 14 of 21 games this season. Additionally, there is a bit of bad blood between Doncic and the Suns, particularly with Devin Booker. I like this matchup anyway, but a little added motivation does not hurt. It would not surprise me if Doncic took a few more shots than usual.