After an action-packed Sunday featuring four games across the ESPN/ABC networks, there are just four games tonight. It is a smaller slate than usual for a Monday, but those can be valuable as well. With fewer games, it is a bit easier to devote more research time into them compared to a 12-game slate. There are three spots I have my eye on for Monday night.
While Pistons and Hornets fans may be looking forward to their chances at getting Victor Wembanyama, two bad teams sharing the floor could lead to a high-scoring game. Gordon Hayward should be one player who takes advantage.
Meanwhile, the Celtics picked up a hard-fought victory over the rival 76ers on Saturday night. Tonight, they will be in New York to face another old rival in the Knicks. Jayson Tatum might have to pick up the slack with Jaylen Brown out of the lineup.
Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram has been on a torrid scoring pace. However, he is coming off a rough outing against the Knicks. Can he bounce back against Orlando?
NBA Player Props & Picks
Gordon Hayward Over 16.5 Points (-115)
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
February has been a tale of two months for Gordon Hayward. In the first five games of the month, he scored in single digits in three of the five games and shot 20% in two of them. In the last five, he has scored at least 20 points in four of the five games and had 16 in the other. He is averaging 22.2 points per game in that span.
Tonight, Hayward gets the Pistons, who are usually a prime matchup for most players. The Pistons and Hornets met on February 3rd in Detroit, and Hayward was 5-for-6 from the field as he finished with 12 points. He is taking 11 shots per game in February and 14.4 over the last five games. With that kind of volume, he would have easily gone over 16.5 points in the last meeting.
Hayward will face a Pistons team that is 29th in points allowed and 28th in field goal percentage. According to FantasyPros, Detroit is allowing the fifth-most points to small forwards over the last 15 games. It is also 27th in free throw attempts allowed per game this season. Hayward is averaging 3.7 free throws attempts per game this month.
The total for this game is 237, and the first two meetings each had at least 230 points. Hayward will be counted on as one of the secondary scoring options in support of LaMelo Ball, and he should see enough volume to clear this line.
Jayson Tatum Over 3.5 Made 3s (+108)
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
On Saturday night, Tatum hit the game-winning 3 to beat the Sixers with his patented stepback move. He didn’t have one of his typical big scoring nights, but he did knock down three triples. It was the eighth time in the last 10 games that Tatum knocked at least three shots from beyond the arc. Tonight, I like his chances of knocking down four.
The Knicks are 23rd in the league with 12.9 3-pointers allowed per game, and they have allowed the fifth-most 3s to small forwards over the last 15 games, according to FantasyPros. Recently, Josh Richardson, Kyle Kuzma, DeAndre Hunter, Dorian Finney-Smith and Georges Niang have gone over their 3-point lines against the Knicks.
Tatum is 1-for-2 with this line against the Knicks this season with games of six 3s and two 3s. I like this line because of Tatum’s volume. He is averaging 10 3-point attempts against the Knicks this season, which is slightly above his season average of 9.4.
Without Jaylen Brown, there may a few extra attempts to go around. For example, if Tatum attempts 13 threes like he did in the first meeting, it’s tough to see not hitting four of them. Even if Tatum sticks to his average number of attempts, I like his chances of going 4-for-10 in this matchup.
Brandon Ingram Over 24.5 Points (-120)
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | NBA League Pass|
Brandon Ingram is averaging 22.8 points per game this season and has scored at least 20 points in eight of the past 10 games. He had scored 25 in six straight games, including four games with 30 or more points. That streak ended when he scored 19 points against the Knicks; however, the volume was still there as he shot 7-for-22.
Ingram has a great matchup against a Magic team that is allowing the fifth-most points and second-most 3s to small forwards over the last 15 games. For the season, Orlando is 28th in the league with 13 3-pointers allowed per game. Ingram does not take many 3s, just four per game, but he was just 5-for-7 from 3 against the Raptors last Thursday.
Instead, Ingram likes to carve up opponents in the midrange. He is also adept at getting downhill and getting to the foul line. This month, Ingram is averaging 21.9 field goal attempts and 6.1 free throw attempts, shooting nearly 50% from the field and 88% from the foul line. With that kind of volume, I have a hard time seeing the Magic prevent him from scoring 25 points.