Monday night’s NBA slate has just one national TV game on the schedule — a matchup between the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks to commemorate the first ever NBA game between the Toronto Huskies and Knicks in 1946. But with nine games on the slate, there’s more tonight than what meets the eye.
Our NBA analysts are eyeing two other games on Monday and they are betting the spread in both. Read below for their top picks for tonight.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies||8 p.m. ET|
Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics
|Pick||Chicago Bulls +2.5|
|Tipoff||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Raheem Palmer: The Celtics are generating way too much respect within the market currently. They currently sit as 2-point favorites over the Bulls in a game in which I actually have the Bulls listed as favorites by my model.
The Celtics have really struggled offensively this year and they’ll be taking on a Bulls team which is allowing just 99.5 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes — eighth among NBA teams.
The Celtics are allowing the 9th highest frequency of field goal attempts at the rim, an area where the Bulls are taking the sixth most attempts. In addition, the Bulls are fourth in field goal percentage from behind the arc (38.3%) an area where the Celtics have struggled to defend, allowing opposing teams to shoot 35.2% from behind the arc, 20th among NBA teams.
Overall, I’m not sold on this Celtics team yet and I’ll be happy to fade them in this spot against the Bulls.
Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies
|Pick||Nuggets +2 | Nuggets ML|
|Tipoff||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Matt Moore: What in God’s name is this line? Who approved this?
Would the Nuggets have been favored on the lookahead before the season? Yes. Are the Nuggets higher in adjusted Net Rating per Dunkandhrees.com? Yes.
Are the Nuggets 10-3 straight up in the past four seasons against Memphis? Yes. Has Nikola Jokic won the Steven Adams matchup in 12 of the last 14 tries? Yes.
It’s so obvious, I’m nervous about it! How can this line be this?
I get that on record, this looks like a good matchup, and Memphis has wins vs. the Warriors and the Clippers, and probably should have beaten the Lakers (who shot 53% from 3 in that game).
But Memphis got destroyed by Miami, has lost three of four, and has the worst adjusted defensive net rating league wide. Denver has a top-10 halfcourt defense, their offense is very likely to break out, especially against this defense, and Denver thrives in adverse situations like this third-in-four nights.
I make Denver substantial favorites in this matchup, preseason priors would have Denver as favorites. Even adjusted for third-in-four for Denver, I can’t get there. I like Denver +2 and on the moneyline, to a pick.