With a loaded, full-day slate of NBA action on tap this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, betting options abound across the market. Fortunately, I’ve done my homework to find these three plays for the evening’s action.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Monday’s late games.
Written Picks YTD: 72-76-0 (+9.55u)
Model ATS Picks YTD: 82-63-2 (+11.6u)*
Model ML Picks YTD: 18-29 (+10.1u)*
*Follow me @is_sirois for the model’s picks.
1. Heat -3 | -110 at FD Sportsbook
The Miami Heat should get Bam Adebayo back tonight, and he should help them win and cover against the Raptors. Miami boasts the NBA’s third best record at home, 13-5. While that dominance hasn’t extended against the spread, as they have gone just 10-8 ATS at home, the Heat don’t have to cover by that many points tonight.
The Raptors have played well this season, but the Heat have played better. Miami scores 2.1 more baskets per 100 possessions than the Raptors. They permit 1.2 fewer baskets, too. While those figures aren’t wider than the spread, they also don’t account for some of Miami’s best players. Those season-long averages include 25 games without Adebayo and 18 games without Jimmy Butler.
Back in late November, before both players went down with injuries, the Heat were scoring allowing even fewer baskets per 100 possessions. They’ll look to return to those ways tonight. This number feels like it’s off by a basket or two, but Toronto’s recent upset wins have probably moved the line somewhat.
2. Dejounte Murray o19.5 Points | -110 at DK Sportsbook
The Phoenix Suns have struggled against opposing backcourts of late. Through the last seven games, Phoenix has surrendered the eighth-most points per game to opposing point guards (26) and the ninth-most to opposing shooting guards (24). I expect Dejounte Murray to capitalize on that weakness tonight.
Murray has faced the Suns twice this season, and he failed to go over this number in either game. However, he came very close both times — he recorded 17 points in one game and 18 in another. With Deandre Ayton likely out due to injury, the paint should be more open for Murray to drive into. He leads the Spurs in drives per game (16.9).
The Spurs have increasingly leaned on Murray recently, too. He averages 19.1 points per game on the year, but he is averaging 24.6 points per game in January. Look for him to maintain his strong recent form tonight.
3. Jazz First Quarter ML | -152 at FD Sportsbook
The Utah Jazz should win and cover against the Los Angeles Lakers tonight, and they should take the first quarter in the process. Utah wins their first quarters by an average of 2.9 baskets, the second-best such number in the association. They won their most recent first quarter by four and their last three by an average of five.
Utah should get out to a swift start since they’re fresh off a 23-point win over the Denver Nuggets. Meanwhile, the Lakers last played on Saturday, and they fell to the Nuggets by a 37-point margin in that one. They lost the first quarter of that game by a five-basket margin.
Los Angeles faced the Jazz three times last year, and they failed to take the first quarter in any of those games. I expect a similar outcome tonight, especially with the media firestorm that’s been swirling around the team of late.
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