Betting on the NBA during the recent surge in COVID-19 cases has been a struggle. Lines that have value in the morning disappear or become much less valuable closer to tip as news about players’ health breaks. Player absences skew betting models and the usefulness of recent data or trends, too. That said, I think I’ve found an edge in one game on tonight’s card that should deliver solid returns.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Monday’s action.
Written Picks YTD: 57-61-0 (+7.23u)
Model ATS Picks YTD: 64-51-1 (+7.2u)*
Model ML Picks YTD: 7-12 (+2.1u)*
*Follow me @is_sirois for the model’s picks.
1. Rudy Gobert o15.5 Rebounds | -112 at FD Sportsbook
The San Antonio Spurs announced that Dejounte Murray had entered the health and safety protocols on Monday. Somewhat surprisingly, that leaves a ton of rebounds to go around in this game — Murray ranks second on this team in defensive rebound rate (22.1%) behind only reserve big man Drew Eubanks. Murray recorded 11 boards the last time the Spurs faced the Jazz, too.
So who stands to benefit the most from his absence? On Utah’s side, it’s Rudy Gobert. The veteran big man has been a force on the glass this year and is averaging a career-high 14.9 rebounds per game. He has recorded at least 16 boards in 14 of his 32 games this year. His 25.2% rebound rate leads Utah’s starters and only trails reserve Udoka Azubuike.
We’re also targeting this prop because the Spurs have struggled against opposing fives on the glass. They have surrendered the fourth-most rebounds per game to fives this year (16.5), and that number has jumped over their last seven games (18.2).
Lastly, the Jazz won’t have Donovan Mitchell tonight. While that doesn’t really affect Gobert’s glass-cleaning much (Mitchell owns a 6.2% rebound rate), it does suggest he may see a bit more run than otherwise, and it should keep this game close enough for Gobert to get enough minutes to go over this total.
2. Derrick White o6.5 Assists | -105 at DK Sportsbook
We’re also going to target White’s assists with Murray sidelined. He racked up 10 assists without Murray in that game, and he did it in just 16 minutes! His assist percentage (62.6%) marks a significant jump from his season average (22.8%), and while it will certainly regress toward the mean tonight, Murray’s own assist percentage (37.1%) leaves a huge hole for White to fill.
San Antonio typically uses White at the two spot, but Murray’s absence should see him get some more run at the one — that’s where he started yesterday against the Pistons. That’s great news for this prop, as the Jazz have surrendered an NBA-high 10.6 assists per game to opposing point guards over their last seven games.
White has recorded at least seven assists in 10 games this year, and all but one came despite Dejounte Murray’s presence in the starting five. For as long as Murray has to miss time, White should operate as the primary ball-handler, and the books will probably have to move this number up by another one or two dimes over the next few games.
3. SGP: White 8+ AST + UTA ML | +310 (.35u) at DK Sportsbook
4. SGP: Gobert o15.5 RBD + White 8+ AST + UTA ML | +575 (.15u) at DK Sportsbook
Is it just me, or do these seem massively mispriced? We’ll tease White’s assist prop up to the maximum and pair that with Utah’s moneyline, which is itself a surprisingly decent value. The Jazz won their only game without Mitchell earlier this year, and while they did fall to the Spurs a week and a half ago, San Antonio is a much worse team without Dejounte Murray. We’ll split a half-unit on these parlays to profit a total of 1.94u, and you’ll still be up almost a full unit even if Gobert fails to clean the glass tonight.
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