After a thrilling conclusion to the NBA in-season tournament on Saturday night and an off day for the entire league on Sunday, the NBA is back in a big way on Monday. There are 13 games on Monday’s schedule. With nearly every team in the league on the schedule, Monday figures to be a big night for basketball betting. That’s why we picked out the three NBA bets that we love for Monday’s games.
NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | December 11
Minnesota Timberwolves vs New Orleans Pelicans Best Bet:
The Pelicans have had a few days to reflect on their 44-point loss to the Lakers in the in-season tournament semifinals on Thursday. They will surely be looking for immediate redemption, especially at home against a Minnesota team that’s been one of the best in the NBA this season. More importantly, New Orleans has the pieces to respond with a statement win on Monday with the trio of Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and CJ McCollum. The kicker is that the Pelicans have a seven-game against-the-spread winning streak at home.
Meanwhile, the T-Wolves will be in somewhat unfamiliar territory as an underdog in this game. Minnesota is also riding a six-game winning streak. However, most of those wins came against subpar teams. They’ve been vulnerable this year when facing a quality team on the road. With Anthony Edwards listed as a game-time decision after getting hurt early in Friday’s game, this is a good opportunity to fade the T-Wolves and back the Pelicans to cover a few points.
Chicago Bulls vs Milwaukee Bucks Best Bet:
The Bucks will definitely have a bad taste in their mouths after letting Thursday’s semifinal against the Pacers get away from them. They’ll want to take out that frustration, making the 9-14 Bulls an ideal opponent. To be fair, the Bucks haven’t covered a double-digit spread all season. However, their last two home wins have both come by double figures. In a bounce-back game, Giannis and company will want to be at their best and obliterate an overmatched Chicago team.
For what it’s worth, the Bulls are riding a four-game winning streak. That was on the heels of losing eight of nine games, so things are surely moving in the right direction. But that doesn’t change the fact that Chicago is just 2-8 on the road this season, going 3-7 against the spread in those 10 road games. Keep in mind that second-leading scorer Zach LaVine is still out while Alex Caruso is also questionable. Since the Bulls are far from full strength, it doesn't seem likely that they'll be able to stay within 10 points of an angry Milwaukee team on Monday night.
Portland Trail Blazers vs Los Angeles Clippers Best Bet:
Neither of these teams has been particularly good at hitting the over this season. However, both have had several days off, so they should be well-rested. Plus, both have a disappointing record and will look at this as a winnable game. That should lead to plenty of aggressive play on the offensive end, making it reasonable for this game to go beyond 219 points.
Keep in mind that the Trail Blazers aren’t a strong defensive side. They should also benefit from the added time off with multiple starters listed as day-to-day. On the other side, the Clippers are starting to find their offensive groove with James Harden gelling with his teammates. Against Portland's lackluster defense, the Clippers should be able to handle more than their fair share of the 219 total points.
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