NBA Monday best bets: Shorthanded Suns on upset alert vs. Spurs
We split our NBA picks against the spread over the weekend, and we're gunning for a profitable mark on Monday's card. Here are our best bets:
It's been four days since the Thunder lost to the Grizzlies by 73 points in the worst loss in NBA history. Oklahoma City hasn't played a game since, and the team's devastating loss doesn't bode well for its next contest.
There's obviously no precedent for a team in this exact spot, but clubs coming off a loss of 50-plus points have gone 6-13 ATS in the last 25 years, including 2-5 ATS in their last seven tries. They weren't close losses, either: of those 19 games, the team coming off the blowout defeat was beaten by six or more points 12 times.
This is also a tricky spot against the Pistons, who have lost eight straight but are 6-2 ATS in that span and have gone 10-4 ATS since Nov. 5. Expect them to finally get in the actual win column against the reeling Thunder.
Pick: Pistons -4.5
All season, the Grizzlies have had one of the NBA's worst defenses. Suddenly, that's shifted: They've held their last four opponents to an average of 90.3 points amid their first four-game win streak of the campaign.
This stretch has spanned Ja Morant's absence with a knee injury, which has not-so-coincidentally also led to two of Memphis' lowest point totals (97, 98) of the season. Something similar can be said for the Heat, who've scored 102.8 points per contest in four games without Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo.
All three of those players are either questionable or out for Monday's contest, which should mean more of the same for these offenses. Without them, neither side has a bonafide scorer consistent enough to scare us away from the under here.
Pick: Under 214.5
So, let me get this straight: On Friday, the Suns lost to the Warriors by 22 points. On Saturday, the Spurs beat the Warriors by five. And now Phoenix is priced as a 7.5-point favorite in this matchup?
Clearly, it's not as simple as using the transitive property here, but it does underscore that these two teams are closer than this mark suggests. The last time they played, the Suns won by four points after a late rally by San Antonio, which has since won four straight games outright, including three against teams with a winning record.
Meanwhile, Phoenix's offense looked lost in its second game without Devin Booker, shooting 38% from the floor with just eight made 3-pointers. The Spurs boast a top-10 defense entering Monday and should be able to keep this one close, if not win outright.
Pick: Spurs +7.5
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