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Nuggets-Bucks headlines loaded Monday NBA slate to bet on

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It's a four-day week in the NBA. Regular-season games will pause after Thursday night as All-Star festivities commence Friday.

After a two-game Super Bowl Sunday slate, 10 contests tip off Monday evening. Here are our four best bets for a packed schedule.

Nuggets @ Bucks (+1, O/U 232)

This total is on the move. It opened at 234 and is down to 232. It'll likely continue dropping.

For all the criticisms of the Bucks' defense, they've been solid over the last 10 games and even better since Doc Rivers took over as head coach, even if it's not leading to many wins. Milwaukee ranks seventh in defensive rating over its previous 10 matchups.

The Nuggets' offense is significantly worse on the road than at home. Denver has a 122.3 offensive rating at home and a 113.8 rating on the road. It also owns the NBA's best under rate, with 62.3% of the team's games going below the total. On the road, the under hits 64.3% of the time.

The line indicates this should be a tightly contested matchup between two championship contenders. If so, the defensive intensity should turn up a notch for both squads.

Pick: Under 232

Pelicans @ Grizzlies (+9, O/U 222.5)

The Pelicans are the sixth seed in the West and have the league's eighth-best net rating. They've won five of their last six games and are one of the NBA's deepest, hottest teams.

The Grizzlies, on the other hand, can't wait for summer to arrive. Most of its impact players are injured, and the squad is fielding a roster with G League talent. Memphis has lost eight straight by an average margin of 13.6.

When New Orleans wins, it's rarely close. In the Pelicans' last 13 victories, just one game has been within eight points. They should handily defeat a broken Grizzlies squad.

Pick: Pelicans -9

Pacers team total: Over 124.5 points

This contest is between the NBA's best offense and worst defense. The Pacers have the league's best offensive rating, while the Hornets have the worst defensive rating.

Indiana averages 124.1 points per game. The Pacers' offense took a hit without Tyrese Haliburton for a few weeks. He's back to playing a regular load after being held to a strict 22-minute-per-game limit for much of last week.

The Pacers still have Haliburton listed as questionable, so there could be some restrictions. However, he played 30 minutes in Saturday's win over the Knicks. Even if he sits for long stretches, Indiana has enough firepower to score frequently against a defense that can't guard the perimeter and has little rim protection.

Odds: -120 (playable to -130)

Josh Hart: Over 8.5 rebounds

Josh Hart is, in many ways, the Draymond Green of the Knicks. He's not a prolific scorer - although he's a better 3-point shooter than Green - but he's an excellent defender, constantly in the right spots, and fills the stat sheet in other areas.

New York is dealing with injuries to Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, and Mitchell Robinson. Isaiah Hartenstein also missed the last game with an Achilles injury and is questionable for Monday.

That's led to an increase in minutes for Hart, who's dominating the glass when on the floor. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau encourages players to crash the offensive boards, which is partly why New York is one of the league's best rebounding teams.

Hart is averaging 10.6 rebounds in February and has collected at least nine in his last eight games. Hart could lose some rebounding chances if Hartenstein plays, but there should still be plenty of opportunities to surpass this number.

Odds: -125 (playable to -135)

Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X @soshtry for more betting coverage.

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