Handicapping the NBA: Monday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Monday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Alex Barutha: Bulls moneyline (-120) vs. Rockets – BetMGM, 2:03 PM CT

After a tough start to the year, the Bulls have played well lately, posting a +3.4 net rating in February. Across the same span, the Rockets have struggled, posting a -5.3 net rating. Houston remains without Victor Oladipo and Christian Wood, so I'm not worried about a resurgence here. Given the recent play of both teams, backing Chicago seems like a clear option.

Nick Whalen: Washington Wizards +7.0 (-110) at LA Lakers – DraftKings Sportsbook

I understand the line, but the Lakers have not looked like the Lakers since losing Anthony Davis to a strained calf. LA has dropped four of its last five games, and with Dennis Schroder also sidelined, the offense has been a disaster. The Lakers managed just 98 points against Brooklyn on Thursday before scoring only 94 in Saturday's loss to Miami. The Wizards' defense has been something of a cure-all for opposing offenses this season, but Washington has quietly improved over the course of its four-game winning streak. LeBron James will be the best player on the floor Monday night, but there's a case to be made that the Wizards have the next two in Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. Without Davis and Schroder, I think the Lakers will continue to have issues scoring the ball, enabling Washington to hang around and cover that 7.0-point spread. 

Ken: I'm taking the Heat -6.5 over OKC

As of 11:50 am ET, it's assumed that Al Horford will NOT play in the second of OKC's back-to-back tonight, as the Thunder host the Heat. That means second-year reserve Isaiah Roby will be expected to guard Miami's Bam Adebayo, which could get ugly. The Heat looked great Saturday in their win over the Lakers and have won two straight and six of their last nine. Also, the Thunder had to travel from Cleveland last night, so rest is a concern.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's NBA Assistant Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, DraftKings Live and other platforms. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.
Ken
An early RotoWire contributor from the 90's, K-Train returns with the grace of Gheorghe Muresan and the wisdom of Joe Gibbs. Tweet @KenCrites or e-mail at ken@rotowire.com. Ken won the FSWA 2014 Humor Article Of The Year award. He's also the 2016 Champion of the prestigious RW NBA Keeper League and the 2019 Champion of the RW NFL Ottonue Keeper League. Ken still owns a RotoNews shirt.
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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