Handicapping the NBA: Monday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Monday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Alex Barutha (all bets via FanDuel at 2:57 PM CT): Andre Drummond over 12.5 rebounds vs. Trail Blazers (-112)

Tobias Harris over 21.5 points vs. Trail Blazers (-112)

I'm grouping these two bets together because they are both the product of Joel Embiid (knee) sitting out. On/off court numbers are great to use this early in the season before the sportsbooks start to catch on to teams' tendencies. Drummond's prop isn't really based on on/off court numbers since he and Embiid don't share the court, but, regardless, Drummond is averaging 20.0 rebounds per 36 minutes this season. Maybe he doesn't play 36 minutes, but even if he plays 30, this prop should clear.

As far as Harris goes, this is an easy over to take. He's the most talented offensive player left for the Sixers, and he takes 20.0 shots per 36 minutes with Embiid off the court. I also would consider his points+assists prop (26.5, -113).

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander over 21.5 points at Clippers (-108)

Josh Giddey over 16.5 points+assists at Clippers (-128)

I'm also grouping these two props together because of an injury, to none other than Lu Dort. While he's not the most talented offensive player for OKC, he plays a lot, and the organization does what it can to make sure he gets developmental touches. That means when he's out, there's a significant shift in team usage, as hard as that is to believe.

For example, SGA sees a spike of 11.1 percent usage with Dort off the floor. That vaults him up to a 38.3 percent usage rate, with the guard taking 25.4 shots per 36 minutes. Based on that, his 21.5 points prop is laughably low. The only two points of concern are: Paul George may be guarding him, and we're talking about only a 23-minute sample without Dort. Still, the number is so, so low. His points per game average for the season (22.0) is higher than this.

Giddey, with Dort off the court, sees a 5.4 percent usage spike to the tune of 15.9 shots and 9.2 assists per 36 minutes. His prop for points+assists being at 16.5 makes absolutely no sense. Over the past four games alone he's averaging 13.5 points and 6.8 assists. So...what's the logic on this number?

Nick Whalen: Minnesota Timberwolves -8.5 (-115) vs. Orlando Magic – DraftKings Sportsbook, 12:19 PM CT

The one-win Magic have been an easy target thus far, and that doesn't change tonight. Orlando ranks second-last in defensive rating and NET rating, so I see this as a potential get-right game for a Timberwolves offense that hasn't looked all that great thus far. In contrast to most of the last two decades, it's been Minnesota's defense that's carried the team to a 3-2 start. Orlando has some intriguing individual pieces, but – strange as it is to say – the Magic are overmatched against the Timberwolves.

Ken Crites: I'm taking the OVER for Chicago at Boston (215.5) – FanDuel, 2:15 PM CT

The Celtics don't play defense. It's that simple.  Boston is giving up a league-worst 118.3 points per game. Admittedly, Chicago is 22nd in team possessions per game, but this could be a rare opportunity for LaVine, DeRozan and Vucevic to each score 23+. Plus Boston has been playing terribly at home, with losses to the Raptors and Wizards.

Jacob Lebowitz: Trail Blazers ML at 76ers (+110)DraftKings, 1:56 pm CT

With Joel Embiid ruled out for the 76ers and Ben Simmons still not playing, the 76ers will be in trouble against a Portland team that has manhandled three playoff teams from last season so far. Portland managed to dominate the Suns, Grizzlies and Clippers en route to a 3-3 record. On the other hand, the 76ers are off to a 4-2 start with wins against worse teams like the Pistons, Thunder and Pelicans. Although Andre Drummond is a center worthy of starting, the 76ers should not be favored against a Trail Blazers team that has shown plenty of improvement since last season. 

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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.
Jacob Lebowitz
Jacob writes about fantasy sports and sports betting for RotoWire. He's always doing something sports-related whether that's playing NBA 2K, watching a football game or playing a game of pickup basketball.
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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