Handicapping the NBA: Monday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Monday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Alex Barutha

76ers to cover -10.0 points (-110) at Rockets – DraftKings, 2:35 PM CT

This is a big margin to cover on the road, but these teams are trending in opposite directions in terms of expectations.  Over the past two weeks, Philadelphia is outperforming the spread by an average of +6.2 points (-0.1 on the whole year), while Houston is underperforming the spread by an average of -7.6 points over the past two weeks (-1.9 on the year). The combined margin of the two teams gives me confidence in taking the 76ers despite the double-digit spread.

Nick Whalen

Cleveland Cavaliers -5.0 (-110) at Sacramento Kings – DraftKings Sportsbook, 1:00 PM CT

Some of the luster has worn off the Cavs' impressive start over the last couple weeks, and they bottomed out with a terrible performance Sunday against Golden State, but getting the Kings on the second night of a back-to-back is a perfect bounceback opportunity. Cleveland is still covering at the best rate in the NBA, and that includes a 13-6-1 ATS mark on the road. The Cavs are 4-2-1 ATS on the second leg of back-to-backs and 3-1 ATS as a road favorite this season. Meanwhile, the Kings have dropped four straight games and are coming off of a 15-point drubbing at the hands of the woefully shorthanded Trail Blazers on Sunday. Sacramento is just 11-17 ATS as an underdog on the year.

Kirien Sprecher

Cleveland Cavaliers -5 (-110) at Sacramento KingsDraftKings Sportsbook 1:30 PM

The Cavaliers are 2-4 since losing Ricky Rubio for the season, but I still think they have the makings of a potential playoff squad. In order to make the playoffs, Cleveland is going to have to take care of business when they face the bottom half of the league, which means beating teams like the 12th place Kings. The Darius Garland/De'Aaron Fox showdown certainly draws a lot of attention, but I am focusing on the frontcourt matchup, as Sacramento may have to rely on Alex Len and Tristian Thompson, as Richaun Holmes is questionable due to COVID-19 protocols. I think rookie phenom Evan Mobley and veteran Jarrett Allen win this matchup – regardless of Holmes status – and help the Cavaliers get back on track with a solid win.

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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.
Kirien Sprecher
Kirien Sprecher is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate who dreams of being a beat reporter in the MLB.
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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