Monday's NBA schedule sees the Heat hoping to extend their 10-game win streak at Minnesota, while the Spurs and Grizzlies meet up for the first time since last year's playoff beatdown. Our thoughts and picks here in our NBA betting blog.
The Miami Heat own a 10-game win streak. That's darn impressive. In any given year, roughly four or five teams will match this feat. The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets are the only franchises to do so thus far in 2016.
What's remarkable with Heat streak is that they stink. They are 21-30 with a -1.5 average scoring margin. In the last 20 years, only one team has embarked on a 10-game romp with a point differential less than zero: the 2007 Trail Blazers. Portland owned a 15-12 record and a -1.4 season average scoring margin headed into its 89-79 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Christmas Day. The Trail Blazers went on to win two more games, seeing their streak end after 13 victories. Can Miami extend its run at Minnesota? A certain T-Wolves NBA betting trend says no, and in a big way.
Minnesota is 6-0 SU and 4-2 ATS this season when tipping off as home chalk against a team off a cover of 10 points or more. The sample size is low, but the margins are high. Going off as 4.2-points favorites on average, Minnesota is covering the spread by a whopping 10.5 points per game in this situation. Confidence killing is its specialty in this spot. The Heat are coming off two huge market blowouts, covering the spread by 22 and 14 points in their home wins against the Hawks and Sixers. Miami is 3-7 SU and 3-6-1 ATS away from home after beating the number on NBA picks. Don't expect the mojo to carry over into Minnesota. T-Wolves bite into the streak.
The Grizzlies are quietly clawing their way into the ranks of Western elite. They sit two games behing the Utah Jazz for fourth place in the playoff standings. What's notable is Memphis is beating its peers. As of Sunday, the Grizzlies' 22-11 record against Western Conference foes is fourth best in the NBA outside of the Spurs, Warriors, and Rockets -- the top three teams in the West. In the betting world, the Grizz are 20-12-1 ATS; tops in wins by a market-high 4.2 points. A Monday night matchup with the Spurs is meaningful. A win makes a statement they're serious contenders. It may be tougher than the 2.5-point spread suggests.
Since 2011, the Spurs are 24-4 SU and 20-8 ATS against the Grizzlies. The series hit rock bottom for Memphis in last year's playoffs. San Antonio swept the injury-riddled squad 4-0 and by 22 points per game. Missing were rim-enforcer Marc Gasol and court leader Mike Conley, both healthy and leading the team up the standings in 2016-17. Will their presence make a difference this time around? Debatable.
Conley and Gasol, the centerpieces of the Grizz for years, have been on the court in 21 of the last 29 matchups versus San Antonio. The team is 4-17 SU and 5-16 ATS overall. Even at the formidable FedExForum, Memphis is 3-7 SU and 2-8 ATS with the duo featuring, losing to the spread by 8.1 points. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich knows how to shu tdown Memphis' best and will look to get the better of the Conley and Gasol on Monday night.