Monday Picks: Celtics to Put Pacers in Their Place

Troy Haliburton

Monday, December 18, 2017 6:01 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 6:01 PM UTC

Monday presents an NBA schedule full of entertaining matchups, as there are 10 games being played around the Association. Read on as we find the betting value and dish out a few winners that will put cash in your pocket if you act on it.

Celtics at Pacers

Boston got back on track to it winning ways when it beat the lowly Grizzlies on Saturday night. The Celtics have established themselves as the best team in the East so far this season, and they are doing it primarily on the defensive end. Boston has the No. 1 scoring defense and is only giving up 98.1 points per game.

The Pacers are a surprisingly competitive team this season and a lot of the credit has to go to the improved play from Victor Oladipo. The former Indiana Hoosier is having a career year, averaging 22 points per game, which is up from the 15 ppg he averaged last season with Oklahoma City. Oladipo came to the Pacers in a trade for Paul George, in which the consensus was that the Pacers did not get proper value back for the former All-Star. Also in that trade was Domantas Sabonis, who is averaging 12 ppg after only averaging 5 last season. The Pacers are much improved, but the Celtics may be too talented for them to handle.

Free NBA Pick: Celtics -2Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Nuggets at Thunder

Carmelo Anthony will be making his second revenge game of the season when he and the Thunder take on another one of his former teams, the Nuggets. Oklahoma City has struggled to find its bearings and integrate all of the new parts around Russell Westbrook. Paul George, Russ and Melo all are averaging at least 17 points per game, but the the Thunder are still struggling to win games against good competition. OKC is coming into tonight with an 3-12 record against Western Conference teams and that does not bode well for a team with championship aspirations.

The Nuggets are finding themselves after faltering at the beginning of the season and find themselves directly in the mix with the other Western Conference playoff hopefuls. If Denver wants to have success this season, it will need high production from Nikola Jokic, who made his return to game action on Friday.

Free NBA Pick: Thunder -4.5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Warriors at Lakers

The Warriors will be coming into the Staples Center shorthanded once again in terms of their lineup because Steph Curry and Draymond Green will both be out. In a normal circumstance, that would be the lead story, but on a day where the great Kobe Bryant is set to have both of his jersey numbers retired, the Warriors will have to take a backseat in the conversation surrounding this game.

The Lakers are coming into their own on the season as Lonzo Ball continues to develop his game. Ball is still not shooting the ball well, but scoring is just one aspect of the game of basketball. Lonzo excels at pretty much every other aspect of the game, besides outside shooting. The rookie is averaging only nine points per game but is bringing in 7.1 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. Look for Lonzo to give Shaun Livingston some problems in the absence of Curry and to ride the energy from Kobe’s jersey retirement to a backdoor cover.

Free NBA Pick: Lakers +6Best Line Offered: Intertops

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