Monday Trifecta of Winners, Including Warriors-Pelicans

Troy Haliburton

Monday, December 4, 2017 5:28 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 5:28 PM UTC

A majority of Monday's games features teams close in competition level, which makes betting the spreads that much more difficult. I have picked through three matchups that should yield financial gains and get your week started off right.

Bucks at Celtics

These teams played twice in the first 10 games of the season and split those two meetings. Obviously, the Bucks were a much different team since they had not acquired Eric Bledsoe yet.

The Bucks are a team that has shown much improvement since the arrival of Bledsoe from the Suns. Bledsoe’s arrival has taken a lot of the pressure off of Giannis Antetokounmpo in terms of ball-handling and running the team. Giannis has been able to focus much more on being the dominant off-ball slasher that he is.

The Celtics have figured out a way to have a balanced attack in absence of Gordon Hayward by featuring more of rookie Jayson Tatum. Tatum is averaging 16. 2 points per game and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 50% from the field and a league-leading 49.3% from 3-point range. The thing that makes Tatum such a versatile threat offensively is his ability to take smaller defenders in the post and showcase his Kobe-like footwork, while also being able to take bigger defenders off the dribble when the Celtics go small and play him at power forward.

Look for Boston to continue their dominant play in recent weeks and for Kyrie Irving to outplay Bledsoe in the point guard battle.

Free NBA Pick: Celtics -4Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Nets at Hawks

The Hawks are coming into this game struggling in nearly every aspect as a team. Atlanta is only scoring 99.6 points per game, which ranks it 25th in the NBA. This team will struggle mightily to score the basketball, as they only have one true playmaking threat, and that is Dennis Schroeder, who leads the team with 22.1 points per game. Everyone else on the Hawks roster needs Schroeder to initiate the offense and get them involved, which is not necessarily a good thing since Schroeder isn’t known as a great passer. This team is a long way removed from the ball-moving, fast-paced squad that won 60 games just three seasons ago.

The Nets have turned into an offensive powerhouse right before our eyes, ranking fifth in the league in scoring (109.8 ppg) and on track to break their own record last year for playing at the fastest pace of 109.7 possessions per game. Conversely, the Nets have the second-worst defense in the NBA in allowing 113 points per game.

One of the reasons the Nets have been a tough out for opponents has been the emergence of Spencer Dinwiddie as an impact player. Dinwiddie is having a career season with a PER (player efficiency rating) of 18.2, stemming from 12 points per game, 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds. The thing that makes Dinwiddie so effective is his combination of above average ball-handling ability and size that allows him to carve through defenses to initiate offense and find open teammates.

Free NBA Pick: Nets +2Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Warriors at Pelicans

Anthony Davis and DaMarcus Cousins are leading the Pelicans as a dynamic big-man duo in the “Pace and Space” era. Davis will be out due to a groin strain suffered Saturday night, so Cousins will have plenty of space to operate on the low block. The Pelicans will try to use their size advantage down low to pound the Warriors on the block.

New Orleans has also fielded a new starting lineup with the return of Rajon Rondo, who is now the starting point guard and moves Jrue Holiday to the shooting guard position. Rondo is a much better facilitator and can properly run the offense.

After a lackluster 4-3 start, the Warriors, the defending NBA champions, have won 14 of their last 17 games. In rolling to a 123-95 win in Miami on Sunday, Golden State held the Heat to 59 points in the last three quarters. The Warriors are getting back to their defensive ways and expect to stifle the Pelicans offense sans Davis.

Free NBA Pick: Warriors -9.5Best Line Offered: JustBet

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