NBA Picks: Monday Basketball Picks & Predictions

Joe Catalano

Monday, October 21, 2013 2:14 PM GMT

The players have hit the hardwood fast and furious for this NBA preseason. Time to “warm-up” with some NBA picks of the day for Monday with just 4 games on today’s slate.

New York Knicks (2-2) at Toronto Raptors (4-1)

Sharp-shooting bigman, Andrea Bargnani makes his return to Toronto in a Knicks uniform as the Knicks face a Raptors team that’s had a fantastic preseason. With a combination of injuries and the addition of center Jonas Valanciunas, Bargnani’s contributions were no longer needed in Canada. He’s a perfect fit for the Knicks. At 7 foot tall, while Tyson Chandler works on the inside, Bargnani is a player that’s capable of knocking down the 3-ball.

In the preseason, Bargnani has definitely returned to his previous form. Coach Woodson is giving him about 25 minutes per game and he’s averaging around 12 points and 3 rebounds per game. A 7 foot player that can shoot from the outside and play defense is priceless.

Stop the Questions!

There have been a lot of questions about Carmelo Anthony’s mindset and where he’ll play in the future. Melo has clearly stated that he wants to be a New York Knick. Even though he’ll never be a Lebron James, Anthony is a productive superstar player that anyone would want on their squad. Look for Anthony to make a statement in this game after all of the talk in the media about his “lack of interest” in him being a member of the Knicks. Toronto has a mere average defense and nobody can stop Anthony when he’s playing well. Anthony is coming off of a 22 point, 5 rebound, and 4 assist performance in 29 minutes in a 98-89 victory over Washington. Toronto will be a test.

In Toronto’s last game, they managed to squeak by a depleted Boston Celtics team as Terrence Ross was the star of the game with a 19 point performance. Jonas  Valanciunas was the only starter to see more than 12 minutes in this game. This can be a concern as the Knicks are a major upgrade where degree of difficulty is concerned. Toronto is led by star Rudy Gay. The transition from Memphis has gone well for Gay, but will he get the “PT” in this game is the question?

Although Toronto has been a great preseason team, I don’t like the distribution of minutes where the starters are concerned. Based on the current NBA odds, sportsbooks believe that this matchup is close to even. That being said, we will take the Knicks at the 'PK' price tonight.

Pick- New York Knicks – pk at Bet 365

[gameodds]5/245927/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Milwaukee Bucks (0-4) at Chicago Bulls (5-0)

Best vs. Worst

It might be a short sampling but these records don’t lie; this is a preview of what you’ll see in the regular season.

D. Rose is Back!

After a 103-98 victory over a tough Indiana Pacers team, the Chicago Bulls and Derrick Rose appear to be the real deal. Rose led the Bulls with 32 points, 9 assists, and 4 rebounds. He’s been the missing ingredient from the Bulls being a 50 win team to a championship contending team. If Rose stay’s healthy, the sky is the limit. He should have an easy time of it against a Milwaukee backcourt that no longer sports Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings.

No Room in Motown

Point guard Brandon Knight took his talents to Milwaukee and will be the key man on a very weak Milwaukee starting lineup. The Bucks played the Memphis Grizzlies tough in a 102-99 loss, but this is a team that sports Caron Butler, John Henson, and O.J. Mayo as starters.

In essence, it’s two players that have been bench players during their careers and an unproven Henson. This team is going to be a bottom feeder all season and it won’t be pretty as they play one of the best team in the league in the Bulls.

Sportsbooks have opened Chicago as a laughable 7.5 point betting favorite in this game simply because this is preseason. If this were the regular season, the Bulls would be easy double-digit favorites. Look for Derrick Rose and the Bulls to destroy this 2nd rate basketball squad.

Pick- Chicago Bulls -7.5 at Bet 365

[gameodds]5/245929/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]