NBA Picks: Monday Basketball Picks & Predictions

Jordan Sharp

Monday, December 16, 2013 12:36 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 12:36 PM GMT

Another week is gone in the NBA, and we are past the quarter mark of the NBA regular season. We now have some trends and sample sizes to go with, making handicapping the NBA a little bit easier for us.

Let’s see if we can turn some of this knowledge into a couple of winning picks in tonight’s NBA Odds.

Wolves vs. Celtics 

Minnesota played last night in Memphis, and they were able to escape with a win against the banged up Grizzlies. Tonight they are a -2 road favorite in Boston, and I really like the value being presented by the Celtics tonight as road dogs. The Wolves are only 2-5 SU on the 2nd night of a back to back this season, and since the beginning of last season, the Wolves are only 11-19 SU playing on no rest. 

Boston’s defense has been amped up this season, and it is the only reason why they are the head of the Atlantic division this season. Boston is the 9th best home defensive team in the NBA, and in their last ten games overall, the Celtics have given up only 92 points per game. The Celtics matchup well with the Wolves, and I see them shutting down a tired Minnesota team tonight. 

Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger are both big and quick enough to play solid defense on Kevin Love tonight, and Avery Bradley will surely match Ricky Rubio. With the Wolves coming into the second night of a back to back, the Celtics should have no problem scoring the ball tonight. The Wolves have been giving up 105 points per game on the road this season, and on the second night of back to backs this season, Minnesota is giving up almost 103 points per game. 

Not only will the Wolves likely be purging points tonight in Boston, their main weapon on offense, the three pointer, will likely be defended well by the Celtics. Boston is giving up a league low in three point field goals this season, and the Wolves are the 12th best three point shooting team so far this season. Even though the Wolves dominated the Celtics in Minnesota earlier in the season, I see a reversal tonight in Boston. 

My Pick: Celtics +2

[gameodds]5/250332/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds] 

Lakers vs. Hawks 

The NBA Odds for tonight’s game in Atlanta favors the Hawks at -5, however I am much more intrigued by the total, which is sitting at 204 ½ as of this morning. While the Hawks have been pretty good this season at playing defense at home, I see them giving up some points in this one. The Lakers play as fast as any team in the NBA, and with no point guard, they have little other option other than playing fast. They can play a half court offense, but Kobe Bryant running the point guard weakens them too much in other areas. 

Speaking of the Lakers, their road defense is anything but good, and while trying to run the Hawks out of the gym, they will be giving up a ton of points. The Lakers are giving up about 107 points per game on the road, and if it weren’t for their good win against the Bobcats a few days ago, that average would be closer to 110. 

In their last five games, the Lakers have given up over 105 points per game, which incudes their game in the 80s against the Cats. The Hawks haven’t been great either, giving up over 103 points per game in their last five games.

These two teams have already played once this season, and it ended in favor of the Lakers, 103-105. I see as similar game tonight, so I will add the 'Over' to my NBA picks. 

My Pick: OVER 204 ½

[gameodds]5/250331/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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