Underdogs Looking Good for Monday's NBA Selections

Bucks Pacers

Troy Haliburton

Monday, January 8, 2018 5:31 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 5:31 PM UTC

Three matchups reveal interesting statistics to help determine where your betting money should go for your NBA picks Monday night.

Monday NBA: Bucks vs. Pacers

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Free NBA Pick: Bucks +1.5Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

Milwaukee is coming off a big win Saturday in which Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, as the Bucks outrebounded the Wizards 45-34 despite being the worst rebounding team in the NBA. The Bucks have struggled to rebound in part because they traded their best center, Greg Monroe, in order to acquire their point guard of the future, Eric Bledsoe. Replacing the majority of Monroe’s minutes down low is the slight-of-frame John Henson, who is consistently pushed around in the paint. This size disparity should be a huge advantage for the Pacers, who have Myles Turner at center.

The Pacers had lost five games in a row before their 125-86 rout of the Bulls on Saturday. Victor Oladipo returned to action in that game and scored 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. Indiana has turned themselves into one of the better teams in a rising Eastern Conference, and the catalyst has been Oladipo. The Indiana product has transformed his body and game, and suddenly is entrenched as an NBA All-Star.

Milwaukee is a competent road team and boasts a record of 10-7-1 ATS on the road. Look for them to cover the 1.5-point spread listed on the odds boards and pull an upset in Indiana.

Monday NBA: Raptors vs. Nets

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Free NBA Pick: Nets +7Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

Toronto has established itself as one of the best teams in the NBA, and they have done it by revamping their whole style of play. In years past the Raptors were known for their isolation sets that mostly resulted in long two-point shots, but now they have emerged as one of the NBA's better three-point shooting teams. The Raptors take 32.1 three-pointers a game, ranking fourth in the league and up considerably from the 24.3 they attempted last season.

Brooklyn is also much improved. They already have won 15 games before the halfway mark after only winning 20 games all of last season. 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 20.61, stemming from 11 points per game, 5.6 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. 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.

The Raptors will probably win this game, but for my NBA picks I think the 7-point spread is too much for a good Nets team at home.

Monday NBA: Rockets vs. Bulls

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Free NBA Pick: Bulls +7Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

The Rockets are attempting to find their groove with MVP candidate James Harden sidelined with a hamstring injury. Houston cannot score at the same rate with Harden out, which is no surprise given how much of the team offense he accounts for. Houston will need to get a bigger offensive output from Chris Paul in Harden’s absence.

Paul is used to directing the show and looking to get others involved, but now he needs to make finding his own shot a priority. He is averaging 17 points per game, his lowest output since 2012-13.

The Bulls are coming back to earth a bit after their seven-game win streak in December, and a lot of that probably has to do with the mood of Nikola Mirotic. There was no coincidence that the Bulls pulled off their winning streak as soon as Mirotic returned to the lineup after missing extensive time due to an orbital bone fracture. It is also not a coincidence that the team has been struggling amid reports that Mirotic has demanded to be traded. The turmoil on the team isn’t enough to ignore the fact that they have been fantastic against the spread this season at 23-16-1.

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