Top Game to Bet: Suns (-6.5) at Wizards
The Phoenix Suns have stayed hot throughout the start of the 2020-21 season, picking up right where they left off in the 2020 postseason bubble. The Suns have covered the spread in 17 of their last 21 games dating back to last season and are 7-3 SU to open the season. The Wizards haven't been as fortunate even with Russell Westbrook's addition; Washington is 2-8 ATS and 2-8 SU on the season.
These two teams met twice last season, with both teams splitting the series 1-1. In those meetings, the Wizards won 140-132 (Nov. 27) and the Suns won the second game in the bubble, 125-112 (July 6). Points came easily for both squads and Washington has had their defensive struggles continue this season. The Wizards are allowing a league-worst 122.7 points per game through 10 contests.
The Suns rank second-best with 104.6 points per game allowed but have given up 110 or more points for a 114.0 average (20th) in their last four games. Phoenix opened the season with six-straight games holding opponents under 110, making the Over a quality look.
Washington will be without Russell Westbrook tonight, so we focus on what the Wizards are like without him. In the two games where Bradley Beal played, and Westbrook did not, Washington went 1-1 with a win over Minnesota (130-109) and a loss to Orlando (120-113), both going over the 230 total. The Wizards played their last game without both players and lost to the Heat in a shootout 128-124 on Sunday.
The Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings between the two, and for the Wizards, the Over has cashed in five of the last six games. The Suns will be playing their third game in four days, the third time they’ve done so to start the season. The Suns won the first, a 111-86 win over the Pelicans, and lost the second, 112-107 to the Clippers. If their defense isn’t up to par, this Wizards offense with Beal in action can take advantage. Washington leads the league in pace (108.8) while Phoenix is last (98.3). Three of the Suns’ last four opponents have ranked bottom-10 in pace and they’ve all had success scoring on Phoenix. The three teams that ranked top 10 all scored 100, 106 and 123 on the Suns and the Wizards rank second with 119.7 points per game scoring 110 or more in seven-of-10 games.
Players to Watch
In his last two meetings against Phoenix, Beal scored 29 and 31 points. In Beal's last two games, versus Boston and Philadelphia, he scored 41 and 60 points, both with Westbrook in the lineup. Beal has had two days of rest since playing Saturday, missing the Sunday matchup with Miami. His Over/Under is 33.5 points for the night, something he has done in his last two games only this season. In 2020-21, Beal averaged 28.3 PPG on two days of rest and 30.6 on three days, so he will certainly flirt with 33.5 tonight.
On the other hand, Devin Booker has scored 22 or more in six-straight games and 20 or more in nine-of-10 this season, so we can expect fireworks between him and Beal. His Over/Under is 25.5, something he's done once this season, but four-straight versus Washington. Oddsmakers are betting on a season-high for Booker, and that's a solid bet versus the Wizards.
Washington struggles versus every position outside of the power forward. The Wizards rank in the bottom-10 in points per game versus the other four positions, all the strongest spots for the Suns, with Jae Crowder being the weak-link offensively at power forward. Crowder’s total is 10.5 points tonight, which he’s done in four-of-10 games this season.
Deandre Ayton has four games of 11 or more rebounds in his last five, and he has a very favorable matchup versus Robin Lopez and Rui Hachiumura. The Wizards are third-worst in points per game to centers (24.93) and second-worst in rebounder per game (17.87). Ayton recorded 24 points and 12 rebounds in the only meeting last season and 14 points and 10 rebounds in his rookie season for a 19.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game average versus them.
Trends to Note
The Suns are 12-2 ATS in the last 14 meetings in Washington.
The Suns are 17-4 ATS in their last 21 games overall.
The Wizards are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games.
The Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
The Over is 5-1 in Wizards last six overall.
The Over is 4-0 in Suns last four vs. a team with a losing SU record.
Bet locked in: Suns-Wizards Over 230 (1u)
Top Team to Fade: The Toronto Raptors
Toronto is 7-15 ATS in the last 22 meetings with the Blazers and the Raptors do not look like the same squad from the past two seasons. Toronto has only won two games, beating New York and Sacramento, two underwhelming wins. Off a losing effort to Golden State last night, Toronto is an easy fade versus Portland, who has had a day off after extending their winning streak to two games with victories over Minnesota and Sacramento.
The Trail Blazers are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games versus a team with a losing road record, and the Raptors are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games overall. The Raptors are also 1-4 ATS in their last five games as an underdog and on the road in general.
If you can get the Blazers ML live, that would be the best bet in this game. The spread at -5, which is too many for Portland but it’s too hard to trust Toronto right now. Taking the Blazers ML at -195 to finish out a parlay is tempting tonight as Portland is 1-3 ATS at home and 2-2 SU on the season, pushing me away from the spread.
Monday Night Betting Notes:
Knicks at Hornets: Over/Under 211.5
The Under has been hot for Charlotte and New York this season. The Hornets have seen the Under go 7-2 in their last nine games. The Knicks are a scorching hot 7-0 to the Under in their last seven overall. They have the lowest total of the night at 211.5.
76ers at Hawks: COVID concerns
The Philadelphia 76ers expect Joel Embiid back and only have eight players on their roster versus the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta opened as -6.5-point favorites, but are 1-3 at home this season, losing three straight. The 76ers were one of the worst road teams a season ago, going 12-26, and have opened the season 2-2 away from Philly.
Pacers at Kings: Over/Under 227.5
The Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings. Indiana has scored 114 or more in three-straight while Sacramento has surrendered 124 or more in three-straight. The total is set at 227.5 for tonight.
Pelicans at Mavericks: Return of Porzingis?
Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson meet for the second time in their young careers. The first meeting went to OT, with Dallas winning 127-123 behind Doncic's 30-17-10 triple-double while Williamson posted 21 points, six rebounds and three assists. Kristaps Porzingis posted a game-high 34 points and he may make his 2021 debut tonight. If he does and there is no minute restriction, there could be plenty of points in this matchup. The total is set at lowly 215.0 tonight.