Top Game to Bet: Wizards at Bulls (-7)
In the third meeting between Chicago and Washington, there are a ton of player props available with favorable matchups pending the injury report.
In the earlier meetings, Chicago had a few key players have significant games versus Washington, who are questionable tonight. Wendell Carter Jr. (Thigh) and Otto Porter Jr. (back) played in both matchups and Lauri Markkanen (shoulder) in one. The three Bulls are listed as day-to-day, and all impact the spread and game total pending their availability.
For the Wizards, the starting lineup has yet to be announced, but Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook are two players to keep an eye on. Washington is playing a back-to-back after losing to Charlotte on Sunday. For Chicago, they last played Saturday, giving them a day off. Zach LaVine Over 29.5 Points prop, Patrick Williams Over 21.5 Points, Rebounds and Assists, plus Thaddeus Young's Rebound and Assist Props appear favorable versus Washington's defense on short notice.
Thomas Bryant played in both matchups versus Chicago, scoring 28 points in the 133-130 loss and 13 in the game prior. He is out for the season (knee) and since his injury on Jan. 9, the Wizards allow the second-most points per game (119.4).
Washington has struggled to score the past three games, with 95, 97 and 103 points. They matched up with two defensive quads in those three games (Miami, New York). In two meetings with the Bulls this season, the Wizards scored 107 and 130 points -- both losses. A three-peat is on the mind for Chicago, while Washington is in desperate need of a win.
The spread implies a close game more than not, and I have to agree, so I look at the game total. The Over cashed in the second meeting (263) after the first game combined for 222 points. If the Bulls are without Carter Jr. and Porter Jr., the Over is very appealing for this matchup. Markkanen is our for at least two weeks, so that would leave Chicago playing small-ball with Patrick Williams and Thaddeus Young as the forwards and Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio as the centers.
Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal should find themselves at the rim as the Bulls do not defend the paint very well. Chicago ranks 19th in the league with 47.1 points in the paint since the teams played and 23rd with 114.2 points per game allowed.
Both teams rank top three in the league for pace factor and top four in adjusted pace. Washington leads the league in pace factor (106.1) and Chicago third (104.9). The Wizards rank 29th in defensive efficiency (114.0) and the Bulls' 21st (110.4) for the season.
The Bulls have played seven games against five teams that rank 20th or worse in defensive efficiency. Dallas (226), Portland (219), Orlando (210, 242), Sacramento (252) and Washington (222, 263). Only three-of-seven games went over the 236 total here, but this game provides another chance at an Over between the two.
The Wizards have played nine games against six opponents ranked 20th or worse in defensive efficiency. Brooklyn (245, 295), Chicago (222, 263), Minnesota (239), New Orleans (230), Orlando (233, 250) and Portland (254). Five-of-nine games went Over 236 and eight-of-nine games hit 230 or more.
On back-to-backs this season, Washington has averaged a combined game score of 231.4 points per game. In five back-to-backs, Washington has allowed 100, 109, 120, 124, and 128 points (116.2). They have scored 103, 106, 113, 124 and 130 points in that span (115.2). The Wizards are playing their sixth back-to-back and the fourth game in six nights to finish off this road trip.
The Over is 12-4-1 in the last 17 meetings in Chicago. If the Bulls have their three key players out, back the Over as points should come in bunches for both squads. I see both squads scoring at last 115+ points with a chance one team exceeds 125.
Bet Locked In: Over 236 (1u) - playable to 238 - IF WCJ, OPJ are OUT
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Top Team to Fade: Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs and Suns enter in a matchup where the Over/Under is lower than one might expect. In the history between these two, the Cavaliers are 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in Phoenix, while the Under has been profitable at 14-5-1 in the last 20 meetings.
Over the last five games, the Suns allow the NBA's least amount of points per game (103.8). The Cavs are 19th (115.0) in that same span but rank dead-last in the league in scoring with 101.4 points per game. In Cleveland's last five games against a team with a winning record, they have scored 99, 99, 103, 105 and 108 points.
The Suns averaged 103.3 points per game over the last three (27th). They have allowed their last five opponents with a losing overall record to 100.6 points per game and held their last two opponents at home to 91 and 92 points. The Cavs only score 97.2 points per game on the road this season, ranking last in the league, while the Suns permit the second-fewest points per game at home (104.3).
Phoenix's Dario Saric (ankle) and Jae Crowder (foot) are listed as day-to-day for this matchup, while Cleveland's Larry Nance Jr. is out for at least a month. All three of those players impact this game lightly, but regardless if Crowder or Saric suits up, I still like the Under in this matchup.
Bet Locked In: Under 215.5 (1.5u)
Monday Betting Notes:
Lakers at Thunder: Thunder
The Lakers announced Anthony Davis (Achilles) is doubtful to play and for the Thunder, Isaiah Roby and Theo Maledon due to health and safety protocols, while Mike Muscala is in concussion protocol for Monday. LeBron James is listed as probable, and if he suits up, he, Dennis Schroder, and Montrezl Harrell are probably safe looks for player props.
In this matchup, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder face off for the second time since Schroder left the Thunder. Schroder recorded 14 points, five rebounds and five assists in the first meeting. Gilgeous-Alexander posted 17 points, two rebounds and one assist in the 128-99 loss. In three games without Davis, Schroder has posted 17, 19 and 23 points, rebounds and assists. The Thunder are top 10 worst in rebounds and assists to point guards, so target Schorder's all-around game.
Dennis Schroder Over 7.5 Rebounds and Assists on FanDuel looks appealing if Davis is out or his Over 3.5 Assist total to focus on one area. Schroder averages 4.0 assists and 3.3 assists when Davis is out, dishing out four assists in all three games. Schroder has also recorded four or more assists in four of his last five games on the season. If you can get this below -130 odds, grab them, but once it moves to -140 or more or Over 4.5 Assists, I would not play it.
Bet Locked In: Dennis Schroder Over 3.5 Assists (1u)
Rockets at Hornets: Over/Under 224
The Hornets earned a much-needed win yesterday, and the Rockets have been dealing with injuries as of late. Christian Wood is out, and he was one of the leaders for this Rockets team. Houston has fared well in Charlotte, going 4-1-2 ATS in the last seven meetings, while the Under has been most profitable at 8-2 in the last 10 visits to North Carolina.
LaMelo Ball is averaging 22.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists in his last four games. He has played 31 or more minutes in five straight, and if you are looking for player props, Ball is a fun prop to play tonight at home.
Bucks at Nuggets: Over/Under 233
The Bucks have won four straight games, while the Nuggets have lost three of the last four. Historically, Milwaukee is 6-14-1 ATS in the last 21 trips to Denver, so this could be a trap game versus a Nikola Jokic-led Nuggets team. The Nuggets have scored 110.6 points per game over their last five games and have won three of their last four home games.
The Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Denver, and the Nuggets are allowing 117.0 points per game in their last five (23rd). Milwaukee has scored 125.0 points per game over the previous five games, the second-most in the league. The Over is once again a good look between the two.