Happy NBA Monday! In this article, I’ll be sharing my picks against the spread for the 5 games today. Throughout this season, I’ll be tracking the picks I share here and post my record at the end of each article. Now, let’s get into today’s picks!
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Brooklyn Nets (-4)
My initial thought after seeing this point spread was to take the Nets. Even after a surprising upset loss to the Hornets yesterday, this Nets team should still probably be 8-10 point favorites over the Grizzlies. Then I found out Kevin Durant isn’t playing, which obviously changes everything. This news, coupled with the Nets playing the second half of a back-to-back, has me siding with Memphis here. Although the Grizzlies have started the season with two losses, Ja Morant has been playing like a superstar, averaging 36 points over the first two games. I believe he will play well enough to keep this a one-possession game at the end and potentially help the Grizzlies pull out their first victory of the season.
Pick: Memphis +4
Detroit Pistons vs. Atlanta Hawks (-10)
The Hawks have had a great start to the season; they’ve won their first two games, and their star Trae Young has been spectacular, averaging 36.5 points per game, along with 8 assists. On the other hand, the Pistons don’t look too inspiring after losing a crushing double-overtime game to the Cavaliers. While I think the Hawks while win the game outright, I believe the spread is a little inflated in their direction. I don’t think they’ll be able to blow out the Pistons in this spot, so I’ll side with Detroit in this one.
Pick: Pistons +10
Utah Jazz (-8.5) vs. OKC Thunder
After suffering a surprising home upset to the Timberwolves, the Jazz look to bounce back on the road against the Thunder. It’s interesting to point out that the spread in that game was very similar to the one tonight. The Thunder come into this game undefeated (1-0) after a two-point victory over the Hornets. While the Jazz are the superior team here, they lack consistency from game to game. They had an impressive blowout win in their opening game against Portland, but followed it up with a dud against Minnesota. Although the Thunder roster doesn’t have the star power and name-brand recognition as the Jazz, I expect them to keep this one close and cover the spread.
Pick: Thunder +8.5
Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets (-6.5)
Both teams come into this game winless, and the Rockets come into this game shorthanded again. Even without John Wall and Demarcus Cousins, James Harden is good enough to will this team to victory. While the Rockets may not win this game outright, 6.5 points seems like a bargain considering the Nuggets’ rough start to the season. They followed a close overtime loss at home to the Kings with a blowout loss to the Clippers. I do think the Nuggets will bounce back here, but I expect the Rockets to keep it close.
Pick: Rockets +6.5
Portland Trailblazers vs. LA Lakers (-4)
Even without Anthony Davis, the Lakers made light work of the Timberwolves last night in a 127-91 rout. Even though this is the second half of a back-to-back for the Lakers, that doesn’t worry me too much as Kyle Kuzma was the only one who played over 26 minutes. The Trailblazers come into this game after an overtime victory over the short-handed Rockets. My initial inclination was to pick the Lakers here, but at the time of my writing this, LeBron is currently a game-time decision while dealing with an ankle injury. I think the Lakers will play it safe and rest LeBron, so I’ll take the Trailblazers with the points.
Pick: Trailblazers +4
Thanks for reading, and good luck tonight! Hopefully it’ll be a great night for Underdogs!