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Bulls Over Nets and Monday’s NBA Upset Picks

| February 26, 2018 12:00 am PDT

I’ve been away from the NBA upset picks scene for quite some time, but the fun switch gets turned back on with a crazy 10-game betting slate arriving on Monday.

There are a lot of interesting underdog picks worth taking a look at to start the new week, while there are also certainly a long list of NBA underdogs that feel like a waste of time.

Three that right away feel like a trap are Memphis (+700) over Boston, Dallas (+140) over Indiana and Phoenix (+270) over New Orleans. The Grizz and Suns are both on the road, while Phoenix specifically seems to be in full-blown tank mode with losses in each of their last nine contests (even if they say they’re not tanking).

The Mavs have publicly admitted they’re done trying. Things haven’t been a whole lot better for them, as Dallas has lost four in a row and eight of their last 10.

All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from Bovada at 1:17 pm CT on 2/26/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

All of these games do offer up some upside, but they’re situations I’d steer clear from. Instead of taking those dives, consider the following NBA upset picks on Monday’s loaded 10-game schedule:

Atlanta Hawks over Los Angeles Lakers

The upside is minimal, but here you get a home team as the underdog and they’re facing another bad team. Atlanta is typically very difficult to back, but the Hawks have nabbed 13 of their 18 season wins at home.

That has me looking at the Hawks anytime they’re on their home floor and facing a team they could theoretically take down. Los Angeles has actually been solid lately (won two in a row and six of 10), but they’re still a shaky team to confide in and are quite bad (10-20) on the road.

L.A. did get an easy win in the first meeting this year (132-113), but things can change on the road and useful rotational players like Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson are no longer in town.

The Lakers have proven they’re the better team, but playing at home is a big deal in the NBA and sometimes bad teams need to get wins when they can.

I wish there was a little more value here, but the Hawks at +115 isn’t terrible.

Chicago Bulls vs Brooklyn Nets

This is an even better game to target for elite betting value, as NBA fans get a game between two bad teams who really don’t want to win at this point in the season.

Vegas has it right by favoring the Nets at home (where they’ve locked in 11 of their 19 season wins), but Chicago may very well be the more talented squad.

Neither of these teams is in a good place at the moment (1-9 and 2-8 over their last 10 games, respectively), but the team looking worse off is the Nets (lost eight in a row).

The two sides have surprisingly not faced off yet this year, so this will be the start of their season series and could literally go either way.

The fact that this game is such a toss-up makes the Bulls an interesting play, but their superior offensive talent also allows for a shootout to tip their way.

Orlando Magic over Oklahoma City Thunder

There are other games to look at, but I don’t really trust the Knicks (+700) to take down the Warriors and this game in OKC is probably the one that stands out the most, regardless.

I don’t know what it is about this matchup, but Orlando has routinely been a problem for the Thunder. Perhaps it is a mixture of Orlando’s terrible defense and OKC’s tendency to play down to their level of competition.

Whatever the case, these teams have produced some insane games in recent history, with the two working toward two overtime thrillers in their last five meetings. Orlando also won the contest at the Amway Center earlier this year and has secured wins in two of the last three meetings.

Opportunity is everything – even for a bad team like the Magic – as they’ve fought their way to a win or a loss within three points in four of the last five meetings.

The only real issue is the fact that the Magic tend to be putrid on the road. Not only did Orlando ship off point guard Elfrid Payton in a trade recently, but they also own a pathetic 7-24 road record.

That is certainly disgusting, but Orlando does have a roster that is nearing full strength.

Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon are both back in the lineup and Gordon specifically went absolutely ballistic (40 points and 15 rebounds!) the last time he took on the Thunder.

Adding into Orlando’s allure as my favorite upset pick of the day? The fact that the Thunder are just 4-6 over their last 10 contests and never can seem to get their act together. If Oklahoma City again struggles to put Orlando away early, the Magic could hang around and potentially sweep this season series.

Ultimately, there are only a handful of NBA upset picks I’m really interested in tonight. That’s a bit surprising on such a big slate, but you really need to pay attention to team health and drive at this time of year.

Orlando, Atlanta and Chicago are all bad teams, but they also could be in position to return very nice value tonight. Hopefully at least one of these NBA underdogs picks can deliver and you can exit Monday in the green.

Regardless, good luck with all of your NBA betting tonight!

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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