NBA Betting: 3 Underdog Picks to Target on Monday, November 13th

By Noah Davis
Published on November 13, 2017
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Monday kicks off a new week of NBA betting with a fun 9-game slate. That opens the door to loads of betting value that most bettors won’t be able to turn down.

And why should they? NBA upsets happen almost every single night, and you could have taken advantage of a huge one last Friday when the Nets toppled the Blazers in Portland.

I have to admit that I did not see that one coming, but if you look at all of the logic and value in front of you, normally you can tell if there is at least a chance of a big upset landing.

On this huge slate, there are a slew of routes to take, but there are three games, in particular, that stand out:

Utah Jazz (+145) Over Minnesota Timberwolves (-165)

The first thing I look for in any given NBA slate is which teams are at home and are still being bet against by Vegas. Then I make sure they’re not the Suns or Hawks, and ponder whether a win is viable.

The Jazz are far better than most teams that are listed as home underdogs, so I think you absolutely need to consider them tonight.

They are solid underdogs for two big reasons, though. First, the Timberwolves have proven to be a relatively tough out through a nice 7-5 start, and big man Rudy Gobert is also sidelined for 4-6 weeks with a knee injury:

That’s bad news, to be sure. Gobert’s absence in the middle of the paint should drastically impact Utah’s defense, which is 3rd in the league when he’s healthy.

Derrick Favors should slide to the five spot and spend much of his time there, while Utah could look to combat this massive injury by going small in the interim. That could pick up their pace and perhaps even improve their offensive efficiency (currently 27th).

The big problem Vegas is pointing out is that the Jazz will surely be hurting on the defensive end. That may be true, but Favors is a fine defender and should be able to hold his own against Karl-Anthony Towns in this game.

The Jazz also have a solid on-ball defender in Ricky Rubio, who will absolutely want to dish out some revenge against his former team.

I don’t even think the point here is to sell the Jazz, though. It’s more about not buying Minnesota, who have shown themselves to be a weak defensive team (27th in the NBA), and at 3-4, they’re a less-than-ideal team to trust on the road.

Ultimately, if I can get the Jazz at home at +145, I need to think of more reasoning than just Gobert being out to keep me off of them.

New York Knicks (+185) Over Cleveland Cavaliers (-225)

If you’re interested in the Jazz at home with a star down for the count, you should take a long look at the Knicks (+185 at Bovada), too.

Kristaps Porzingis churned out a solid effort when the Knicks beat the Cavaliers earlier this year, and now New York gets LeBron James and co. at the Madison Square Garden.

There is obvious interest in the Cavs, who Vegas loves to the tune of -225 or greater, depending on where you lay bets. That’s too fat of a line for me when it comes to the 6-7 Cavs, who have done nothing to earn my trust yet this season.

Not only is Cleveland awful defensively (dead last in defensive efficiency), but they’re just as mediocre on the road (3-3) as they are at home.

New York might not stick as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference all year long, but they’ve looked good with Zinger running the show and more importantly have been a staggering 6-2 at MSG this year.

LeBron James added fuel to the fire when he suggested the Knicks should have drafted Dennis Smith Jr. instead of Frank Ntilikina. That caught the ire of Porzingis, who baked his new rookie recently.

The Knicks are up 1-0 over the Cavs, are at home, have been playing better, and now have some emotion behind this one. What’s not to love with them at home with a cool +185 line?

Orlando Magic (+650) Over Golden State Warriors (-1100)

Last, but certainly not least, is an interesting battle at the Oracle Arena between the visiting Magic and the defending champion Warriors.

Normally I wouldn’t touch this game with a thousand-foot pole (Vegas likes the Dubs by -13.5), but there is a wrinkle to consider. That’s none other than star point guard Stephen Curry (quad) potentially sitting this one out:

First off, I highly doubt Curry sits this game out. He loves to play at home, and he was able to finish his game despite the ailment over the weekend.

It’s the mere possibility that he could miss this game, though, that makes the Magic a tantalizing road dog at +650. This is a hefty line and normally not one to be trifled with, but the Warriors wouldn’t be quite the same without Curry running the show.

It’s also worth mentioning that this rendition of the Magic isn’t half bad. Orlando has gotten off to an impressive 8-5 start and has actually displayed one of the more dynamic offenses in the NBA in the early going.

The Magic can kill other teams from all over the court, put up over 110 points per game, and currently rank 8th in terms of offensive efficiency. That probably doesn’t show up against the Dubs on the road, but considering Golden State’s defense on the year hasn’t quite been elite, Orlando shouldn’t be completely glanced over.

If Curry plays, I don’t love the Magic in this spot.

Golden State has won six in a row, rarely lose at home, and are flat-out destroying their opponents right now. However, if Curry is going to sit, the Magic at +650 are going to be very tough to ignore.

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