Handicapping the NBA: Monday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Monday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Alex Barutha

Trail Blazers to win (+106) at DEN – FanDuel (1:24 PM CT)

Portland took care of business in Game 1, as they exposed how little help Nikola Jokic has around him. The presumptive MVP – one of the best passers in the league – was held to just one assist. The Trail Blazers should continue sticking to the strategy of making Jokic score, and I think that's a recipe for success against Denver in the long run. Portland has an overwhelming number of weapons compared to the Nuggets.

Nick Whalen

Milwaukee Bucks -4.5 (-114) vs. MIA – DraftKings (11:24 AM CT)

The Bucks weathered the storm in Game 1 and came through with a victory that changed the entire tone of the series. Had they not won that game, it's easy to see how the series could've slipped away, much like last season. I'm not fully convinced the Bucks know the best way to attack Miami's defense, but Milwaukee isn't going to be outscored 60 to 15 from beyond the arc again. Of course, Jimmy Butler probably isn't going 4-of-22 from the field tonight eighter, but a better effort from Butler will be offset by better shooting from the Bucks and a more efficient night for Giannis Antetokounmpo

Jrue Holiday OVER 1.5 made three-pointers (-115) vs. MIA – DraftKings

Virtually the entire Bucks roster was cold from three on Saturday, with Holiday's 0-of-5 showing standing out as the worst of all. Holiday isn't a great three-point shooter, but he's typically much more dependable, so I like his chance to bounce back and hit at least two. Over his final eight regular-season games, Holiday averaged 2.5 makes on 6.0 attempts per game (41.7% 3Pt). I also expect the Bucks to up their overall volume from beyond the arc after taking only 31 threes in Game 1 – well below their regular-season average (37.1). 

Nikola Jokic UNDER 7.5 assists (-148) vs. POR – DraftKings

Denver didn't have a spectacular shooting night in Game 1, but Jokic tallying just one assist in 35 minutes is still an alarming number. In four matchups against the Blazers this season, Jokic has only 13 total assists, with Portland going all in on allowing the big man to score but not facilitate. The Nuggets should be better prepared to counter that strategy tonight, but I like Portland's chances to limit Denver's role players again.

Jacob Lebowitz

CJ McCollum OVER 2.5 made threes (-146) at DENFanDuel (12:05 PM CT)

Coming off a mediocre Game 1 performance against Denver, I expect McCollum to have a much bigger role offensively in Game 2. Teammates Damian Lillard and Carmelo Anthony stole a lot of the spotlight in the first game, and Denver will likely focus more on shutting down Lillard and Anthony. McCollum has played well in his two most recent matchups versus the Nuggets, making a trio of three-pointers in Game 1 and five three-pointers in their regular-season finale. I'm expecting another high-scoring contest in Game 2, and you can bet that McCollum will play a bigger offensive role for the Trail Blazers. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's NBA Assistant Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, DraftKings Live and other platforms. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.
Jacob Lebowitz
Jacob writes about fantasy sports and sports betting for RotoWire. He's always doing something sports-related whether that's playing NBA 2K, watching a football game or playing a game of pickup basketball.
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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