Why the total is too high for Suns vs. Bucks, other best bets for Monday

Hello, and Happy Monday! I hope you enjoyed your weekend. Mine was fine until news of The Super League in soccer threw me for a loop on Sunday, but I’ve promised myself I wasn’t going to write about the league in this newsletter. Mostly because I don’t know when I’d stop complaining about it, and I know you’re here for other news and gambling advice.

That said, if you are interested in learning more about The Super League and all it entails, this is as good a place to start as any. If you want to know my thoughts, this Twitter thread is probably the most concise I can be about it without getting too lost in the weeds.

Or you can just skip all of it and read these stories instead. This is your life, my friend. You get to make your own decisions. There’s no cabal of billionaires here limiting your access! 

Now, if there were a Super League of picks, the ones you’re about to read would definitely be invited.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

Suns at Bucks, 8 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass
The Pick: Under 233 (-110)
: First of all, it’s somewhat amusing that two of the best teams in the NBA this season are playing tonight, and their game isn’t one of the two nationally televised games. Instead, that honor goes to the Sixers and a Warriors team with more losses than wins. I mean, that’s like putting Arsenal and Tottenham in a Super League.

Anyway, I digress. Just because this game isn’t on national television doesn’t mean it isn’t a big game, nor does it mean we shouldn’t be betting on it. While both of these teams rank in the top 10 in the league in offensive efficiency, they’re both rated in the top 10 in defensive efficiency as well. That’s one reason I think this total is a little too high. The other is the pace of play.

Milwaukee ranks 5th in the NBA in possessions per game at 105, but Phoenix moves much more slowly. The Suns rank 25th at 101.2 possessions per game, and I think the Suns will look to slow things down as much as possible. That tends to be their approach on the road as it is (100.5 possessions per game on the road, 101.7 at home), and it’s the best way for them to pick up a win against this Bucks team.

Key Trend: The under is 7-2 following Milwaukee’s last nine losses.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model has a strong lean on the total in this game too, but it has an A-graded play for one side of the spread.

💰 The Picks


Giants at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Phillies (+101) — 
The San Francisco Giants are off to a hot start and are now road favorites, and I can’t help but believe this is all just a slight overreaction! Sure, the Giants are 9-6, but their run differential on the season is +3. Five of their nine wins have come by a run, and only three have come by three runs or more. Also, while Kevin Gausman’s improvement since the start of the 2020 season hasn’t been a mirage, there are some reasons to believe his start to 2021 is misleading. Hitters have posted a wOBA of .226 against him, but their expected wOBA (which is based on how hard balls have been hit, as well as launch angles) is .333. Not a terrible number, but a number that shows Gausman’s gotten a little lucky.

Should that luck start to even out a bit against a Phillies offense I believe to be better than early results indicate, and it could be a big day for the home team.

Key Trend: The Phillies are 20-7 in their last 27 home games.

Rays at Royals, 8:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Under 7.5 (-115) — 
The weather in Kansas City has been beneficial to us early in the season, as it has not been conducive to the long ball. Tonight’s forecast looks promising (to us) too, as temperatures are expected to be in the upper 40s, with winds howling in from left center. That should make it difficult for hitters on both teams.

Adding to my confidence is that, while the Rays have a wOBA of .339 against lefties like Royals starter Danny Duffy, their hard-hit rate of 21.6% against lefties ranks 28th in MLB. As for the Royals offense, their numbers against lefties are strong overall, but their home run rate of 2.63% ranks 24th in baseball. It’ll probably be close, but this one stays under far more often than it goes over.

Key Trend: The under is 5-1 in Kansas City’s last six home games.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model returned over $1,400 in 2019, and on Monday it has identified a four-leg parlay that would pay well over 17-1.

💸 The DFS Rundown

I cannot stress enough how important it is to wait as long as possible to lock in your lineups. Things change late.

Building Blocks

PG: Ben Simmons, 76ers
SG: Bradley Beal, Wizards
SF: Jimmy Butler, Heat
PF: Domantas Sabonis, Pacers
C: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Value Plays

PG: Coby White, Bulls
SG: Tyler Herro, Heat
SF: Bojan Bogdanovic, Jazz
PF: Xavier Tillman, Grizzlies
C: Tristan Thompson, Celtics

Full lineup advice

Get winning NBA DFS picks from SportsLine pros Mike McClure and Jacob Gibbs. McClure has won almost $2 million in daily Fantasy, while Gibbs crushed the NBA last season, cashing around 65 percent of the time in cash games and nearly 45 percent of the time in tournaments. See their DraftKings advice and FanDuel lineups here.

 🏀 NBA Player Props

Getty Images
  • John Wall Over 2.5 rebounds (-150)
  • Bradley Beal Over 4.5 rebounds (+110)
  • Aaron Gordon Over 2.5 assists (-170)
  • Andre Drummond Over 1.5 assists (-145)

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