The NBA is officially back, and I will be breaking down every regular season slate moving forward.
Key Injuries to Monitor
- Scottie Barnes (ankle) — OUT
- Chris Boucher (hamstring) — Available
- Dillon Brooks (thigh) — Questionable
- Alex Caruso (hamstring) — Probable
- Kyle Anderson (back) — OUT
Top Scoring Environments
Today’s slate is expected to be relatively low-scoring, but the following three matchups have game totals over 230.
Spurs-Timberwolves: 233.5 — Despite boasting one of the best defensive players in the league in Rudy Gobert, Minnesota hasn’t quite figured it out on that side of the ball. San Antonio, is... worse.
Nets-Grizzlies: 232.5 — Memphis ranks dead last in the league in points allowed, while the Nets sit in the bottom-10.
Jazz-Rockets: 231 — Is Lauri Markkanen the best player in the NBA? It may be too early to tell. On paper, this matchup seemed like a certain dud just one week ago. Now? It should be an exciting, high-scoring affair.
Favorite Pick Against the Spread
Pacers (+12) vs. 76ers
This is a SIGNIFICANT spread for an 0-3 team to cover. Philly seems to find a new way to lose every game, and that could be the case once again tonight.
In reality, the Sixers should pick up their first win of the season on Monday. That being said, the Pacers will put up a fight. Tyrese Haliburton has been as advertised to start the year, and rookie Benedict Mathurin is averaging a whopping 24 points per game. I expect Indy to keep this one close.
Favorite Player Prop
Jayson Tatum Over 37.5 Points, Rebounds & Assists
Tatum covered this number with points alone in his last game. The story of his career has been slow starts, followed by phenomenal second halves of the season.
That hasn’t been the case this year.
On Saturday, Tatum broke Larry Bird’s record for most points scored by a Celtic in the first three games of the season. Heading into tonight’s matchup against Chicago, there’s no reason to expect him to slow down.
With Robert Williams out for extended time, Tatum has stepped up as a rebounder, while also taking major strides forward as a playmaker every year. 37.5 points, rebounds and assists should be an easy number for him to eclipse given his current form.
Favorite Value Play
Celtics PG/SG Derrick White ($4,700) at Bulls
Let’s try this again, shall we?
I picked White as my favorite value play last week in Boston’s season opener, and he barely touched the ball. Since then, he’s been incredible in back-to-back contests. Over that stretch, the veteran guard has shot 7-13 from three, contributing on virtually ever facet of the stat sheet.
Heading into Monday night, White is coming off a huge 42.5-point performance. At just $4,700, you’re getting a ton of value. That might not be the case for long if he keeps this up.
76ers PG/SG James Harden ($9,000) vs. Pacers
Harden checks in as the eleventh-highest priced player on Monday’s slate despite a very productive start to the season. The Sixers may not be winning games, but it sure looks like the Harden of old is back.
The Beard is averaging 26 points, 9.3 assists and 8.3 rebounds per game. He hasn’t scored under 48 fantasy points yet this season, and I expect that trend to continue tonight. Why pay up for a $10,000-plus player when you could roster someone who racks up fantasy points nearly every way imaginable with a high usage rate?
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