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The NBA is in a wild place right now, with players on 28 of the 30 teams in health and safety protocols. We’ve been crushing the player props over the last 10 days or so, and will continue to focus on those, but there’s also a side that really jumps out to me on Monday. Normally I want to wait as late as possible on betting a side in NBA right now, but this one feels safe to bet early to me for reasons I’ll explain in my analysis.
Per usual, I’ll put everything official up on Twitter that I bet on personally. This is a betting guide for this NBA card, and anything I’ve actually bet will include a unit amount.
CHI -4.5 (-110) — 2.5-units
I put this play out earlier on Monday for 1.5-units at -5.5 with the concern this line could move. It did, as the Bulls went to -6, but we’ve seen the number come back significantly, and I’m adding another unit at -4.5. I cannot figure out why the Bulls are such short favorites in this game, outside of being on the road. Sure, they’ll be without their head coach, but this is about the players that’ll be on the floor.
No Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso for the Bulls, but the rest of the rotation is in place. Chicago has the bodies to fill those perimeter minutes, and will also have its three All-Star caliber players in DeMar DeRozen, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic. The other thing about the Bulls is that they just had a shutdown for COVID. All these players that are in were just sick. We don’t have to worry about them getting ruled out. Those core three players have all looked good since returning from COVID, so I’m not worried about their production.
The Hawks are barely fielding an NBA team here. They were blown out by a shorthanded Knicks team on Christmas, and have since lost John Collins and Delon Wright. Atlanta essentially has three legitimate NBA caliber players in the rotation — Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Cam Reddish. The rest of the players are fringe NBA talent. From a pure talent standpoint, this should be a blowout for the Bulls.
Jaylen Brown OVER 27.5 Points (-105) — 1-unit
Jayson Tatum enters health and safety protocols on Monday, so this will become Brown’s team for the time-being. The Celtics have some question marks in terms of who will be available on the perimeter in Minnesota, but I’m fine playing Brown’s over regardless. JB is averaging 30.4 points in seven games he’s played without Tatum this season. He’ll face a very soft Wolves’ defense in this one, playing without potentially their three best players. We should see a whole lot of Brown in this game.
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