Half the NBA is at play today on a seven-game slate featuring some of the league’s best teams.
As always, we’ve scoured the major betting agencies to bring you some great plays for the huge slate on offer this Monday. Check out our best pick and value pick below and good luck to everyone following!
NBA Picks – Tuesday, December 3rd
Miami Heat @ Toronto Raptors
Scotiabank Arena, 7.30pm ET
The Toronto Raptors are the defending NBA champions, and even though they lost Kawhi Leonard over the summer, this year’s team is not all that far short of last year’s. They have been able to sustain their efficiency on both ends, near enough, doing so with the eternal savvy of Marc Gasol playing an important defensive role on the interior and through starting the point guard pairing of Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, which, although it means giving up size on the perimeter, does makes for crisp ball movement and unselfishness. That plus the continued growth of Pascal Siakam sees them on a strong 15 4 record and once again amongst the contenders in the highly polarised Eastern conference.
The Miami Heat however are right there with them. Fuelled by the addition of Jimmy Butler, the breakout play of third-year centre Bam Adebayo, the resurgence of Goran Dragic and the highly surprising scoring input of second-year guard Kendrick Nunn (who was with the team for all of one day last season, and yet who never actually played), they are also in the East’s leading pack with a 14-5 record of their own.
Dragic will be out for tonight’s game, but so will Lowry. Both teams missing their All-Star senior point guards will mean added responsibility to their other primary playmakers. In Miami’s case, this will mean Butler, Adebayo and the recently returned from injury Justise Winslow, who average a combined 14.8 assists per game on the season. For Toronto, this will mean more to do for VanVleet, the team’s leader in assists with 7.5 per game and third in scoring at 18.6 points per game.
Given that these two teams are two of the best defensive units in the NBA – the Heat are sixth overall in the league in defensive efficiency, the Raptors are third – while also playing at average pacers – the Heat are ranked 15th in pace, the Raptors 13th – this figures not to be a shoot-out type of game. It will instead be two gritty defensive first units that look to funnel their opponents to certain areas of the court. In particular, Gasol’s ability to play the passing lanes is disruptive for any team to hit cutters in the pick-and-roll, something that Adebayo in particular has shined at this season. Adebayo wall likely also have to try and check Siakam primarily on the perimeter, given that fellow starting big Meyers Leonard is not well-equipped to do so giving his slower feet. Siakam should have plenty of opportunity to attack in transition and semi-transition, especially given how turnover-prone Miami are (last in the league with 18.4 of them per game).
In combination, then, this particular moneyline might not seem too ambitious .
Portland Trail Blazers @ L.A. Clippers
Staples Center, 10pm ET
The Portland Trail Blazers come into tonight’s game only 8-12, and recently went on a stretch in which they lost 10 of 12 games. Despite the fact that they have played a disproportionate amount of their early season contests on the road, sloppy losses on the way to the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans do not inspire confidence that this year’s team has the depth, defence and gumption of the Blazers of the recent past.
Tonight, they are going up against an L.A. Clippers team that really has started to hit its stride. The Clippers may still rank behind the Lakers in the standings, but they have been thoroughly dominant since Paul George returned from injury, and they look like the best team in the league. There is thus little to no doubt that the Blazers will lose tonight’s game, and the money lines reflect that.
The addition of Carmelo Anthony – who, amazingly, won the Player of the Week award for the Western Conference this week – has seen a revived Portland starting line-up peel off a couple of wins in a row. With a long home stretch coming up, perhaps they can salvage this season and make it back to the playoffs rather than head for the lottery. But if Carmelo is to continue starting and be as important offensively as he has been, this means he will have to check one of the dominant forward pairing of George and Kawhi Leonard tonight.
This content is intended for entertainment purposes only. For full details and disclosures, visit our Terms section. For more information on licensed sportsbooks – including available states and the best places to play – visit our Reviews section.