NBA Monday best bets: Can Nuggets end 3-game skid?
The NBA Cup is in the rearview, and the rest of the league is back to normal order. Almost every night until Christmas Eve is filled with great games.
Let's get to our five best bets for Monday night's action.
Nuggets @ Hawks +2.5, O/U 241.5
The Nuggets are struggling. Their defense has been average, and their offense isn't nearly as potent as it was last year. While Nikola Jokic remains phenomenal, the team has depth issues. Jamal Murray returned from injury last week and is starting to slowly get back into rhythm.
Denver has lost three straight but has a perfect bounce-back spot against the Hawks, who own the NBA's fifth-worst defensive rating.
While the Nuggets have struggled on the road and are 3-10 against the spread away from home, Atlanta's even worse at home. The Hawks are 1-8 against the spread in Atlanta.
Pick: Nuggets -2.5
Tyrese Maxey: Over 6.5 assists
Maxey's averaging 6.7 assists this season and has recorded at least seven in six of the last 10 games.
His vision and passing instinct have taken a huge leap this season, allowing the Sixers' offense to flourish at an elite level. Many of those assists go to reigning MVP Joel Embiid in the pick-and-roll.
This is an ideal matchup for Maxey and the Sixers. The Wizards have the league's second-worst defensive rating and allow the fourth-most assists to point guards in the league.
Cade Cunningham: Over 22.5 points
The Pistons are a mess. They've lost 19 straight games. Their lone bright spot is Cunningham, whose talent is obvious despite some inconsistent performances.
Though he's averaging 22 points per game, this is a great matchup for him against the Pacers. For as good as Indiana's offense is, its defense is just as bad. It has the league's third-worst defensive rating.
One of the Pacers' many weaknesses is stopping opposing guards from getting downhill. That's one of Cunningham's strengths, so he should have a plethora of scoring opportunities Monday night.
Odds: -125 (playable to -140)
Mavs @ Grizzlies (+2, O/U 226)
The Mavs' game totals go over the number in 71% of their contests. While the Grizzlies have a top-10 defense, the Mavs have a top-four offense. Dallas also struggles defensively. Though Memphis' offense has its own problems, it's improved the last couple of games as it awaits Ja Morant's return next week.
Dallas has gone over this total in its last four games with Luka Doncic. The team has too much offensive firepower for the Grizzlies.
Pick: Over 226
Julius Randle: Over 9.5 rebounds
Randle's averaging 9.5 boards on the NBA's best rebounding team. Mitchell Robinson's out for the Knicks on Monday night. He's the team's leading rebounder, so the rest of the group will have to crash the glass even more against the Raptors.
While Isaiah Hartenstein will play more center minutes tonight, Randle's rebounding responsibilities as the power forward will increase. He's involved in so many plays on both ends while averaging 35 minutes per game, so the opportunities will be there.
Odds: -125 (playable to -140)
Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @soshtry for more betting coverage.