Monday is here and so are a new week of NBA games, but before we get too ahead of ourselves we have NBA best bets today and expert picks for Monday, November 20.
Our experts have their sights heavy set on the Clippers vs. Spurs and the Heat vs. Bulls matchups, so let’s get to why those two specific games should be on your radar.
NBA Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our NBA betting staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
By Andrew O’Connor-Watts
I wrote about this play in my game guide but I like it for a best bet. This is a good spot for the Spurs in the first half with the Clippers riding high off an emotional first win since the James Harden trade.
Despite losing eight in a row, the Spurs are 4-1 in the first half in their last five games and 6-1 at home on the season. They don’t have trouble scoring early, their issue is holding onto leads. We saw it on Saturday with their epic meltdown against Memphis–one of the worst offenses in the league. San Antonio didn’t score for nearly six minutes in the fourth quarter and lost the game 120-108 despite leading 68-51 at halftime.
I think the Clippers will struggle in their first look at Victor Wembanyama. His length and shooting could pose problems for Clippers center Ivica Zubac and if Ty Lue decides to go smaller with PJ Tucker, his height, rebounding and shot blocking could overpower.
I’ll bet on the Spurs to turn things around against the Clippers who are 18-28 ATS in the first half after a win since last season. I like San Antonio down to +3.5.
Pick: Spurs +4.5 1H
By Jim Turvey
Let me lead with a caveat. This bet is based around Devin Vassell not playing for the Spurs on Monday. He is currently listed as doubtful, but this was the case last week and yet he ended up playing last second.
Even still, how I’m going to play this is play half the bet now because I do think this line will creep up throughout the day. I’ll look to add to this play if Vassell is officially ruled out.
The reason Vassell is so central to the bet, is that Keldon and Devin really eat into each other’s usage and field goal attempts. With Vassell on the court this season, Johnson scores just 24.6 points per 100 possessions; with Vassell off the court, that number sky rockets to 33.6.
In the four games Vassell has been out this season, Johnson has gone for: 26, 16, 22, and 21. The lone game he didn’t clear this number was a very weird one. He played only 23 minutes in what was a blowout loss, and he didn’t attempt a single three, despite averaging over five a game this season.
If Vassell is ruled officially out, I’d play this all the way up to over 20.5 at -110.
Pick: Keldon Johnson over 17.5 points
By Bryan Fonseca
The books haven’t caught up to this yet, so I’m playing it again.
This game, I actually think the Heat will win. They’re 8-5 on the young season, and yet, they’re 3-10 in fourth quarters. They’re a -54 in fourth quarters, -33 since winning seven straight games before that streak was snapped in the Chi on Saturday.
I think this Heat team is good, but they haven’t closed well, and until they do, I will bet on teams to outscore then in the fourth quarter. No need to overthink this.
Pick: Bulls 4th Quarter ML
By Andrew O’Connor-Watts
We saw this exact same matchup on Saturday and in that game the Heat opened with a wild 22-1 run against the Bulls.
The Heat have been great starting games all season thanks to their stellar first half defense. They tend to lock in right away, even if they let up at times after halftime. Miami has the second-best Defensive Rating in the first half (103.2) and the fourth-best Net Rating (+8.9) and that’s made them the second-most profitable team in the first half this season per EV Analytics.
This is also a great spot for Miami who are 35-22-1 ATS in the first half on the road after a win. Betting them in this spot every time gets you a 17.4% ROI.
Add in the bad vibes with Zach Lavine looking visibly angry after Saturday’s win and storming off the court without speaking to media.
I like the Heat down to -1.5 in the first half after a letdown last game.
Pick: Heat 1H ML -115