The trending teams scored quality wins on Monday and kicking off the action were the Minnesota Timberwolves against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It has been a rough stretch for the Cavaliers, who were +3½ underdogs against the Wolves in a 127-122 home loss. Despite trailing 37-26 in the opening quarter, the Wolves got down to business and outscored the Cavaliers 38-24 in the second. It was a high-scoring game, so the over 218 cashed by 31 points.
It’s rare to see the Orlando Magic start as favorites, but they lived up to expectations against the Indiana Pacers. The Magic won 119-103 as the -2½-point favorites, mostly due to a big 35-19 third quarter. The Pacers came out of the half with absolutely nothing going and the Magic took advantage. It was another disappointing loss for the Pacers, who aren’t attracting much attention at the sportsbook.
We were keen on the Miami Heat beating the Chicago Bulls and they didn’t disappoint. The Heat came out on fire in the 112-99 victory and the -4½ line was never in doubt, despite the Bulls closing with a 32-21 fourth quarter. Bam Adebayo had another strong outing with 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, which followed up excellent play from late last week.
Betting online markets were giving the short-handed Brooklyn Nets respect as +3 outsiders, but the Toronto Raptors put them to the sword. The 133-97 result continued the struggles for the Nets, who were without most of their top players, including Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Defense struggled to contain the Raptors, who piled on 42 points in the opening quarter. The over 216½ cashed easily despite the Nets scoring under 100 points.
There was solid two-way action in the Memphis Grizzlies vs San Antonio Spurs game, but the Grizzlies showed just how good they are. The 118-105 victory was enough to cover the -8½ spread thanks to a whopping 52-point effort from MVP candidate Ja Morant. He did everything for the Grizzlies, who improved to 43-20 with the victory. NBA betting markets should be trimming their title odds following the performance.
“It’s got to be the 50 (points),” Morant told ESPN. “I’m thankful for my teammates, my coaches. They believe in me and have all the confidence in the world that I’ll make the right plays.”
The biggest spread of the day involved the Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets. The Bucks had no problem covering the -10½ spread against the suddenly struggling Hornets, who have fallen two games below .500. Even though the Bucks aren’t looking as strong as they did last season, they’re doing enough to keep bettors interested. Easy wins over teams like the Hornets bode well.
The Sacramento Kings scored just their eighth road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 131-110 performance. De’Aaron Fox scored 29 points and 10 assists for a double-double, which carried the Kings to victory. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was excellent for the Thunder with 37 points in a losing effort.