NBA: Best bets and analysis for Monday, March 11th

Jonathan Von Tobel (100-86-2 | Units: +7.9) gives his daily NBA best bets and analysis for Monday, March 11th.

Mar 5, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) controls the ball during the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to my daily column of NBA best bets! Here at VSiN we have a ton of NBA content daily, so make sure to keep tabs on Zach Cohen who is doing an excellent job handicapping the league on a daily basis.

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NBA Best Bets

Record: 100-86-2 | Units: +7.9 | ROI: 3.9%

Top NBA Resources:

Charlotte Hornets at Detroit Pistons (-4, 218.5)

Charlotte is playing very well recently – it is 10-5-1 ATS in its last 16 games – but there are signs of fraudulence. Hornets’ opponents over these 16 games have posted an effective field goal percentage of 53.8%, but according to Cleaning The Glass’ location effective field goal percentage it should be 56.4%. That regression should take hold at some point.

Detroit is also an elite rebounding team.The Pistons are 13th in offensive rebounding rate (26.8%) and fourth in defensive rebounding rate (75.2%) over their last 25 games. The Hornets are last in offensive rebounding and 19th in defensive rebounding over their 16-game run. Detroit should be able to limit second chance opportunities with ease while generating some of their own against this slight frontcourt for Charlotte.

The biggest area in which the Hornets have been getting away with murder in is their perimeter defense. Opponents have had an average of 21.2 uncontested 3-point attempts per game, but they have shot just 35.8% on those shots. The Pistons are not an elite shooting team by any stretch, but a rash of uncontested looks for a team that can generate a high rate of second chance opportunities is a plus.

Best Bet: Pistons (-4) – Playable to (-4.5)

Phoenix Suns at *Cleveland Cavaliers (-1.5, 226.5)

The NBA schedule is really compact this time of year. That means that there will be plenty of negative scheduling spots to jump on, and this is one for the Cavaliers. Cleveland is playing its fifth game in seven days tonight on no rest. It is also its seventh contest in 11 days. Not only is that grueling stretch, but the team is still decimated with injury. 

Donovan Mitchell is unlikely to return from his knee injury tonight. Same with Evan Mobley who is dealing with an ankle sprain. Max Strus remains a question, but he missed the game on Sunday. Dean Wade also sat out due to personal reasons, but this being a home game gives him a higher chance of returning.

The Cavaliers have been covering with a bit more frequency in March – they are 3-3 ATS this month – but dating back to Feb. 12 this team is 3-10 ATS. Since losing Mitchell to injury Cleveland has managed just 110.8 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. It’s just a brutal spot to be in for the Cavaliers.

Phoenix is not only in a better scheduling spot coming off a day of rest, but it is also getting healthier. Devin Booker is expected to return tonight, and both Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal will play. When those three share the floor the Suns have a +9.2 net rating and average 125.6 points per 100 possessions.

Best Bet: Suns (-6) – Playable to (-6.5)

NBA Best Bets

Pistons (-4)

Suns (-6)

Remaining Games

Dallas Mavericks (-3.5, 231.5) at Chicago Bulls

Dallas has a perfect bill of health tonight, but this number seems high at first glance. The Mavericks still allow 118.0 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. On the road, that is not conducive to success as a favorite. However, they have had success as a road favorite this season (14-3 SU and ATS), and Chicago is in a spot most believe to be a negative. The Bulls are playing their first game back after a four-game road trip that spanned a week. Old school handicappers believe that to be a poor spot for teams. The market seems to agree, as this number is up a half-point from the open overnight.

Golden State Warriors (-6.5, 230.5) at San Antonio Spurs

The first game without Stephen Curry could not have gone worse for Golden State. It averaged just 1.130 points per possession against a San Antonio defense without Victor Wembanyama. Tonight, Wembanyama is expected to return from injury, and the Spurs are now playing at home. With the Rookie of the Year favorite on the floor, San Antonio allows just 114.0 points every 100 possessions. Perhaps the first game without Curry called for some growing pains, but it is hard to trust this team to win by margin given the previous performance and Wembanyama’s return. The market agrees, as this side is down to 4.5 and the total has dropped to 227.5 at most shops.

Toronto Raptors at Denver Nuggets (-13.5, 225.5)

Toronto’s injury report continues to grow in length, and tonight could be a nightmare. RJ Barett, Chris Boucher and Bruce Brown are all questionable to play. Scottie Barnes and Jakob Poeltl are still out with injury. Brown has missed the last four games, so the questionable tag for him could be considered an upgrade. Still, this Raptors team lacks size in a big way. That is not something to lack against a team like the Nuggets. The line is up to 14.5 for Denver at home, and on paper this looks like one where it could name the score.

Boston Celtics (-13.5, 218.5) at Portland Trail Blazers

This is the first game of a back-to-back for Boston which will end in Utah tomorrow. It would make sense that some of the key role players get some rest at some point, and the injury report would reflect that. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday and Derrick White are questionable to play. Kristaps Porzingis has already been ruled out. That is the entire starting lineup for Boston in question. Information will be key here for the Celtics, so keep an eye on the news feeds today.