NBA Monday night sports betting advice.
Boston Celtics at Denver Nuggets (-2)
The Boston Celtics (6-3), who had a four-game winning streak snapped in Indiana on Saturday, pay a visit to the Denver Nuggets (8-1), whose hot start has caught many by surprise, on Monday night. Denver is favored by just two points, and the betting total was set at a very low 207.5 points.
Team defense is a source of pride for both Brad Stevens’ Celtics and Michael Malone’s Nuggets. The Celtics allow the fewest points per game in the league (99.8), and the Nuggets are third (101.9).
“We’re third in defensive efficiency, our turnovers are way down, and we’re the best rebounding team in the NBA,” Malone told reporters after Denver’s most recent win. “And those are things, I don’t care if the league is three-point shooting or not…you’re going to give yourself a chance every night.”
Boston’s offense has been lacking so far this year, as they’re 28th in points per game (103.9). The Celtics boast one of the deepest rosters in the NBA, but the inability to get Gordon Hayward back to his old self is alarming. He’s averaging just 10.4 points per game on 40 percent shooting, far below his career averages (15.5 points and 44 percent shooting).
Denver’s fast-paced offense is 16th in scoring at 111.4 points per game. Nuggets star center Nikola Jokic has been off on his shots of late (40 percent from the floor in his last four games), but is still contributing with games like he had on Saturday against the Jazz, when he amassed 10 rebounds and 16 assists.
“I think it speaks to his greatness,” Malone told reporters on Saturday. “Some guys can impact the game with solely their scoring. Nikola can dominate a game without scoring at all and not many guys can do that.”
A Denver win seems likely, even if Paul Millsap is inhibited by an ankle injury. The Nuggets are 6-3 against the spread this year, and have covered in five of their last six at home. The Celtics, by contrast, are 4-5 against the spread in 2018 and have dropped seven of their last nine on the road dating back to last season. However, playing the Under seems like a better bet.
The total has gone Under in five of the Celtics’ last seven games, and four of their last five on the road. Four of the last five Nuggets games have gone Under, and the Under is 7-1 in the last eight Denver home games.
Prediction: Denver wins, 100-96
The play: Denver vs. Boston Under 207.5 points