This game represents strength on strength, with Brooklyn's top-ranked offense hosting New York's top-ranked defense. For this game, the momentum of recent performance, coupled with altering injury landscapes, has the Nets as the pick.
The Nets have won four straight and eight of their last 10. The Knicks won on Saturday but had lost three straight before that game.
On the injury front, Brooklyn is expected to see the return of Kevin Durant and James Harden. The two stars will join an offense that has performed at an incredibly efficient rate without them.
Meanwhile, New York's defense has taken a hit with the injury to center Mitchell Robinson. Robinson's presence in the paint was a big reason for the Knicks' defensive success, and it's a notable loss.
All things point to Brooklyn to win and cover the spread here. On the year, the Nets are 24-25 against the spread, while the Knicks are 28-21-1 ATS.
One of our favorite bets of Monday night is the Kings-Timberwolves over.
This bet is built around poor defense and fast pace, a quality recipe for a high point total. Defensive metrics such as points per game, effective field-goal percentage and efficiency put both teams squarely at the bottom of the league.
The Timberwolves' defense is ranked 27th, while the Kings are dead last. On the offensive side, no team plays a faster brand of basketball than Minnesota, while the Kings are 10th.
The logic for this pick is simple. Neither defense should be able to stop the other team's stars, and both teams will be shooting the ball quickly.
The Kings' De'Aaron Fox has taken the leap this season, averaging 24.5 points and 7.1 assists per game on 48% shooting.
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Timberwolves has also had another strong season, scoring an average of 24.6 points per game. Sacramento is 29-20 against overs this season, while Minnesota is 25-25.
The Jazz have been the NBA's best team all season long, and it's best we continue to bet on them until they show otherwise. Utah is the only team to be ranked inside the top five on both offense and defense. The incredible balance, led by stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, has the team first in a loaded Western Conference.
Utah is currently 38-11, winner of nine straight games. Dallas is on a four-game winning streak itself.
The Mavericks are going to have a difficult time slowing down the Jazz offense. Their defense as a whole is in the bottom 10 of the NBA.
These teams have met twice already, with the Jazz winning both times. Utah's average margin of victory in those games was 15.5 points, and there's no reason to think it won't be similar Monday night.
Take Utah and the points as the clearly superior team.
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