NBA predictions and picks Monday: Fade Bucks, Jazz tonight

We’re just over two weeks away from the NBA trade deadline, and it sure feels like it with stars in and out of the lineup and talks of “blowing it up” seemingly on the lips of fans for every disappointing team this season.

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There are a handful of also-rans in action on Monday, including two worth betting as sizable underdogs against teams that just aren’t worth the price. Here are our favorite bets to make at BetMGM to open the week:

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NBA Monday odds, lines, picks (via BetMGM)

  • Pistons +11.5 vs. Bucks
  • Hornets +7.5 @ Jazz
  • Trail Blazers -8.5 vs. Spurs

Pistons vs. Bucks prediction (7 p.m. ET)

You aren’t scoring any kudos with your friends for taking the points with the Pistons, who have lost six of their last seven games with five double-digit losses in that stretch. But I just can’t buy the value here on the Bucks with their lineup so shaken by injuries.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is expected to return from a five-game hiatus on Monday, but we’ve seen this story before: he was on track to play twice in that stretch before getting scratched, and he was mired in a curious shooting slump even before he missed time. I’m also skeptical of what we’ll see from Khris Middleton (knee) after missing 18 straight games with a similar injury.

The Bucks are already 2-4 against the spread as double-digit favorites even with their stars healthy, while the Pistons are 6-5 ATS as double-digit ‘dogs – and haven’t caught this many points at home all season. Take advantage of a bad price here.

Pistons vs. Bucks pick

Pistons +11.5 (BetMGM)

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Getty Images

Jazz vs. Hornets prediction (8 p.m. ET)

This is another case of a mismatch on paper with a misaligned price, as Utah really shouldn’t be laying this many points against anyone with how this team looked over the last month.

Dating back to Christmas Day, the Jazz are 5-9 straight up (6-8 ATS) with as many wins by eight or more points (2) as losses by the same margin (2). That’s a bad sign when oddsmakers are expecting them to win by that margin here against a Hornets team coming off two straight outright wins of their own.

Entering Monday, teams below .500 are a brutal 11-26-2 ATS when laying at least eight points, with the Jazz posting a 1-4 ATS record in that chalk spot. Even if you’re down on Charlotte with LaMelo Ball (ankle) still iffy, this is just too big of a number to ignore.

Jazz vs. Hornets pick

Hornets +7.5 (BetMGM)

Jazz guard Mike Conley
Jazz guard Mike Conley
Getty Images

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Trail Blazers vs. Spurs prediction (10 p.m. ET)

Losses don’t get much more frustrating than the one the Trail Blazers endured on Sunday, when they led by as many as 25 points before collapsing late against the Lakers. Don’t expect a repeat performance on Monday.

Since 2018, teams coming off a loss in which they led by 25 points or more are 10-3 ATS in their following game and 3-1 ATS as home favorites in that spot – with all three wins coming by at least 13 points. The Trail Blazers have been remarkably resilient with Damian Lillard at the helm, posting a 5-1 ATS record following a blown lead of at least 20 points since he was drafted in 2012.

Portland already owns two wins over the Spurs by a combined 23 points this season, and Lillard is playing some of the best basketball of his career over the last couple of weeks. Bet on an inspired effort from the Blazers in this one after Sunday’s embarrassing loss.

Trail Blazers vs. Spurs pick

Trail Blazers -8.5 (BetMGM)

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