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Top 3 NBA Betting Picks for Monday, March 21st (2022)

by March 21, 2022

After a thrilling weekend of March Madness, the NBA is doing its best to retake the stage tonight. We’ve got a number of meaningful matchups and close spreads, so you don’t have to wait until Thursday to get your fix of thrilling hoops.

Here are my top NBA betting picks for Monday’s action.

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1. Gary Trent Jr. Over 2.5 Made Threes | +112 at FD Sportsbook

The Chicago Bulls field a below-average defense, and things have only gotten worse lately. They allow 109.3 points per 100 possessions, which ranks 22nd, but that number swells to 119.1 when you look at just their last three games. They rank 26th through that span.

Chicago’s poor play on the perimeter accounts for a significant amount of their inefficiency. The Bulls let their opponents make 36.5% of their long-range shots, which ranks 27th in the association. That number jumps to 44.9% when we look at just their last three games, too — so we’ll target one of Toronto’s best shooters from distance here. Trent plays shooting guard for the Raptors, and the Bulls have given up the eighth most made triples per game to opposing twos.

Gary Trent Jr. has made at least three triples in 32 of his 62 games this year. That gives us a hit rate of 51.6%, which sits above this line’s implied odds (47.2%) by a decent margin. We’ve even seen Trent go over this number against the Bulls three times already! I’m not sure why the books have this one in the plus money, but I’m not going to complain.

2. Christian Wood Over 16.5 Points | -106 at FD Sportsbook

I like Christian Wood here because the Washington Wizards struggle to defend opposing bigs. The Wizards have allowed centers like Wood to score 25.1 points per game against them this year, which ranks fourth highest in the assocation. That number spikes to 32.5 over their last seven contests. Perhaps replacing Montrezl Harrell, a decent defender, with Kristaps Porzingis, a liability, has something to do with this trend.

If a team struggles against bigs, it’s usually for one of two reasons. The first is that they cannot defend the paint. This isn’t really the case with the Wizards, as they give up 48.4 points in the paint per game, which ranks 21st. The second reason is that they aren’t great in the paint and are worse on the perimeter. This describes what’s going on with Washington perfectly: they have allowed the most three-point shots to opposing centers through the last seven games.

As a result of Washington’s particular struggles, Wood matches up well against them. Wood shoots 38.1% from the perimeter and averages 1.9 treys per game. Wood also averages 17.9 points per game, which sits above this number by a healthy margin. We’ve seen Wood score at least 17 points in 39 of his 64 appearances, which gives this a hit rate of 60.9%, well above the implied odds of 51.5%. Wood racked up 22 points against the Wizards earlier in the year, too.

3. Parlay: Trent 2+ 3PT + Wood 15+ PTS + Mobley 15+ PTS | +167 (.5u) at FD Sportsbook

We’re going to change things up for today’s parlay. Instead of teasing the numbers up, we’ll tease them down to improve our odds of hitting. I’ve already discussed Trent and Wood, but we’ll add Evan Mobley to this parlay because of a simple trend: he scores more with Jarrett Allen sidelined. Specifically, Mobley is averaging 20 points per game since Allen went down, and he has gone this number in all but two of those contests. The fast-paced and sloppy Los Angeles Lakers make for a juicy target here, and we’ll lay a half-unit on this for a solid return.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

NBA, Picks