NBA

Toronto Raptors a good Monday NBA play as they visit Chicago Bulls

It is a busy Monday in the NBA with 9 games on the docket. If you are playing the odds, the Toronto Raptors as 4½-road favorites could be a solid play.

When looking at the NBA schedule for Monday, there was one game that stuck out when looking at the odds presented courtesy of The Action Network.

The Toronto Raptors have lost their last three games, but it’s not like they were losing to teams from the rear — or even the middle — of the pack. The Raptors lost in overtime to Miami, to Houston and again Sunday at Philadelphia, teams that are a combined 49-20 on the young season.

Toronto visits the Chicago Bulls on Monday night, a team that has been wildly inconsistent all season and has also lost two straight. You can forgive an overtime loss Sunday at Miami (17-6), but that home loss to the Warriors (5-19) on Friday is going to sting for awhile.

Both teams are in SEGABABA situations, with the Raptors in a road-road scenario and the Bulls playing a home-road combination on consecutive nights. So there won’t be any clear rest advantage.

If it’s going to come down to what’s on the floor, Toronto is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games against Chicago and have won 10 straight against the Bulls straight up. That includes a 108-84 beatdown as three-point road favorites on Oct. 26, also at Chicago’s United Center.

The Raptors are just 2-4 ATS in their last six road games, while the Bulls have covered in four of their last five overall. Even with Fred VanVleet leaving Sunday’s game at Philadelphia with a knee contusion, Toronto has too much depth and too much experience — the Raptors simply don’t lose to bad teams. They are 9-0 SU this season against teams that are currently below .500.

Laying the 4½ and rolling with the Raptors is the play.

Toronto Raptors (minus 4½) at Chicago Bulls

TV: Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet East/Ontario/Pacific, NBC Sports Chicago
Tickets: United Center, 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. local)
Records: Toronto 15-7 (12-9 ATS, 5-6 road ATS), Chicago 8-16 (11-13 ATS, 5-7 home ATS)

Availability reports (as of 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday)
Toronto: Not submitted. Sunday at Philadelphia, the Raptors did not have Oshae Brissett (two-way, G League), Dewan Hernandez (G League), Stanley Johnson (stress reaction/left groin), Patrick McCaw (left knee surgery), Shamorie Ponds (two-way, G League) or Matt Thomas (left middle finger fracture). Additionally, Fred VanVleet left Sunday’s game with a knee contusion and did not return.
Chicago: Not submitted. Sunday at Miami, the Bulls were without Cristiano Felicio (right wrist fracture), Chandler Hutchison (right shoulder sprain), Adam Mokoka (two-way, G League), Otto Porter (bone bruise/left foot) and Max Strus (two-way, G League).

Here’s a look at the rest of Monday’s NBA schedule:\n

LA Clippers (minus 2) at Indiana Pacers

TV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports Indiana
Tickets: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 7 p.m. Eastern
Records: LA 17-7 (12-11 ATS, 3-7 road ATS), Indiana 15-8 (11-10-2 ATS, 5-4-2 home ATS)

Availability reports (as of 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday)
LA: 
Not submitted. Sunday at Washington the Clippers did not have Amir Coffey (two-way, G League), Rodney McGruder (right hamstring strain), Johnathan Motley (two-way, G League), Patrick Patterson (back spasms) or Landry Shamet (high left ankle sprain).
Indiana: OUT–Brian Bowen (two-way, G League), Victor Oladipo (right knee rehab); QUESTIONABLE–Malcolm Brogdon (sore right hand), JaKarr Sampson (sore back).

Notable: This line is in flux because the LA Clippers are on a road-road SEGABABA and Kawhi Leonard hasn’t played both ends of a back-to-back since April 2017. Since Leonard played 32 minutes Sunday night at Washington, he is not likely to play Monday when the Clips visit the Indiana Pacers.

The Clippers are 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games, even as they have won 10 of their last 12 SU. LA is also 1-5 ATS in their last six against the Pacers. Indiana has won eight of 10 overall and have won nine of their last 10 at home. Over the last 10 games, the Pacers are 6-4 ATS (2-2 ATS at home over that span).

Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics (minus 13½)

TV: Fox Sports Ohio, NBC Sports Boston
Tickets: TD Garden, 7:30 p.m. Eastern
Records: Cleveland 5-17 (8-12-2 ATS, 4-5-1 road ATS), Boston 16-5 (13-6-2 ATS, 6-2-1 home ATS)

Availability reports (as of 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday)
Cleveland: 
Tyler Cook (two-way, G League), Dean Wade (two-way, G League), Dylan Windler (stress reaction/left lower leg).
Boston: Tacko Fall (two-way, G League), Romeo Langford (right ankle sprain), Tremont Waters (two-way, G League), Robert Williams (left hip soreness); QUESTIONABLE–Gordon Hayward (left hand fracture).

Notable: The Cleveland Cavaliers finish up a two-game Atlantic Division road trip after being demolished Saturday in Philadelphia, 141-94. It was Cleveland’s worst loss in almost nine years (a 55-point loss at the Lakers on Jan. 11, 2011) and the fifth-worst in franchise history. The Cavs are 1-5 ATS over their last six games, all losses SU.

The last time these two teams played was in Cleveland on Nov. 5, with the Boston Celtics getting a 119-113 win and a push at six-point favorites. The Celtics are 4-1 ATS over their last five games and have won nine straight games at TD Garden straight up. In their last 10 games, Cleveland is 2-8 ATS (0-4 on the road), while Boston is 7-3, including 3-1 at home.

Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets (minus 12)

TV: NBC Sports California, AT&T SportsNet-Southwest
Tickets: Toyota Center, 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. local)
Records: Sacramento 9-13 (14-8 ATS, 9-4 road ATS), Houston 15-7 (11-11 ATS, 6-5 home ATS)

Availability reports (as of 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday)
Sacramento: 
Not submitted. In their upset at Dallas on Sunday, the Kings were without Marvin Bagley III (right thumb fracture), De’Aaron Fox (left ankle sprain) and DaQuan Jeffries (two-way, G League).
Houston: OUT–Michael Frazier (two-way, G League), Eric Gordon (right knee arthroscopy), Gerald Green (left cuneiform fracture), Nene (left adductor strain); DOUBTFUL–Tyson Chandler (illness).

Notable: The Sacramento Kings are on a SEGABABA, wrapping up a four-game road trip after holding off the Mavericks down the stretch Sunday at Dallas. The Houston Rockets have won four of their last five overall, but go against a Kings team that is 14-3 ATS over its last 17 games and has gone 5-2 ATS on the road of late.

But the Rockets have been good bets as well, going 11-5 ATS over their last 16 games. Houston has beaten the Kings 10 straight times at Toyota Center, with Sacramento’s last win occurring on New Year’s Eve in 2013. The Rockets are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games, with a 3-2 ATS mark at home.

Orlando Magic at Milwaukee Bucks (minus 12)

TV: Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Wisconsin, NBA TV
Tickets: Fiserv Forum, 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. local)
Records: Orlando 11-11 (9-12-1 ATS, 5-5 road ATS), Milwaukee 20-3 (12-11 ATS, 6-5 home ATS)

Availability reports (as of 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday)
Orlando: 
OUT–Al-Farouq Aminu (torn meniscus/right knee), B.J. Johnson (two-way, G League), Josh Magette (two-way, G League), Nikola Vucevic (lateral sprain/right ankle).
Milwaukee: OUT–Dragan Bender (right ankle sprain).

Notable: The Orlando Magic come into this one with four straight wins. But they will catch a Milwaukee Bucks club that has won 14 in a row, including their last four by an average of 34.3 points (that is not a typo). Orlando’s winning streak has been against the Warriors, Wizards, Suns and Cavaliers — this is a major step up in weight class.

Milwaukee pummeled the Magic 123-91 as 4½-point road favorites on Nov. 1. Orlando is 4-2 ATS over its last six games and 4-1 ATS in their last five on the road. The Bucks are 4-1 ATS over their last five games and the way they have been demolishing teams of late means their star is well-rested — Giannis Antetokounmpo has averaged just 24 minutes per game in the last four games.

Detroit Pistons at New Orleans Pelicans (minus 1)

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports New Orleans
Tickets: Smoothie King Center, 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. local)
Records: Detroit 9-14 (9-13-1 ATS, 2-8-1 road ATS), New Orleans 6-17 (9-13 ATS, 6-6 home ATS)

Availability reports (as of 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday)
Detroit: 
OUT–Jordan Bone (two-way, G League), Sekou Doumbouya (G League), Reggie Jackson (stress reaction/left lumbar spine), Louis King (two-way, G League), Khyri Thomas (right foot surgery).
New Orleans: OUT–Zylan Cheatham (two-way, G League), Josh Gray (two-way, G League), Darius Miller (right Achilles surgery), Zion Williamson (right knee scope); QUESTIONABLE–Derrick Favors (personal).

Notable: The Detroit Pistons have been just about as mediocre as a team can be over their last 10 games, going 5-5 SU and 5-5 ATS, but they have won three of their last four — two of those in blowout fashion. The New Orleans Pelicans have lost eight straight games, are 0-5 ATS over their last five and have gone 3-7 ATS over their last 10.

Markieff Morris has been dealing with a neck issue for the Pistons, but was not on the injury report Sunday night, a good sign for his availability. But Detroit has only covered in four of its last 14 games against New Orleans, losing 12 of 14 straight up. The Pistons — much like many of us — struggle on Mondays as well, going 2-6 ATS in their last eight Monday games.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns (minus 4)

TV: Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Arizona
Tickets: Talking Stick Resort Arena, 9 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. local)
Records: Minnesota 10-12 (9-12-1 ATS, 7-5 road ATS), Phoenix 10-12 (13-9 ATS, 6-6 home ATS)

Availability reports (as of 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday)
Minnesota: Not submitted. At the Lakers Sunday night, the Timberwolves did not have Jake Layman (left toe sprain), Kelan Martin (two-way, G League), Jordan McLaughlin (two-way, G League) or Jaylen Nowell (G League).
Phoenix: OUT–Deandre Ayton (league suspension), Jared Harper (two-way, G League), Jalen Lecque (G League); QUESTIONABLE–Aron Baynes (left calf strain); PROBABLE–Mikal Bridges (left finger sprain), Dario Saric (low back soreness).

Notable: The Minnesota Timberwolves have lost four in a row and come in on a road-road SEGABABA after getting smacked around 142-125 by the Lakers on Sunday night. That game after allowing 139 points in an overtime loss at Oklahoma City on Friday, so defense has not really been Minnesota’s thing of late.

The Wolves are 1-4 ATS in their last five games and did not cover the last time these teams met, in Minneapolis on Nov. 23. The Phoenix Suns won 100-98 as 4½-point road underdogs, but Minnesota is much better on the road this season (7-5 SU and ATS). Phoenix is just 3-8 SU over its last 11 games and is 4-6 ATS in its last 10.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz (minus 8½)

TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma, AT&T Sports Net-Rocky Mountain
Tickets: Vivint Smart Home Arena, 9 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. local)
Records: Oklahoma City 10-12 (14-8 ATS, 6-4 road ATS), Utah 13-10 (9-14 ATS, 5-6 home ATS)

Availability reports (as of 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday)
Oklahoma City: Not submitted. In their win at Portland Sunday, the Thunder were without Deonte Burton (G League), Hamidou Diallo (right elbow hyperextension sprain), Terrance Ferguson (right hip soreness), Justin Pattin (G League) and Andre Roberson (left knee injury recovery).
Utah: OUT–Mike Conley (left hamstring tightness).

Notable: These teams are polar opposites as the Oklahoma City Thunder are below .500 overall but are covering at a 64 percent clip, while the Utah Jazz are above .500 overall, but only cover at a 39 percent rate. The Thunder are 4-1 ATS over their last five, including Sunday’s 109-96 win at Portland. Utah is just 2-4 ATS over its last six, but did get the cover against the Grizzlies Saturday.

As is the fashion for these teams, the Jazz won the first meeting at Salt Lake City on Oct. 23 100-95, but Oklahoma City covered as a nine-point underdog. The Thunder are 6-1 ATS in their last seven matchups with Utah and are 8-3 ATS over their last 11 games overall.

Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors (minus 3)

TV: Fox Sports Southeast-Memphis, NBC Sports Bay Area
Tickets: Chase Center, 10:30 p.m. Eastern (7:30 p.m. local)
Records: Memphis 6-16 (8-14 ATS, 3-6 road ATS), Golden State 5-19 (11-12-1 ATS, 4-4-1 home ATS)

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Availability reports (as of 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday)
Memphis: OUT–Brandon Clarke (left oblique soreness), Andre Iguodala (not with team), Josh Jackson (G League), John Konchar (two-way, G League); DOUBTFUL–Kyle Anderson (right heel soreness); PROBABLE–Ja Morant (back soreness).
Golden State: OUT–Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), Alen Smailagic (G League), Klay Thompson (left ACL rehabilitation); QUESTIONABLE–Jacob Evans (left adductor strain); PROBABLE–Damion Lee (right hand/non-displaced fracture).

Notable: This is just the third time all season the Golden State Warriors are favorites (they are 0-2 in that role). The Memphis Grizzlies have been more like just grisly of late, losing nine of their last 10 games overall and just 1-4 ATS in their last five. The Warriors are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games, despite getting just three victories straight up.

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When these teams met on Nov. 19 in Memphis, it was Golden State that came away with a 114-95 victory, getting the win straight up as 6½-point underdogs. The Grizzlies will likely get rookie point guard Ja Morant back on Monday night; he was upgraded to probable on the injury report after missing Memphis’ last four games.

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