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Eytan Shander is back with his exclusive picks for Monday's NBA games

Nothing better than a full slate of games on a Monday to bounce back from a rough one on Sunday. We keep pushing forward trying to take advantage of some news coming out with the Heat, as well as a bounce back day for the Nuggets. Two games in on the bubble restart and we are starting to see who teams really are, like two solid W’s for the Rockets. We’ll also try and take advantage of the continued belief that scoring will soar and try and clip an under for you on the big board.

Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat

BET: Raptors -2.5 @ -110

The Heat were pretty successful head to head against Toronto pre-break, one of those games without Pascal Siakam. Now it looks as if Jimmy Butler will sit at least today, due to an undisclosed reason for quarantining. The biggest question here is who will letdown first? Both teams come off convincing wins, but this Raptors team might be too much for Miami. Even with Butler, the Heat beat up a team missing a bunch of players in the backcourt, and it gets tougher today. Toronto saw Kyle Lowry take over against the Lakers, and it’s important to respect the story for the Raptors this year. Meaning, they haven’t shown a letdown this year, earning the second seed. Expect the veteran leadership and the same aggressive push from their backcourt to propel Toronto to victory.

Indiana Pacers @ Washington Wizards

BET: Pacers -7.5 @ -110

BET: Under 227.5 @  -110

Two big bets here in this game, both taking advantage of the Wizards playing the second of a back-to-back. Washington wasn’t great despite getting some scoring, while Indy saw TJ Warren explode against the Sixers, dropping 53 on Philadelphia. Warren might have another big game today, as he’s been pretty comfortable averaging 28 ppg in his last 4 meetings with Washington. The good news for Indy is that while Victor Oladipo saw action, the loss of Domantas Sabonis won’t hurt them today. The Pacers play good enough defense to keep Washington at bay for most of this game, even a run by the Wizards shouldn’t hurt the line. I don’t see Washington being able to score or keep up with anyone on Indy if they go off, like another big game from Warren. TJ knocked down a bunch of open looks and the Wizards should provide some lanes for TJ to maneuver.

As for the total, it’s really about how well Indy plays defense today, knowing they have a much easier task at hand than against the Sixers. Thomas Bryant knocked down 30 points in the losing effort against the Nets, and I’m simply not as confident that he nor anyone else on the team can repeat. A much stronger opponent awaits them in Indy, and the Pacers will clamp down on the Wizards early and often. Don’t be surprised if the game gets close to the number, with the Pacers doing a bunch of damage. The magic number for Washington is 100 to flirt with the over, and I believe the Pacers will keep them right there. Staying under.

San Antonio Spurs @ Philadelphia 76ers

BET: Over 228 @ -106

The line was a little too high for me to comfortably take an underachieving Sixers team away from Philadelphia. Last game seemed like the typical “road” Sixers, allowing TJ Warren open shots to reach 53 points. The new lineup was shaky at best, and despite Joel Embiid’s best efforts, they fell short. Tobias Harris was brutal from the floor and the Sixers backcourt didn’t take many shots from beyond the arc. Expect that to change against Pop and the Spurs tonight, as Philly should emphasize the 3 way more than last time against Indy. Philadelphia has played well against the Spurs – who are cruising minus Lamarcus Aldridge – and should push a nice tempo. What’s great about the total going over tonight is that Brett Brown and his Sixers will leave the door open for a run. They just do. They aren’t deep enough to hold off teams for 48 minutes, and their response will be faster pace and more transition.

The Sixers have gone over 7 straight times, while DeMar Derozen has hit for at least 24 points in six of seven games vs. Philly. I do think the game will be closer than the 7-point spread available, but neither team will prioritize defense in tonight’s matchup. Ben Simmons should be over 20, Tobias Harris should have a better night shooting from the floor, and even 28-30 mins from Embiid is enough. Meanwhile San Antonio has fully adjusted to the bubble on the floor and adjusting to the idea that they could actually challenge Memphis for the final slot. Philly bounces back, the Spurs keep pushing, both good ingredients for an over.


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