NBA

Why the Warriors will get payback on the Lakers, other best bets for Monday

March Madness isn’t related strictly to college basketball, friends. Yes, we’ve spent the last two weeks watching college basketball until our eyes (and sometimes our wallets) bled, and on Sunday, it culminated with the release of the NCAA Tournament bracket (speaking of which, have you filled yours out yet? What are you waiting for!?). But while we must wait until Thursday for the action to begin, we have a different variety of madness to deal with until then.

NFL free agency. It began on Monday at noon ET, or at least it sort of began. Teams are officially allowed to talk to free agents and negotiate deals with them, but they aren’t allowed to make the deals official until later in the week. And the deals have already begun, so make sure you keep it locked into our coverage to stay up to the minute on all the latest happenings.

You don’t want to be the last person to find out your favorite team has signed Joe Flacco to lead them to the Super Bowl.

Oh, and if all that isn’t enough, it’s also Coach Firing Season in college basketball. If you don’t believe me, just check out the Big Ten job that came open today in the first link below.

Now that your minds are filled with the latest news and knowledge, it’s time to scramble them with gambling!

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Lakers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Warriors +2.5 (-110)
: I’m going through a little bit of shock over there not being any college basketball to watch tonight after feasting on it the last two weeks, but we’ve got an interesting NBA slate to help us get back to normal. That includes this game, where the line is underestimating the Warriors. The Lakers just haven’t been the same since losing Anthony Davis, and while they’re still legit title contenders, they don’t play like one without him. Honestly, the Lakers are such a popular public team that you can typically find value betting against them no matter the circumstances, but in their last 10 games without Davis, they’re 4-6 straight up and 5-5 ATS.

Now, I have to mention that run includes a 117-91 win over Golden State. Stephen Curry shot only 38.5% from the field in that game, and the Warriors leading scorer was Eric Paschall. In other words, it wasn’t a typical Warriors game. Tonight, at home, I expect a much better performance from Steph and the Warriors in general.

Key Trend: Golden State is 12-7 ATS at home this season.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model sees some value in the spread tonight, but it’s a bigger fan of a play on the total.


💰 The Picks

🏀 NBA

Kings at Hornets, 7 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass
The Pick: Kings +3.5 (-110) — 
Believe me, I don’t make a habit of betting on the Kings, but they are a sharper play in certain spots than you might think. Tonight happens to be one of those spots.

While the Kings have been terrible against the spread this season (16-22), they’ve done well as road dogs, going 8-5 ATS. Looking at tonight’s matchup, they’re facing a Hornets team playing well lately, but it’s been doing so against some bad teams. That is leading to this spread being about a point larger than it should be. These two played a close game in Sacramento a couple of weeks ago, with Charlotte picking up a 127-126 win. I expect tonight’s game to be similar, so those points are valuable.

Key Trend: Charlotte is 1-6 ATS following its last seven wins.

🏀 College Basketball

The Pick: Baylor to win NCAA Tournament (+500) — It’s never easy to figure out who will win the NCAA Tournament, and in a season like this one which could see teams drop out at any given time due to COVID-19, it’s an even more arduous task. Still, when looking at the most likely candidates to win it all, Baylor is the team providing value at the books. Gonzaga is the most trendy pick, and all the advanced numbers love it.

Still, while I don’t underestimate it, I always worry about how it’ll adjust to playing stiffer competition in consecutive games after coasting through its conference. Baylor is battle-tested, coming from one of the country’s toughest conferences and earning a No. 1 seed. Also, I don’t think Baylor’s path to the Final Four from the South Region is as tricky as the ones the other top seeds face. So, if I’m betting on any of the No. 1 seeds at current prices, Baylor is the choice.

SportsLine’s optimal bracket beat almost 90% of CBS Sports Bracket Challenge players over the past two years

⚽ Champions League

Real Madrid vs. Atalanta, Tuesday, 3 p.m | TV: Paramount+/CBS Sports Network
The Pick: Under 2.5 (+105) — 
If you remember the first leg, Atalanta’s attack was neutered early thanks to a red card. Still, despite being up a man for nearly the entire match, Real Madrid had a lot of difficulties breaking down Atalanta’s packed-in defense before finally plundering a goal late. I expect Tuesday’s match to look somewhat similar, but with the teams changing roles. Madrid isn’t going to park the bus entirely because a second goal would be huge, but it will definitely prioritize defending. Atalanta will have no choice but to go all out because it needs to score at least two goals to advance.

I sense that we’ll know whether we’re going to win this bet by the 30-minute mark. If Atalanta scores early, this bet is toast. If not, we’re probably in the clear.

Key Trend: None of Real Madrid’s last four Champions League matches have had more than two goals scored.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine simulated every possible matchup 10,000 times and the team that won over half the simulations was selected to advance. In order to “simulate the madness,” we also assumed that the Nos. 3-6 seeds with the lowest win percentage when compared to other teams of the same seed would be upset. With this approach, we nailed 15 of the 26 double-digit seed upsets in the first round the past four tournaments!


💸 The DFS Rundown

Star Plays

PG: Luka Doncic, Mavs
SG: Devin Booker, Suns
SF: LeBron James, Lakers
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
C: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Value Plays

PG: Chris Paul, Suns
SG: Immanuel Quickley, Knicks
SF: Keldon Johnson, Spurs
PF: Dario Saric, Suns
C: Alex Len, Wizards

Full lineup advice

Get winning NBA DFS picks from SportsLine pros Mike McClure and Jacob Gibbs. McClure has won almost $2 million in daily Fantasy, while Gibbs crushed the NBA last season, cashing around 65 percent of the time in cash games and nearly 45 percent of the time in tournaments. See their DraftKings advice and FanDuel lineups here


 🏀 NBA Player Props


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