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Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) celebrates a three-point basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin).
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) celebrates a three-point basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin).|Associated Press
NBA

NBA Monday: Greg Frank picks Timberwolves vs Hawks and Nets vs Cleveland as Brooklyn tries to stay hot without Kyrie Irving

Games are at 7 and 7:30 pm ET.

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

1-0 Sunday, 33-26-1 overall.

Timberwolves (-4.5) @ Hawks (235.5)

Pick: Hawks +4.5

There are some tasty matchups on tonight’s NBA card, but we’re looking at some less attractive games for our plays on Monday. All tickets cash the same and we think the Minnesota Timberwolves are too steep of a favorite tonight on the road in Atlanta. Granted, we’ve been struggling to pick Hawks games of late, but you’re never supposed to hold grudges when handicapping. Minnesota comes in having lost four out of its last five games. Two of those four losses were by at least 20 points. Phoenix mostly coasted for three quarters on Saturday against the Timberwolves before Minnesota made things interesting in the final period. The Timberwolves started the season 4-1, but have since looked like the lottery team most expected them to be as the season’s quarter turn approaches. While Atlanta is out of the gate slow, the Hawks do seem be playing hard and on the cusp of a victory. They’ve covered point spreads recently against Milwaukee and Toronto, the two teams that played in the Eastern Conference Finals last season. The Raptors were giving seven points to Atlanta on Saturday night and tonight the Timberwolves are laying 4.5. Our bet is simply a numbers play that Toronto is more than 2.5 points better than Minnesota and therefore if the Hawks can cover seven against the Raptors, we like them to cover 4.5 against the Timberwolves.

Nets (+1) @ Cavaliers (218.5)

Pick: Cavaliers -1

You don’t have to watch this game, but you can still bet on it! The Cleveland Cavaliers are a short favorite on Lake Erie tonight against the Brooklyn Nets and we think they’re a worthwhile investment. The Nets are on the second leg of a back-to-back and went right down to the wire yesterday against the Knicks in a 103-101 win. The Cavaliers just halted a six-game losing streak against Portland on Saturday. Our guess is a young team like Cleveland shows up to the arena with a lot more confidence tonight. Wins in November never mean much, but for a young team that had been struggling, they probably mean a little bit more. While Brooklyn has won three out of four games, the Nets still have only covered the spread in two straight games once so far this season. With Kyrie Irving still sidelined, the Nets aren’t a team we expect to consistently rack up wins. We’ll take the unpopular short home favorite on Monday night.

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