Welcome to a fresh week of NBA basketball! Instead of one weekly piece for all my NBA best bets, I’ll be introducing daily articles for game picks and player props.

Don’t worry – I’m still showing my work. Updated offensive and defensive rankings are at the bottom of this piece, along with pace of play.

We expanded to player props last week, looking at offensive preferences (threes or points in the paint). The goal is to find overlaps with a strong team in one category going against a team that struggles to stop that type of offense. Those rankings are also at the bottom.

Last week: 17-13 (+7 units)

NBA Season: 43-32 (+15u)

Follow me on Twitter: @griffybets

Let’s get to Monday’s picks.

NBA Best Bets: Monday April 12

Monday brings with it some enticing matchups to target, let’s start the week strong.

Los Angeles Lakers-New York Knicks UNDER 206

For my returning readers, this is as clear of an under as they come. It’s low for good reason. Both teams come in ranked in the bottom-ten of offense, and are tied for the best overall defense in the NBA.

The icing on the cake is that both teams also play at a slow pace, with the Knicks the slowest in the league.

Nets' Kevin Durant to return to lineup vs. Thunder while Kyrie Irving remains out for personal reasons - CBSSports.com

Props: Brooklyn Nets-Minnesota Timberwolves 

*Edit: this game has been postponed, we will revisit

This is a bet on the egregious difference between the Nets offense and Timberwolves defense. Brooklyn (#1) should have no issue scoring against the Timberwolves 28th-ranked defense. The Nets also have a bottom-ten defense and Minnesota plays at the second-fastest pace in the NBA.

This is a great game to target for props, as the Nets are top-ten in both points in the paint and threes made, while the Timberwolves can’t stop either one.

Minnesota comes in 11th in points in the paint, while the Nets are 19th stopping scoring down low.

Yes, Kyrie and Harden are out. It’s why I don’t like the over, which is 235. Instead, let’s focus on props.

  • Kevin Durant’s over
  • Anthony Edwards’ over

Props: Ja Morant and Jonas Valanciunas OVER points against Chicago

No team scores more in the paint than the Grizzlies. Chicago is the fifth-most vulnerable defense in the paint, suggesting a big game for the Grizzlies duo.

With both teams also in top-ten of pace, there will be plenty of opportunities for both to score.

Morant only shoots 3.5 threes per game, meaning he’s well designed to take advantage of this matchup. Morant’s over is my two-unit play of the night.

Jonas Valanciunas: On fishing and finishing - Grizzly Bear Blues

Memphis Grizzlies-Chicago Bulls OVER 228.5 points

Same game, but this is a bet solely on pace of play. Both teams play fast (Memphis: 3rd, Chicago: 7th), and each offense is a hair stronger than the opposing defense. I find this to be a very reasonable line for these two teams.

Sacramento Kings-New Orleans Pelicans OVER 234.5 points

Well this is about as juicy as an over comes. The Kings and Pelicans are owners of the two worst defenses in the entire NBA, reason enough to target this game.

Both offenses come in ranked inside the top-ten of scoring – this should be a sloppy game with plenty of points.

Zion Williamson Pledges to Cover Pels' Arena Workers' Salaries Amid Coronavirus | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

Props: Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram OVER points

Let’s stay in New Orleans for a moment to acknowledge the choice matchup the Pelicans have. New Orleans is second in points in the paint, while the Kings are the most generous defense to scoring inside. Zion does the entirety of his work down low and is well-positioned for a massive game.

Ingram is a bit more balanced of a scorer, but should have his way against Sacramento.

Utah Jazz -11 vs. Washington Wizards

Utah is significantly better than Washington in these rankings. A top-five unit on both sides, there’s a reason they’re at the top of the West. The Wizards are bottom-ten on offense and defense and potentially without Bradley Beal. Jump on this line.

Donovan Mitchell to rejoin Jazz on road trips | Yardbarker

Prop: Donovan Mitchell OVER points

No team makes more threes per game than the Jazz, led by Mitchell. The Wizards are 26th in the NBA stopping the three. Mitchell chucks up over eight threes a game, as does Jordan Clarkson, another worthy target tonight.

Houston Rockets TEAM TOTAL UNDER 108.5 at Phoenix Suns

My favorite bets the last few weeks have been consistently targeting poor offenses against strong defenses. Houston’s 26th-ranked offense is going to have issues against Phoenix’s 5th-ranked defense.

Best of luck to all tonight, and check back tomorrow for the next batch of picks. You can find me on Twitter, @griffybets, for the latest.

The Rankings: NBA Best Bets

For the sake of showing my work and being a resource to you all, the rankings for the week are below. Beyond offensive and defensive rankings, we’ve got pace of play rankings and teams rankings on threes and points in the paint (on both sides of the ball).

Shoutout to TeamRankings.com for their treasure trove of statistics.

Rankings are created by averaging out the following:

  • Points per game
  • Effective field goal percentage
  • Efficiency (off/def)

Pace is calculated by:

  • Field goals attempted per game
  • Possessions per game
Offensive Ranking Defensive Ranking
  1. Brooklyn
  2. LA Clippers
  3. Milwaukee
  4. Utah
  5. Denver
  6. Phoenix
  7. New Orleans
  8. Sacramento
  9. Portland
  10. Atlanta
  11. Chicago
  12. Dallas
  13. Philadelphia
  14. Boston
  15. Indiana
  16. Memphis
  17. Golden State
  18. Toronto
  19. Charlotte
  20. LA Lakers
  21. Washington
  22. San Antonio
  23. Miami
  24. Detroit
  25. Minnesota
  26. Houston
  27. New York
  28. Okla City
  29. Orlando
  30. Cleveland
  1. LA Lakers (t-1)
  2. New York (t-1)
  3. Utah
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Phoenix
  6. Miami
  7. LA Clippers
  8. Dallas
  9. Boston
  10. Milwaukee
  11. Atlanta
  12. Golden State
  13. Toronto
  14. Memphis
  15. Indiana
  16. Denver
  17. San Antonio
  18. Charlotte
  19. Chicago
  20. Detroit
  21. Cleveland
  22. Brooklyn
  23. Okla City
  24. Orlando
  25. Houston
  26. Washington
  27. Portland
  28. Minnesota
  29. New Orleans
  30. Sacramento
  1. Milwaukee
  2. Minnesota
  3. Memphis
  4. Washington
  5. Indiana
  6. Golden State
  7. Chicago
  8. San Antonio
  9. Sacramento
  10. Houston
  11. Portland
  12. Orlando
  13. Toronto
  14. Brooklyn
  15. Philadelphia
  16. Utah
  17. New Orleans
  18. Boston
  19. Okla City
  20. Denver
  21. Charlotte
  22. LA Lakers
  23. Phoenix
  24. Atlanta
  25. Detroit
  26. Cleveland
  27. Dallas
  28. LA Clippers
  29. Miami
  30. New York

Offensive Preferences vs. Defensive Weaknesses

Offense: Points in Paint Defense: Opponent’s Points in Paint (worst to best)
  1. Memphis
  2. New Orleans
  3. Sacramento
  4. Indiana
  5. Cleveland
  6. Chicago
  7. LA Lakers
  8. Brooklyn
  9. Washington
  10. Denver
  11. Minnesota
  12. Milwaukee
  13. Philadelphia
  14. San Antonio
  15. Atlanta
  16. Boston
  17. Houston
  18. Detroit
  19. Okla City
  20. Golden State
  21. Phoenix
  22. Charlotte
  23. New York
  24. Miami
  25. Utah
  26. Dallas
  27. Toronto
  28. LA Clippers
  29. Orlando
  30. Portland
  1. Sacramento
  2. Indiana
  3. Minnesota
  4. Detroit
  5. Chicago
  6. Okla City
  7. Cleveland
  8. Utah
  9. San Antonio
  10. Houston
  11. Brooklyn
  12. Atlanta
  13. Portland
  14. LA Lakers
  15. LA Clippers
  16. Washington
  17. Charlotte
  18. Memphis
  19. Philadelphia
  20. Phoenix
  21. Golden State
  22. New Orleans
  23. Denver
  24. Orlando
  25. Boston
  26. Dallas
  27. New York
  28. Milwaukee
  29. Toronto
  30. Miami


Offense: Three-Pointers Made Defense: Opponent Three Point % (worst to best)
  1. Utah
  2. Portland
  3. Toronto
  4. Milwaukee
  5. LA Clippers
  6. Brooklyn
  7. Charlotte
  8. Dallas
  9. Golden State
  10. Houston
  11. Boston
  12. Denver
  13. Phoenix
  14. Minnesota
  15. Atlanta
  16. Okla City
  17. Miami
  18. Chicago
  19. Indiana
  20. Detroit
  21. Sacramento
  22. Orlando
  23. New York
  24. LA Lakers
  25. New Orleans
  26. Memphis
  27. Philadelphia
  28. Washington
  29. San Antonio
  30. Cleveland
  1. New Orleans
  2. Sacramento
  3. Minnesota
  4. Cleveland
  5. Washington
  6. San Antonio
  7. Detroit
  8. Houston
  9. Toronto
  10. Indiana
  11. Milwaukee
  12. Orlando
  13. Portland
  14. Boston
  15. Golden State
  16. Memphis
  17. Brooklyn
  18. Charlotte
  19. LA Clippers
  20. Miami
  21. Dallas
  22. Philadelphia
  23. Denver
  24. Okla City
  25. Chicago
  26. Atlanta
  27. Phoenix
  28. LA Lakers
  29. Utah
  30. New York