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Handicapping the NBA: Monday Picks

76ers to cover -10.0 points (-110) at Rockets – DraftKings, 2:35 PM CT

This is a big margin to cover on the road, but these teams are trending in opposite directions in terms of expectations. Over the past two weeks, Philadelphia is outperforming the spread by an average of +6.2 points (-0.1 on the whole year), while Houston is underperforming the spread by an average of -7.6 points over the past two weeks (-1.9 on the year). The combined margin of the two teams gives me confidence in taking the 76ers despite the double-digit spread.

Cleveland Cavaliers -5.0 (-110) at Sacramento Kings – DraftKings Sportsbook, 1:00 PM CT

Some of the luster has worn off the Cavs' impressive start over the last couple weeks, and they bottomed out with a terrible performance Sunday against Golden State, but getting the Kings on the second night of a back-to-back is a perfect bounceback opportunity. Cleveland is still covering at the best rate in the NBA, and that includes a 13-6-1 ATS mark on the road. The Cavs are 4-2-1 ATS on the second leg of back-to-backs and 3-1 ATS as a road favorite this season. Meanwhile, the Kings have dropped four straight games and are coming off of a 15-point drubbing at the hands of the woefully shorthanded Trail Blazers on Sunday. Sacramento is just 11-17 ATS as an underdog on the year.

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