The Breakfast Spread: Dirk Says Goodbye To Houston, AAF Finishes Strong
Even with the NFL season over, it was a wild weekend in sports. The AAF debuted its new football league and while things got off to a slow start, the last game of the weekend between the Arizona Hotshots and Salt Lake Stallions produced the first Over in the AAF. On Monday, Virginia and North Carolina square off in a big ACC matchup, while Dirk Nowitzki plays his final game in Houston. Here’s the morning sports betting breakdown.
Sixers Continue to Impress with New Lineup
Joel Embiid scored 37 points and added 14 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers (-7, O/U 134) beat the Los Angeles Lakers 143-120. J.J. Redick shined again, scoring 21 points to cash the Over on his points prop (17.5). Redick is averaging a career-high 18.5 points per game this season. The win moves Philadelphia to 2-0 since the trade deadline. The Sixers covered the spread in both games and split the Over/Under.
What to Watch Monday Night
The Dallas Mavericks make a short road trip to Houston, who opened as 9-point favorites, as Dirk Nowitzki bids farewell to this inner state rivalry. The Mavericks will be playing a back-to-back after outscoring the Portland Trailblazers 24-9 in the fourth quarter to squeeze a one-point victory Sunday.
Though the Mavericks are the league’s most profitable team ATS, this could be a tough spot playing the second game of a back-to-back, with the possible temptation to force Nowitzki the ball in his final performance in front of Rockets fans.
Prop Shop: Kemba Walker Over/Under 25.5 points
Walker has scored over his point totals in each of his last five games, making nine 3-pointers in a 37-point performance against Atlanta on Saturday. Walker has scored 30+ points in four of those games – that might be why oddsmakers have adjusted Walker’s point totals from 22.5 to 25.5 during that same span.
Other props to watch: Paul George O/U 30.5 points – George has gone over his point totals seven games in a row.
Stat of the day
Though the Lakers gave up 143 points to the Sixers, Kyle Kuzma lead both teams in points, scoring 39 and shooting 66% from the field.
Cougars Win Cat Fight
No. 12 Houston (-4.5, O/U 130) took sole possession of first place in the American Athletic Conference with a 65-58 win over Cincinnati Sunday. Houston is now 16-7-1 ATS and the Over/Under is 11-13 for the season.
UVA, UNC Fight to Rebound on Big Monday
Big Monday brings a Top 25 matchup between No. 3 Virginia (-1, O/U 143) and No. 8 North Carolina, and two Big 12 conference games: Kansas at TCU (-1.5, O/U 148); Oklahoma at Baylor (currently off the board).
Virginia is coming off a 12-point loss to Duke, while North Carolina won an overtime thriller over Miami, 85-88. Virginia could be playing a man down after forward Mamadi Diakite left in the first half of Saturday’s game with an injury. Diakite is one of Virginia’s premium rim protectors, leading the team with 1.4 blocks per game.
Diakite had contributed 10 or more points in three of his four outings prior to the Duke game. His presence was definitely missed in the second half Saturday, and his status will play a major factor in tonight’s outcome.
AAF: Hotshots, Stallions Score First Over
Sunday began with the Birmingham Iron shutting out the Memphis Express 26-0. Through the first three games of the season the Under was 3-0, and half of the teams failed to score a touchdown. The league finally saw its first Over in the final game of the weekend when Arizona Hotshots beat the Salt Lake Stallions 38-22. The Hotshots covered as 4-point favorites. Favorites went a perfect 4-0 ATS in the AAF’s first weekend.
Weather Delays Phil, Casey at Pebble Beach
Thanks to bad weather Sunday, Phil Mickelson and Paul Casey will resume the final round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am today at 11 a.m. EST. With at worst a three-stroke lead depending on how Casey finishes the 16th hole, Mickelson is in great shape to cash in 25-1 tickets for bettors. Live Odds currently list Mickelson -2200 and Casey +2100.