NBA Three at 3: Best Bets for Monday, March 14

After going 2-1 with our picks on Friday, we now look to do something similar on a night that features a doubleheader on ESPN. The two national television games that fans will be treated to will have the Philadelphia 76ers hosting the Denver Nuggets and the Milwaukee Bucks facing the Utah Jazz. 

1. Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers - 7:30 p.m. ET

In a meeting between the two best centers in basketball — and two favorites to win the MVP award — Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid will battle it out in Philadelphia tonight. The Sixers have failed to cover in four of their last five games and it's taking some time for them to get James Harden fully acclimated. With that in mind, it wouldn't be all that surprising if the Nuggets were able to steal a win in this one. While Denver is definitely lacking in talent around Jokic with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. out, the team has been playing some good basketball of late. The continuity that the Nuggets have in place is definitely an advantage in a matchup with a team that is working in new pieces too. Denver is also 16-6 against the spread when trying to revenge a home loss versus an opponent over the last two seasons. The Nuggets have won those games by an average of 6.5 points per game. 

THE PICK: Nuggets +2.5 

2. Minnesota Timberwolves at San Antonio Spurs - 8:30 p.m. ET

The Spurs are coming off of a bad loss to the Indiana Pacers, but they had earned an eight-point win over the Utah Jazz in the game before that. This team generally gets up for games like these, so you should expect a much better effort from San Antonio this time around. San Antonio is actually 19-9 against the spread when coming off a non-conference game this season, and the team is also 25-13 against the spread when coming off a loss by 10 or more points over the last two seasons. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are just 8-19 against the spread when coming off an upset win since the start of last season. Look for the presence of Jakob Poeltl to be a big X-factor in this game. His brand of defense should give Karl-Anthony Towns some trouble. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves won't have a match for Dejounte Murray. 

THE PICK: Spurs +4.5 

3. Milwaukee Bucks at Utah Jazz - 10:00 p.m. ET

The Jazz are 10-20 against the spread when coming off an Over this season, and they're also 13-23 against the spread after a game in which they failed to cover. On top of that, Utah is 17-29 against the spread when facing teams that average at least 23.0 assists per game. That means that the Jazz struggle against teams that play the right way on offense, and saying that Milwaukee plays the right way is an understatement. Over the last 10 games, the Bucks are first in the league in offensive rating. And it's just hard to see the Jazz coming up with a way to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton here. Meanwhile, the Bucks have the luxury of putting Jrue Holiday on Donovan Mitchell, which should tire Utah's star out a little bit. Milwaukee is also getting Brook Lopez back from a lengthy absence, and he should help stabilize a struggling Bucks defense. 

THE PICK: Bucks -1 

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Nuggets star Nikola Jokic
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Nuggets star Nikola Jokic can solidify his MVP case by helping Denver beat Philadelphia.
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