San Jose Sharks @ Vegas Golden Knights – 10:00 p.m. ET
Monday’s matchup brings NHL history, as Patrick Marleau will play in his 1,768th game, passing the great Gordie Howe for first on the all-time list. It’s fine to be emotional, just not with your money – the only play here is Vegas.
This is a tale of two teams heading in totally different directions: The Sharks have lost five consecutive games, and the Golden Knights have won six straight, covering the puckline in five of those contests. VGK has won all five games against San Jose this season and are historically difficult to beat at The Fortress.
Bottom line: Congrats again to Marleau, but there’s no reason to trust San Jose and every reason to trust Vegas.
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Pick: Golden Knights -1.5 (+104)
DFS Value Play: Jonathan Marchessault ($5600)
St. Louis Cardinals @ Washington Nationals – 7:05 p.m. ET
Small sample sizes – especially early in the MLB season – can obfuscate a pitcher’s real worth. In this case, it’s pretty simple: Jack Flaherty is still a beast, and Joe Ross isn’t. Flaherty’s 4.11 ERA in three games looks scary. But when you remove his disastrous season-opening six-run outing against Cincinnati, that number comes down to 0.82. He’s struck out 12 and allowed four hits over his last two starts (11.0 IP).
Joe Ross – Washington’s Monday starter and the owner of a career 4.16 ERA – looks stellar after allowing no runs and six hits through two starts this season. But he’s bound for regression against a strong St. Louis lineup filled with righties — and Ross has struggled against righties this season (+63% BAA as opposed to lefties).
The sharp action is moving in the Cards’ direction, so get it while it’s hot.
Pick: Cardinals -115
DFS Value Play: Paul DeJong ($3800)
Chicago Bulls @ Boston Celtics – 7:30 p.m. ET
The Celtics have won six straight, eight of their last nine, and have covered the spread in six of those wins. The Bulls — after acquiring Orlando’s big man Nikola Vucevic in a headline-grabbing deadline deal — promptly went 3-9, and most recently lost and failed to cover in five straight.
The C’s shouldn’t fret over missing starting center Robert Williams (knee), either: When Boston played Orlando on January 15 without him, Tristan Thompson held Vucevic to 15 points and the Celtics won by 27. Questionable tags for Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown (both illness) could be keeping Boston’s line manageable here, too.
The Celtics are at home with equal rest and all the momentum in their favor.
Pick: Celtics -6 (-110)
DFS Value Play: Marcus Smart ($6700)
First leg: 8:10 p.m. ET
There are fewer betting strategies more secure than fading the Rockets this season, and doing so with a highly motivated Heat squad coming off a huge win over the Nets feels even more secure.
The Padres, meanwhile, are coming off a big win over the Dodgers to avoid a sweep in the first of what is sure to be several contentious series this season. They’ll send out Joe Musgrove, who has been masterful to start the campaign, against the visiting Brewers.
Pick: Heat and Padres Parlay +115
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Florida Panthers – 7:00 p.m. ET
Nikita Gusev has come back to Earth after a minor 2019-20 breakout. After he was released from New Jersey, he signed with Florida, and was immediately awarded a power-play role (on the league’s fifth-best unit) and almost 18 minutes of ice time per game. This is a classic change-of-scenery spot. The Russian winger already has an assist for Florida and plays on the first line with elite playmaker Aleksander Barkov, so we’re taking Gusev to notch his first goal.
Pick: Nikita Gusev to Score a Goal +215
Memphis Grizzlies @ Denver Nuggets – 9:00 p.m. ET
Denver is obviously shorthanded in the backcourt without Jamal Murray, which opens up plenty of space for Ja Morant and company to go to work. The Grizzlies have won three of their last four and have played admirably on the road this season. They may have a greater sense of urgency tonight as well, currently occupying the West’s 8th seed, so look for the live underdog to secure the outright win here.
Pick: Grizzlies +245