We are back at it on a Tuesday after a 1-1 Monday night in best bets. It's safe to say that the Raptors are going to stink this season. They may get the Adam Gase auto-fade treatment from me moving forward.
As for tonight, there are only five games on the NBA schedule. I'm going to test the NBA's new covid game scheduling where a team plays their opponent twice in back to back games in the same arena. The Lakers play the Grizzlies for a second straight night while the Nuggets face the Timberwolves on the back end of a two-game series.
This season to limit travel, the NBA has started scheduling two-game, one city series. Unlike in years past, these short series were played as home and home sets. This year when teams get into town they get to chill for a couple of days.
So far there have been five sweeps in these series: the Rockets over the Kings, the Magic took out the Wizards, the Bucks swept the Wizards, the 76ers knocked off the Hornets and the Lakers took both from the Spurs. In these 10 wins, the sweeping teams have covered the spread 80% of the time. The Wizards were involved in two of the sweeps, while the Lakers and 76ers have won four of the games. The Rockets and Kings split ATS (against the spread), while the Lakers got back-doored against the Spurs. Tonight we have two teams looking to complete the sweep.
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NBA Best Bets - Tuesday, January 5th
Los Angeles Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies (+9) Total: 218.5
I really hate laying favorites, especially when the favorite is LeBron James on a nationally televised game. The Lakers smashed the Grizzlies in Game 1 of this series. The Grizzlies are missing Ja Morant and he is the only Grizzlies' player who can consistently put pressure on the defense and create his own shot. The Lakers come into this game healthy and LeBron James will most likely play because you can't load mange on nights when you are taking place in a nationally televised game unless you are really injured. This game opened up with the Lakers as a 9.5-point favorite, but there has been some sharp money on the Grizzlies dropping the line by a half-point. Ultimately, I'm not concerned since the sharp money was way off in the NBA last night. The Grizzlies are 2-4 ATS on the season while the Lakers are 4-3. Bottom line is that without Morant, the Grizzlies will not be able to keep up with the Lakers.
Best Bet: Lakers -9
Best Bet Record 4-7 ATS
Targeted Matchups and Props
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Denver Nuggets (-10.5)
The Denver Nuggets have not looked well to start the season and have a 2-4 record straight up to start the season. The Timberwolves have struggled as well and the loss of Karl Anthony-Towns has set them back yet again. Minnesota is currently in the midst of a four-game losing streak and I don't see things getting better any time soon. I'm going to lay another double-digit favorite looking for a sweep, but I'm not as confident in the Nuggets as I am on the Lakers.
The Pick: Nuggets -10.5
Utah Jazz vs Brooklyn Nets (+5)
The underachieving Brooklyn Nets are playing in their fifth straight home game tonight. They will be without Kevin Durant and you never know if Kyrie Irving may decide to take the night off as well. The Jazz have won three of their last four games and seemed to have gotten their mojo back. Im not really interested in a side in this game, although I could see the Nets pulling off the upset. I do, however, like a pair of prop bets centered around Utah's two best players. Brooklyn has struggled on the boards and scoring guards have also given them trouble, so here's to hoping those trends stay the same tonight.
The Props: Donovan Mitchell Over 25.5 Points and Rudy Gobert over 13.5 Rebounds