NBA Best Bets: L.A. Is the Play on the Road in Philly

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Betting boards display a short list of just five games on the NBA schedule on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. Featured in our best bets below, we preview and predict three contests that focus on Cleveland hosting Chicago, Oklahoma City visiting Minnesota, plus the LA Lakers on the road in Philadelphia.

Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers

Spread: Cavaliers -1 (-110) | Bulls +1 (-110)

Moneyline: Cavaliers -115 | Bulls -105

Total Points: 214.5 O/U (-110)

Game Details: 8:00 p.m. ET - Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH

Chicago Overall: 17-30 SU | 22-24-1 ATS | Fourth Central Division

NBA Central division cellar-dwellers duel when Chicago visits Cleveland. Following a run of six straight loses, the Bulls have been on a “win one, lose one” streak over the last eight games. If that trend continues, the Bulls are due for victory after losing 98-81 to Sacramento at home last night. Prior to that, Chicago defeated Minnesota (117-110) at home and lost 111-98 to the Bucks in Milwaukee. The Bulls are 7-15 SU and 11-10-1 as visitors so far this season.

Cleveland Overall: 12-33 SU | 19-24-2 ATS | Fifth Central Division

Stumbling during a dismal 2-11 recent run, Cleveland is looking to snap a six-game losing streak. The Cavaliers are playing the final match of a three-game homestand after losing 106-86 to New York and 124-112 to Washington. The Knicks and Wizards almost are as bad as Cleveland, so the blowout losses are worth noting. Three of the Cavs' last six losses were by at least 20 points. Not playing very well anywhere—Cleveland is 6-16 SU and 8-13-1 at home.

Bulls vs. Cavaliers Final Thoughts and Prediction

Chicago and Cleveland are meeting for the third of four contests this season. Cleveland posted a 117-111 win over Chicago back in October prior to the Bulls sneaking past the Cavaliers 118-116 at home last Saturday. Winning both contests in Cleveland (112-92 and 104-88), the Bulls posted a 3-1 season series victory last year. Chicago also won 99-98 at home prior to losing 104-101 during the last meeting of the season. The Cavs have covered the last three games.

Still in the Eastern Conference playoff race, Chicago sits three games behind Brooklyn, who currently holds the final postseason position. Cleveland faces a tougher road as the Cavs are seven games behind the Nets and need to leapfrog five teams to make the playoffs. Struggling on offense, scoring 105.4 PPG, the Bulls are bottom ten in allowing 107.7 PPG on defense. Cleveland is dismal at both ends of the floor, scoring 104.9 PPG while allowing 114.1 PPG on defense.

Pick: Bulls -105 ML

Oklahoma City Thunder at Minnesota Timberwolves

Spread: Thunder -2 (-110) | Timberwolves +2 (-110)

Moneyline: Thunder -130 | Timberwolves +110

Total Points: 226.5 O/U (-110)

Details: 8:00 p.m. ET - Target Center in Minneapolis, MN

Oklahoma City Overall: 27-19 SU | 31-15 ATS | Third Northwest Division

Hot meets cold when Oklahoma City visits Minnesota for a Northwest division showdown. The Thunder put an 11-14 slow season start in the past, as OKC is red-hot during a 16-5 winning run. Oklahoma has won four straight after posting a home win against Portland (119-106) then victories in Houston (112-107) and Orlando (120-114) prior to pummeling Atlanta 140-111 at home last night. The Thunder own a 12-10 SU record as visitors, but an NBA-best 17-5 ATS mark.

Minnesota Overall: 15-30 SU | 17-26-2 ATS | Fifth Northwest Division

Struggling through a season to forget, Minnesota has lost eight straight games and has not been very competitive in any of those contests. Following 11 straight losses, the Timberwolves went on a mini 5-3 winning run prior to their recent slide. Minnesota has lost its last four games at home including a 131-124 loss to Houston last night. Sitting at 6-16 SU and 5-16-1 ATS as hosts—the Timberwolves are sporting one of the worst home records in the NBA.

Thunder vs. Timberwolves Final Thoughts and Prediction

Following the departure of Russell Westbrook to Houston, plus losing Paul George to the Clippers, not much was expected in Oklahoma City this season. However, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder have four players averaging at least 17.1 points per game. They also sit fourth in the Western Conference, allowing 108.2 PPG on defense. Minnesota has some pop, scoring 111.4 PPG on offense but sit bottom five in allowing 115.0 PPG on defense.

This is the third of four contests after the Thunder rolled to a 139-127 OT win at home in December and the posted a 117-104 victory in Minnesota two weeks ago. The Timberwolves, who won the season series 3-1 last year, have not defeated a team with a winning record since posting a 112-102 victory over Utah back on Nov. 18, 2019. OKC owns the best record against the spread in the NBA this season. Bet on Oklahoma continuing that trend in this contest.

Pick: Thunder -2

Los Angeles Lakers at Philadelphia 76ers

Spread: Lakers -4 (-110) | 76ers +4 (-110)

Moneyline: Lakers -190 | 76ers +170

Total Points: 218.5 O/U (-110)

Game Details: 8:30 p.m. ET - Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA

Los Angeles Overall: 36-9 SU | 24-20-1 ATS | First Pacific Division

Closing out a five-game road trip, Los Angeles enters this game following a 128-113 win over the Nets in Brooklyn on Thursday. Prior to that, the Lakers defeated the Knicks 100-92, were pummeled 139-107 by the Celtics and posted a 124-115 victory against the Rockets. After missing five games, Anthony Davis is back in Lakers lineup and is playing full minutes after being limited during his return in Boston. Los Angeles 20-4 SU and 13-11 ATS on the road.

Philadelphia Overall: 29-17 SU | 21-24-1 ATS | Third Atlantic Division

On a rollercoaster ride, Philadelphia is 9-10 since Dec. 15, 2019, and has been winning and losing in bunches. Following wins in New York (90-87) and Brooklyn (117-111), plus a 107-95 loss in Toronto during their last game on Wednesday, the 76ers are back home where they have lost just twice this season. Philadelphia is still without leading scorer Joel Embiid, who is sidelined with a finger injury. The 76ers are 20-2 SU and 12-9-1 ATS at home this season.

Lakers vs. 76ers Final Thoughts and Prediction

This is the first of two meetings between these playoff contenders this year. Keeping in mind that the Lakers are vastly improved, the 76ers won both contests last year, posting a 143-120 win at home and a 121-105 victory in California. Philadelphia sits in the bottom half of the league scoring 108.4 PPG but is second overall allowing just 105.1 PPG on defense. Seventh-best in both categories, Los Angeles is allowing 106.2 PPG on defense and scoring 114 PPG on offense.

LeBron James posted his 10th triple-double and the Lakers drained a season-high in 3-point shots (19) during the win in Brooklyn. Kings James needs just 18 points to pass Kobe Bryant for third overall in NBA scoring history. Both of these teams will be featured in Super Bowl 54 prop bets next weekend, as Philadelphia is in Boston and Los Angeles hosts Sacramento. Watch for extensive NFL betting coverage all week leading up to Chiefs vs. 49ers NFL title game.

Pick: Lakers -4

NBA Season Record: 11-12-1

NFL Super Bowl LIV Early Betting Update

Anticipation is mounting, as Super Bowl 54 is now eight days away. The Sports Illustrated crew is on the ground in Miami, plus LIVE in Las Vegas, to deliver full coverage of the San Francisco vs. Kansas City contest. The NFL Championship clash kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET on February 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Here is a sample of early betting tips, trends and previews for the Chiefs vs. 49ers Super Bowl LIV showdown.

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