I jumped on the Houston Rockets and a mild -2.5 point spread early on Monday, only to see Chris Paul be ruled out. The Rockets still had the Wizards in their crosshairs late in the game, but ultimately couldn’t get the job done.
That handed me my second straight loss and dropped my season NBA picks record to 17-8. That’s the first two-game losing skid of the young season for me, but I’m still on pace to get 20 wins before I hit 10 losses.
Tuesday’s light five-game NBA schedule complicates things a bit, but I still think there’s enough value to help get bettors a win and snap this losing skid. To me, the best bet resides in Denver where the Nuggets will host the Los Angeles Lakers.
There are honestly a few ways to go here, but let’s break this game down to find out the best bet for tonight’s huge Western Conference clash:
LA Lakers (+3.5, -110) @ Denver Nuggets (-3.5, -110) Total: 218 (-116/-104)
It should be known that the Lakers won the first meeting between these two teams earlier this year (121-114) and they did so without Rajon Rondo, who is again not with the team. They also did it without Brandon Ingram, who now is with the Lakers.
That game did go down at the Staples Center where the Lakers enforced their will (4th in pace) and Denver (5-4) is not known for getting the job done on the road. They are, however, known for winning (8-3) at home. Those splits have stretch beyond this year, so despite L.A.’s fun +140 moneyline and decent +3.5 point spread, there is cause for pause.
Obviously Denver is talented, they’re at home, they’ve won three in a row and they’re going to want to get the Lakers back for that first loss. L.A. are also just 5-4 on the road.
There is serious incentive for both of these teams to gut out a win, though. The Lakers are somehow just 2.5 games back from first place in the Pacific Division and Denver is clinging to an 0.5 game lead in the Northwest Division. I expect both teams to come to play and few would argue this should be a rather tight affair.
If I’m picking this game based on the spread or moneyline, I tend to favor the Lakers. Denver gets the job done at home, but the Lakers should stay in this one and in the clutch I don’t know how I feel about betting against LeBron James. It’s not like the Nuggets are crushing everyone ATS (6-4 ATS when favored at home) and L.A. isn’t terrible (2-2) as road dogs this year.
It’s early in the year, so banking too hard on against the spread data feels like a mistake. Blindly backing the Nuggets just because they’re at home and will want to win feels like a gaffe waiting to happen, too. Yes, they’re in a good spot and are hot at the moment, but stopping LeBron James is never an easy task.
I want the Lakers in this one, but I also want to point out a very beatable Over. The -116 price at Sportsbetting.ag isn’t mouth-watering, but this isn’t a very gaudy Total. The Lakers push the pace as much as anyone and could play a hand in getting this game over that hump.
Still, the best bet is the Lakers as +140 underdogs. Anytime I can get an elite player or quality team at an amazing price, I have to consider taking the dive. This is an overall trashy NBA betting slate and the Rockets burned me last night using that same logic, but I’m down for siding with James tonight. L.A. dropped a bad one against the Magic in their last game and will be out for some redemption. Take the +3.5 if you’re not so interested in the mild risk.