These are the following games I’m watching tonight. If the opportunity arises, I’m jumping on a Live In-Game bet.
Lakers vs Celtics
The most historic rivalry in the NBA is currently at an 8 point in favor of the Celtics. I appreciate the Celtics and their dominance, but I think the combination of the rivalry and the positional advantages will allow the Lakers to make this a competitive game.
First, I’ll evaluate the edge that this being a rivalry game and a home game for the Lakers gives for this line. The Lakers have been atrocious since the 2013-2014 season but in the seven games against Boston in that span, have not lost a game by more than seven to them. I know that Boston has not been dominant since that time, but a 4-3 SU record against Boston and never being beat by seven indicates that they rise up for this one. The homecourt should also play a huge role, as the Staples Center should be energized for this one. While they have not been winning consistently at home, the Lakers have been competing at home, only losing by more than 7 twice in their last ten. These trends of competing to me indicate that LA is not going to simply rollover to a rival at home.
As far as positional edges, I think LA’s frontcourt has a huge physical and athletic advantage over Boston. Julius Randle missed the first contest in this one, but his counterpart, Larry Nance had a monster game of 18 points and 11 rebounds against the relatively nonathletic and poor rebounding combo of Horford and Johnson. Now that you throw Julius Randle into the mix, I’m fully expecting a dominant performance from him, as well as Larry Nance off the bench. No Celtic rebounder has the combination of strength/speed of either of these guys, and they should feast once again. Russell, LA’s best scorer, should also be able to get his against an undersized IT, but if they decide to switch Bradley/Smart onto him then expect Young or Clarkson to be the beneficiary. LA matches up very well with Boston, so this is the other half of my rationale.
Yes, the Lakers are an absolute dumpster-fire this year, while Boston is probably the Association’s 4th or 5th best team. But the combination of the rivalry game, home environment and positional advantages for the Lakers will be enough to keep this a competitive game. Gimme the Lakers and the points.
Clippers vs Bucks
I guess Los Angeles teams are the theme of the night. It always pains me to bet against my Bucks but this is a tough match-up for them and LAC, after losing 3 of their last 4 will be looking to rebound.
The Clippers will utilize Luc Mbah a Moute in this one, as they look to slow down the Greek freak. Limiting him to jumpshots is the key to shutting him down, and Mbah a Moute has the physical ability to do such. The Bucks are a very poor shooting team, and rely on scoring in the paint to get their points. They score an Association leading 47.6% of their points from in the paint, while the Clippers are the 12th best in the association at defending the paint. This strength is likely not truly reflective as they are an even better paint defense when they have Griffin and Paul healthy.
The frontcourt of LA should also eat against Milwaukee in this one. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have huge physical advantages over the likes of Teletovic, Henson and Monroe.
Between Milwaukee’s struggles to generate points outside of the paint and their struggles against the Association’s best teams, I find good value in this line for the Clippers.
I’m also leaning towards Atlanta but will not be taking them, something I’m sure I’ll regret but oh well, there’s just not enough there on the line..