Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM
Wednesday's Best Bets
There are seven games on the NBA schedule tonight and you've got three teams playing the latter half of a back-to-back. Two of the three are at home with the Lakers hosting Golden State and Portland hosting Toronto, but these have been tricky spots for some of the better teams this year. I noted late last week how they have been a good 'under' bet in general as well, and that's another way to potentially look at these games.
It's all about the sides in both of those games though as one of those hosts is worth backing, and one definitely is not.
Toronto at Portland (10:05 p.m. ET)
Best Bet #1: Trail Blazers (-3)
For whatever reason, the Portland Blazers completely forgot to show up out of the half in Sacramento last night. A tie game at the break, turned into a 14-point deficit starting the 4th, and even a early 4th quarter flurry was far too little too late. Not sure why that happened for the Blazers, but it couldn't have been a fun plane ride home.
Tonight, that frustrated Portland team takes on the champs, a depleted champs team, but the champs no less, and I would expect them to be much better. Portland may not be as good as an overall team as some expected coming into the year, but as long as fatigue doesn't play a factor for them, this is a game that will have their attention being that it is the champs, and a talent edge on the floor that probably favors them.
Remember, this is potentially a “rest” game for this Raptors team who just had two emotional games in LA the past few days, and are in the lull during the back end of this road trip. These young guys have two games under their belts with these extended minutes they are getting, and not being used to that showed late against the Clippers. A day off helps, but both LA teams had the Raptors entire focus – be it team expectations or old teammates over in LA colors now - and they played like it.
I'm not sure Portland gets that same respect here as the plane starts to head for home, with another day off before wrapping up things in Dallas on Saturday. That's the game where I'd expect the Raptors to be fully rested and at their best with what's out there for them right now. Not here against a Portland team that can run away with things if their two guards get hot. Slightly short number, all things considered.
Golden State at L.A. Lakers
Best Bet #2: Warriors (+12)
The Lakers were able to bounce back from that lazy effort vs Toronto with a win in Phoenix on Tuesday, but this is just the type of spot LeBron takes off. It's the third game in four nights for LA – as a side note, it would be great to see LeBron sit for load management reasons on another Wednesday – and the Lakers can play down to the level of their competition and still come away with the win.
LA isn't exactly a young team anymore eventually all these congested minutes will show up in one effort for the Lakers. And if fatigue isn't there early in preventing LA from pulling away as early as they would like too, there is always a good chance for a backdoor cover against this Lakers team that could be experiencing dead legs come the 4th.
Golden State is playing with a very depleted roster right now, but they can score the basketball when they get going. Running on the Lakers early can only help the Warriors cause as this game goes on, and the Warriors are the type of team right now where spot betting makes much more sense. You aren't going to get the most consistent effort out of Golden State right now, but give them a favorable spot against a team you know is likely to be far from there best by either being tired, and/or taking the Warriors lightly, and this many points looks awfully attractive. I'll take a shot that Golden State can put it all together for at least like 40 or so minutes of this one and keep it within the number.