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NBA

Dec 17, 2019

Tuesday's Best Bets

Tuesday's NBA board has the two teams from LA book-ending the card, as the Lakers start things off with a game in Indiana, and the Clippers cap the evening off by hosting Phoenix.

The Clippers are in the better position given they aer at home and Phoenix is playing for the second straight night, but they've also got the much bigger point spread to hurdle over, and you've got to wonder if there is any inkling of them looking past the Suns and to their game with Houston on deck.

The Rockets nearly got caught looking ahead to that game last night when they needed a huge 2nd half comeback to get past San Antonio, and situationally, tonight's situation for the Clippers looks awfully similar. But with Phoenix on the latter half of a back-to-back, they aren't a side that's all that attractive either, so for those of you that do get involved in the nightcap this evening, I wish you good luck.

Instead, it's the Lakers game that has caught my attention, along with a side that comes with plenty of ugliness. Let's get to the plays:

L.A. Lakers at Indiana (NBA TV, 7:05 p.m. ET)

Best Bet #1: L.A. Lakers/Indiana Over 211

Lakers HC Frank Vogel returns to his former stomping grounds in Indiana tonight, but he spent three years in Orlando returning to this venue as the enemy, so there isn't much to make of any potential angle there. However, after the Lakers beat Atlanta 101-96 on Sunday, there is an angle that's live once again on this total, as it's something I brought up late last week when LA was in Miami.

Holding Atlanta to 96 points on Sunday brings up the spot where LA is now 8-1 O/U this year after holding a foe to a sub-100 point game, and all eight of those 'over's have seen 217 or more points. It worked with ease against the Heat last Friday, as that game finished with 223 points with the 4th quarter being the lowest scoring frame in the game. The pace was there from the outset, and based on how this situation has panned out for Lakers games this year, I do believe we are in for a similar pace of play tonight.

At the same time, the Pacers are coming off a win where they held their opponent to a sub-100 point effort for the first time in 13 tries and that's quite significant as well. Indiana's only managed to do that four other times this season and in their next outing, the Pacers have posted a 3-1 O/U record with an average point total of 222 points in those games. One of those outings did require OT, but even when you eliminate those 16 points that were scored in extra time (122-120 loss to Charlotte in early November), that average only drops to 218 points per game.

Together with the Lakers in a great 'over' situation as well, and both teams coming off those sub-100 point defensive efforts which will statistically force this number to open possibly lower then it should, has me looking to the high side here.

Remember, the Lakers have their own potential look-ahead spot to concern themselves with as they end this road trip in Milwaukee on Thursday, and if they do have a shot at getting caught in that tonight, it will show up on the defensive end more often then not. LA can rely on the talent they've got to win games late, and another 113-110 type game like we saw from them in Miami could end up being the final result once again.

Brooklyn at New Orleans (8:05 p.m. ET)

Best Bet #2: New Orleans ML +115

Going to bypass taking the +2 point spread on the Pelicans this evening, although this is also a play you could potentially wait on given that there won't be many bettors out there looking to back a team that's lost 12 games in a row (1-10-1 ATS). But that's the nature of the majority believing it's best to ride streaks in sports betting though, and you shouldn't hesitate to use that to your advantage when it seemingly fits.

This is the ultimate 'buy low' spot on the Pelicans because of that long losing streak, but more importantly, this is the ultimate 'sell high' spot on the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn is coming off a dominating performance where they beat Philadelphia by 20 points the other day, controlling the game from the outset and never looking back. Yes, they didn't have to deal with Joel Embiid that day, but a win over the Sixers is still highly impressive for a team like the Nets right now, and that's all the box score really shows.

But let's bet honest, when the majority of bettors see that result as the most recent one for Brooklyn and they know that New Orleans hasn't won a game since November 21st, this is going to be all about fading the Pelicans tonight against a Nets team that's got some solid current form going. After all, not only did the Nets blow out the Sixers last time out, but they've gone 6-2 ATS in their last eight.

Nobody wants to back a team in the depths of a slump like the Pelicans are currently in, but eventually things flip for teams like that. Had New Orleans had more 'average' results lately – say something like 4-8 SU over their last 12 games – there is little chance they'd be catching points here at all. Talent wise, the Pelicans are far better then their 6-21 SU record suggests, and with games (albeit all on the road) coming up against Minnesota, Golden State, and Portland, the Pelicans could be on the verge of starting a nice little winning streak going into their Christmas Day matchup with Denver.

Hopefully the start of a potential run like that starts tonight, as they snap this slide with a home victory this evening.

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