Five reasons why Russell Westbrook has struggled so mightily as a Laker

HoopsHype breaks down the analytics behind Russell Westbrook’s struggles as a member of the Lakers.

It’s no secret that Russell Westbrook has struggled as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Just how badly has the former league MVP struggled?

According to VORP (+0.3) and BPM (-1.1), this has been the least impactful campaign of Westbrook’s career, and according to WS/48 (0.46), it’s the second-least impactful.

In turn, Los Angeles has struggled as a whole, sitting at 23-24 to this point in the season and with the No. 22 net rating league-wide (-1.4).

Below, we break down some of the reasons why Westbrook is having such a down year.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers odds, picks and prediction

Analyzing Tuesday’s Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers odds and lines, with NBA expert picks, predictions and best bets.

The Minnesota Timberwolves (23-23) kick off three games in four nights on the road Tuesday, beginning with the Portland Trail Blazers (20-26). Tip-off is 10 p.m. ET at Moda Center. Below, we look at the Timberwolves vs. Trail Blazers odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

The Timberwolves are coming off a 136-125 home win over the Brooklyn Nets. They have won three of their last four games and seven of their last 10 to even their record to .500.

The Trail Blazers just wrapped up a six-game road trip, finishing 4-2. They have won six of their last eight games overall. They have been much better at home than on the road. They are 6-15 on the road this season but 14-11 at home.

Timberwolves at Trail Blazers odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 3:20 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Timberwolves -155 (bet $155 to win $100) | Trail Blazers +125 (bet $100 to win $125)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Timberwolves -3.5 (-107) | Trail Blazers +3.5 (-115)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 232.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

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Timberwolves at Trail Blazers key injuries

Timberwolves

  • Patrick Beverley (ankle) questionable

Trail Blazers

  • Robert Covington (finger) probable
  • Damian Lillard (core) out
  • Nassir Little (knee) probable
  • Larry Nance Jr. (knee) out
  • Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle) probable
  • Cody Zeller (knee)  out

Deposit $10 or more, get $100 in instant bet credits at Tipico Sportsbook! New customer offer in CO and NJ. 21+, see Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. Place your legal, online sports bets at Tipico. Let’s make this interesting. Bet now!

Timberwolves at Trail Blazers odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Trail Blazers 121, Timberwolves 117

Money line

This should be a fun game as both teams come in riding some success. The Timberwolves are 10-13 on the road this season but are 4-3 in their last seven games away from home.

Portland has won four of its last six at home. They will want to avenge the 116-111 home loss they had against the Timberwolves. They have the size to match up with C Karl-Anthony Towns and the guard play to match G D’Angelo Russell. 

Take the TRAIL BLAZERS (+125).

Against the spread

The Timberwolves are 9-5 ATS in their last 14 games. The Blazers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games.

The Timberwolves are 13-10 ATS on the road this season. The Blazers are 12-13 ATS at home.

The Blazers actually struggle as the underdog. They are 8-14 ATS as underdogs this season, while the Wolves are 10-10 ATS as favorites.

However, expecting a Portland win outright, take the TRAIL BLAZERS +3.5 (-107).

Over/Under

Seven of the last eight games for the Timberwolves have gone Over the projected total. They have scored 119 or more in six of their last eight games.

The Blazers are 4-5 O/U in their last nine.

The two teams combined for 227 points in their first matchup. They will surpass that this time around.

Take OVER 232.5 (-110).

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Los Angeles Lakers at Brooklyn Nets odds, picks and predictions

Analyzing Tuesday’s Los Angeles Lakers at Brooklyn Nets odds and lines, with NBA expert picks, predictions and best bets.

The Los Angeles Lakers (23-24) head to Barclays Center Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. ET game against the Brooklyn Nets (29-17). Below, we look at the Lakers vs. Nets odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

This is expected to be Lakers F Anthony Davis’ return to action as he’s been sidelined with a knee injury since the middle of December.

Davis returns at a perfect time for L.A. who’s alternated between winning and losing over the last five games with the latest being a 113-107 loss at the Miami Heat as a 4-point road underdog Sunday. The Lakers are 19-28 against the spread (ATS) and 26-20-1 Over/Under (O/U).

Brooklyn had its two-game win streak snapped Sunday after getting routed by the Minnesota Timberwolves 136-125 as a 3-point road underdog. The Nets are 19-27 ATS and 22-24 O/U.

The Nets beat the Lakers 122-115 as 2.5-point underdogs in their first meeting this season on Christmas night. Brooklyn All-Star G James Harden put up a 36-10-10 triple-double and L.A.’s F LeBron James scored a game-high 39 points.

Also seeBet Slippin’ Podcast: NBA January 25 breakdown

Lakers at Nets odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 3 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Lakers -150 (bet $145 to win $100) | Nets +122 (bet $100 to win $122)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Lakers -2.5 (-120) | Nets +2.5 (-105)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 225.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)

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Lakers at Nets key injuries

Lakers

  • PF Anthony Davis (knee) probable

Nets

  • SF Kevin Durant (knee) out
  • SG Kyrie Irving (ineligible to play) out
  • Nic Claxton (hamstring) questionable

Deposit $10 or more, get $100 in instant bet credits at Tipico Sportsbook! New customer offer in CO and NJ. 21+, see Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. Place your legal, online sports bets at Tipico. Let’s make this interesting. Bet now!

Lakers at Nets odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Lakers 115, Nets 109

Money line

PASS since I like L.A. to win this game outright but the Lakers (-150) is a little out of my price range.

Against the spread

BET the LAKERS -2.5 (-120) for 1 unit because this is a better spot for L.A. and the main reason why the Nets won their first meeting with the Lakers is because Brooklyn guard Patty Mills went ballistic from 3-point range.

Mills scored a season-high 34 points on 64.7% shooting and sunk 8 of 13 from behind the arc and I’m willing to bet that doesn’t happen again.

AD’s return to the lineup should also improve L.A.’s defense on every level. The Lakers should be able to extend their perimeter defense knowing they have one of the league’s elite rim protectors on the floor.

Furthermore, the Nets are an NBA-worst 5-17-1 ATS at home with a minus-7.0 ATS margin while the Lakers are 6-5 ATS as a road underdog. Brooklyn is 6-11 ATS in non-conference games and L.A. is 10-8 ATS in those spots.

Plus both teams have played terrible defense in Jan. and both perform well against teams in the bottom 10 of adjusted defensive rating.

Each is 13-4 straight-up (SU) versus bottom-10 defenses but the Lakers have a positive ATS margin in those games and Brooklyn has a negative ATS margin, according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).

BET the LAKERS -2.5 (-120).

Over/Under

“LEAN” to the UNDER 225.5 (-107) for a quarter-unit mostly as a fade against a majority of the market that’s betting the Over.

The return of AD should benefit L.A.’s defense more so than its offense and it could take AD a few games to find his groove offensively.

AD coming back also means the Lakers now have three ball-stopping isolation players in their starting 5 (LeBron, AD and G Russell Westbrook). We could see a lot of long possessions of iso-ball.

However, I only “LEAN” to the UNDER 225.5 (-108) because Brooklyn is 27th in adjusted defensive rating over the past two weeks and L.A. is 23rd, per CTG.

Bet legally online with a trusted partner: Tipico Sportsbook, Sportsbook Wire’s official sportsbook partner in CO, NJ and, soon, IA. Bet now!

If you’re looking for more sports betting picks and tips, access all of our content at SportsbookWire.com and BetFTW. Please gamble responsibly.

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Additional NBA sports coverage:
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Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).

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Bet Slippin’ Podcast: NBA January 25 breakdown

Geoff Clark does a quick breakdown from a betting perspective for three of the nine games on the Bet Slippin’ Podcast for the NBA’s January 25 card.

SportsbookWire.com’s Geoff Clark, the host of Bet Slippin’ Podcast, previews three of the NBA’s nine-game betting slate for Tuesday, Jan. 25.

Tuesday’s Bet Slippin’ NBA betting slate:

  • Los Angeles Lakers at Brooklyn Nets
  • Los Angeles Clippers at Washington Wizards
  • Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors

Tuesday’s Best Bets:

  • Los Angeles Lakers -2.5 (-115)
  • UNDER 219.5 Clippers-Wizards (-107)
  • Dallas Mavericks +3.5 (-107)

Listen as he offers up NBA picks, predictions and best bets around Wednesday’s top games and NBA betting lines.

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY’s Sports Scores and Odds for a full list.

(If the podcast player does not display, please click here.)

Play our new free daily Pick’em Challenge and win! Play now!

Check back Monday through Friday during the NBA season for a new episode.

Like, subscribe, rate and review SportsbookWire’s sports betting podcast on your favorite podcasting platform: Google PodcastsSpotify | Apple Podcasts.

For more sports betting tips and advice, visit SportsbookWire.com and BetFTW. Please gamble responsibly.

Follow Geoff Clark on Twitter. Follow SportsbookWire on Twitter and like us on Facebook

Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).

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Los Angeles Clippers at Washington Wizards odds, picks and predictions

Analyzing Tuesday’s Los Angeles Clippers at Washington Wizards odds and lines, with NBA expert picks, predictions and best bets.

The Los Angeles Clippers (23-25) visit the nation’s capital Tuesday to play the Washington Wizards (23-24) at the Capital One Arena. The tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Clippers vs. Wizards odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

Los Angeles has alternated between winning and losing over its past five games with the latest being a 110-102 loss at the New York Knicks as 4-point road underdogs. The Clippers are 4-6 straight-up (SU) and 5-5 against the spread (ATS) over their last 10 games.

Washington closes out an 8-game homestand Tuesday and is 3-4 SU and 1-6 ATS over that span. The Wizards got crushed 116-87 by the Boston Celtics in their latest outing Tuesday.

Clippers at Wizards odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 1:50 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Clippers +160 (bet $100 to win $160) | Wizards -200 (bet $200 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Clippers +4.5 (-107) | Wizards -4.5 (-115)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 219.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)

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Clippers at Wizards key injuries

Clippers

  • SF Paul George (elbow) out

Wizards

  • None.

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Clippers at Wizards odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Clippers 107, Wizards 104

Money line

PASS because I only lean towards L.A. plus the points but am not confident enough to sprinkle on the Clippers (+160). Also, my favorite play in this game is the Under.

Against the spread

“LEAN” to the CLIPPERS +4.5 (-107) because L.A. has exceeded expectations recently while Washington has not and this is just a bad spot for the Wizards -4.5 (-115).

For instance, the Clippers have covered 3 of their last 4 games and the Wizards are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games.

Furthermore, Washington is 1-14-1 ATS in their last 16 games versus teams with an overall losing record and has the worst ATS margin (minus-7.9) when facing teams in the bottom-10 teams, according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).

Finally, the Wizards are 5-10 ATS with a minus-4.5 ATS margin versus Western Conference teams and an NBA-worst 7-15 ATS as a favorite with a minus-4.2 ATS margin.

“LEAN” to the CLIPPERS +4.5 (-107) for a quarter-unit.

Over/Under

BET the UNDER 219.5 (-107) for 1 unit mostly because this will be the least bet line in the Clippers-Wizards game and, generally, that’s where you find profit in sports betting.

According to Pregame.com and the Yahoo! Sports app, more than 75% of the cash wagered is on the Over and we know three-fourths of the betting public doesn’t win in this racket.

On top of that, L.A. is eighth in adjusted defensive rating and 26th in adjusted offensive rating whereas Washington is just 23rd in adjusted offensive rating, per CTG.

Although the Wizards don’t grade out well in defensive efficiency, they do a good job defending what the Clippers do often, which is getting out in transition.

For example, L.A. plays the sixth-highest frequency of transition offense but has the second-worst offensive efficiency in the fastbreak.

But, the Wizards are third in defensive efficiency versus transition offense and allow the fewest fastbreak points per game (PPG).

Finally, Washington is 20th in pace and L.A. is 21st in pace this month. Fewer possessions mean fewer points unless these teams have a hot-shooting night.

For the record, the UNDER 219.5 (-107) is my favorite wager in this game.

Bet legally online with a trusted partner: Tipico Sportsbook, Sportsbook Wire’s official sportsbook partner in CO, NJ and, soon, IA. Bet now!

If you’re looking for more sports betting picks and tips, access all of our content at SportsbookWire.com and BetFTW. Please gamble responsibly.

Follow Geoff Clark on Twitter. Follow SportsbookWire on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Additional NBA sports coverage:
HoopsHype | Celtics Wire | LeBron Wire | Lonzo Wire | Nets Wire | Rockets Wire | Sixers Wire | Thunder Wire | Warriors Wire | Rookie Wire | List Wire

Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).

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I don’t know if James Harden wants to leave Brooklyn, but I do know it’s not always sunny in Philadelphia, either

It’s actually sunnier in Brooklyn than it is in Philadelphia.

For the second season in a row, it’s hard to avoid hearing the rumors that NBA superstar James Harden potentially wants out of his current situation.

Although such conversations started only as whispers around league circles, they’ve recently grown louder to become an even more regular part of the daily scuttlebutt. After the Houston Rockets traded him to the Brooklyn Nets in Jan. 2021, there are at least reports that Harden could soon be on the move yet again.

Earlier this week on Monday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania wrote that the Philadelphia 76ers would prefer to trade Ben Simmons to land the 2018 NBA MVP in the offseason rather than settle for whatever package is potentially available right now.

Then, on Tuesday, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer wrote a sourced story that explained why Harden might welcome a departure from the Nets.

Fischer shared some crucial details impacting Harden’s potential decision, including a burning interest in testing free agency for the first time in his 13-year career, “frustrations” about Kyrie Irving’s part-time status, as well as a disappointment in Steve Nash’s “fluid” lineup rotations.

But the part that stood out most was Harden’s reported dismay about location. (Via Bleacher Report):

“His new city could also be an issue. According to multiple sources, Harden has not enjoyed living in Brooklyn, compared to his days as a central Houston magnate. Outside of the change in climate, the chasm between state taxes in New York versus Texas is quite obvious as well.”

As someone who has lived in Brooklyn since 2017, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the weather is better here than it is in Texas. The winters are rough and the summers are sometimes too humid to function.

Basketball is played during the coldest months of the year, which means Harden (who grew up in the beautiful Southern California climate) has to brave some truly brutal conditions many months of the year.

However, the grass isn’t any greener in Philadelphia than it is in Brooklyn.

According to BestPlaces.net, an internet website that tells us more about the best places, there are 207 sunny days per year in Philadelphia. Compare that to Brooklyn, where there are 226. That’s almost three extra weeks of hanging out in the sun, baby!

While there is more snowfall in Brooklyn, the average low in January is 26 degrees in both cities. There is measurable precipitation on 118 days of the year in both cities. Both cities score a 7.3 on the “comfort index” that the site uses.

Perhaps the Sixers are an attractive alternative to the issues Harden is facing in Brooklyn. Philadelphia’s front office, which is run by former Rockets exec Daryl Morey, was eager to acquire Harden before he was traded to the Nets. Evidently, they’ve not given up hope on such an opportunity.

Meanwhile, of course, Harden has never played with a big man as dominant as Embiid — few on the planet have. The income tax rate would also be more favorable to Harden in Philly than it would be in New York City.

All of that aside, if Harden chooses to exercise his player option then signs a max extension, the Nets could offer him a contract worth $269.9 million over the next five years.

If he opts out, the Sixers could offer a max contract of $200.1 million over four years. Either through a sign-and-trade or signing him outright, they’d also have to clear somewhere around $60 million from their books — thus hurting the depth of the team — to make room for him.

Would it really be worth leaving somewhere around $70 million on the table to go live in a city where the comfort index, as calculated by BestPlaces.net, is exactly the same as it is where he is now?

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San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets odds, picks and predictions

Analyzing Tuesday’s San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets odds and lines, with NBA expert picks, predictions and best bets.

The San Antonio Spurs (17-30) travel to Toyota Center Tuesday to take on the Houston Rockets (14-33). Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Spurs vs. Rockets odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

Despite a record that shows 33 losses, the Rockets have won two of their last three games. Houston returns home after a five-game road trip where they took down the Spurs, Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings. The Rockets 4-point win over the Spurs was in San Antonio as a 7.5-point underdog. Houston is 21-25-1 against the spread (ATS) this season.

San Antonio is 24-23 ATS. The Spurs’ net rating ranks 18th in the league (minus-0.6) yet they have the sixth-worst straight-up (SU) record. Basically speaking, they hold their games close but typically fail to come out on top. The Spurs are just 1-3 ATS as road favorites.

Spurs at Rockets odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 1:15 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Spurs -205 (bet $205 to win $100) | Rockets +165 (bet $100 to win $165)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Spurs -4.5 (-120) | Rockets +4.5 (-105)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 233.5 (O: -112 | U: -108)

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Spurs at Rockets key injuries

Spurs

  • None

Rockets

  • None

Deposit $10 or more, get $100 in instant bet credits at Tipico Sportsbook! New customer offer in CO and NJ. 21+, see Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. Place your legal, online sports bets at Tipico. Let’s make this interesting. Bet now!

Spurs at Rockets odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Rockets 120, Spurs 118

Money line

SPRINKLE on the ROCKETS (+165).

Houston beat San Antonio while putting up 128 points Jan. 12 behind an explosion from G Eric Gordon.

While the Rockets season may be over in terms of making the playoffs, Gordon and C Christian Wood still have to perform if they want to be traded, and I expect them to keep playing at a high level. Wood’s length and quickness gave the Spurs problems last time these two teams met.

The Rockets are 7-13 at home which compares favorably to their 7-20 road record.

Against the spread

BET on the ROCKETS +4.5 (-105).

The Rockets play at the fastest pace in the NBA while the Spurs are fifth.

San Antonio also allowed 16 threes last time these teams met. That’s been a huge problem as the Spurs rank 20th in opponents’ three-point field goal percentage and the teams’ pace-up play gives Houston additional opportunities from distance.

Meanwhile the Rockets shoot the fifth-most per game and rank 13th in field goal percentage at home. Their shooting should help decide the game, and there’s a strong chance they again cash in from deep.

Over/Under

“LEAN” to the OVER 233.5 (-112).

These are two of the fastest-paced teams in the NBA. The Spurs are 23-22-2 O/U and the Rockets 26-21-0.

I don’t love betting on the Over at this high of a total, but given that both teams scored over 120 points in the last meeting, it’s really the only side that makes sense.

Bet legally online with a trusted partner: Tipico Sportsbook, Sportsbook Wire’s official sportsbook partner in CO, NJ and, soon, IA. Bet now!

If you’re looking for more sports betting picks and tips, access all of our content at SportsbookWire.com and BetFTW. Please gamble responsibly.

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Additional NBA sports coverage:
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Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).

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Sacramento Kings at Boston Celtics odds, picks and prediction

Analyzing Tuesday’s Sacramento Kings at Boston Celtics odds and lines, with NBA expert picks, predictions and best bets.

The Sacramento Kings (18-30) carry their three-game losing skid to the East Coast where they’ll face the Boston Celtics (24-24) Tuesday. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET from TD Garden. Below, we look at the Kings vs. Celtics odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

The Kings lost 133-127 to the Milwaukee Bucks as 8-point underdogs Saturday as they fell 12 games below .500. They’re 10th in the league with 110.5 points per game but their defense has been abysmal. Sacramento has given up 114.5 points per game — 29th in the league.

PG De’Aaron Fox is in the midst of a strong season but he’s currently dealing with an ankle injury that kept him out of Saturday’s loss.

The Celtics snapped their two-game skid Sunday with a 116-87 blowout win at the Washington Wizards as they easily covered a 2.5-point spread as favorites. SF Jayson Tatum had a season-high 51 points as he drilled 9 of 14 attempts from 3-point range as he heats up after a bit of a slump in recent games.

Boston is allowing the seventh-fewest points per game (105.5) but is also putting up just 107.6 points per game to rank 20th in the NBA.

Kings at Celtics odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 12:40 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Kings +320 (bet $100 to win $320) | Celtics -420 (bet $420 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Kings +8.5 (-115) | Celtics -8.5 (-107)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 220.5 (O: -112 | U: -108)

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Kings at Celtics key injuries

Kings

  • PG De’Aaron Fox (ankle) questionable
  • C Damian Jones (ankle) questionable

Celtics

  • None

Deposit $10 or more, get $100 in instant bet credits at Tipico Sportsbook! New customer offer in CO and NJ. 21+, see Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. Place your legal, online sports bets at Tipico. Let’s make this interesting. Bet now!

Kings at Celtics odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Celtics 117, Kings 105

Money line

The Celtics could start to find a groove on offense with Tatum seemingly getting out of his slump. This is a perfect opportunity for Tatum and Boston to continue to roll offensively against a Kings team that hasn’t stopped many teams this season.

I would PASS on the money line even though I like the Celtics to win this one outright and extend the Kings’ losing skid. They’ve lost two of their last three games as favorites and it’s not worth risking over four times your potential return.

Against the spread

Both the Celtics and the Kings have posted 4-6 ATS records over their last 10 as they’ve struggled against the spread. The Celtics did secure their fourth win by at least double-digits in their last 10 games by beating the Wizards 116-87, so they do have a few convincing wins recently.

That should continue against the Kings, especially if Fox is unable to go. CELTICS -8.5 (-107) is a good pick and I would bet this up to -9.5.

Over/Under

The Over is 5-5 in the Celtics’ last 10 games and 6-4 in the Kings’ last 10, so there isn’t a strong trend to follow entering this matchup. The concern with taking the Over is Fox’s injury, but Boston should be able to put up at least 115 against Sacramento, and the Kings have scored 108 or more points in each of their last six games.

I like the OVER 220.5 (-112) tonight.

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New Orleans Pelicans at Philadelphia 76ers odds, picks and predictions

Analyzing Tuesday’s New Orleans Pelicans at Philadelphia 76ers odds and lines, with NBA expert picks, predictions and best bets.

The New Orleans Pelicans (18-28) travel to Wells Fargo Center Tuesday to take on the Philadelphia 76ers (27-19). Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Pelicans vs. 76ers odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

The Pelicans come into this battle off a 117-113 victory the Indiana Pacers Monday as 4-point favorites. They’ve covered the spread in five of their last eight games. New Orleans’ weakness has been on the road where it’s just 7-17 straight-up.

Last season the 76ers were among the most dominant home teams, but this year they’ve struggled at Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia is 10-10 on its home court but is 17-9 on the road.

The Sixers are 23-22-1 against the spread (ATS) but have covered in seven of their last 10 games, four of which they were at least 8.5-point favorites.

Pelicans at 76ers odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 10:32 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: Pelicans +300 (bet $100 to win $300) | 76ers -400 (bet $400 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Pelicans +7.5 (-102) | 76ers -7.5 (-122)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 215.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

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Pelicans at 76ers key injuries

Pelicans (not officially submitted)

  • Brandon Ingram (ankle) questionable

76ers

  • F Matisse Thybulle (shoulder) questionable
  • G Danny Green (hip) out
  • G Seth Curry (ankle) out
  • G Shake Milton (back) out

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Pelicans at 76ers odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

76ers 114, Pelicans 108

Money line

PASS on the money line.

No regular-season NBA favorite is worth playing at -400. Betting on the Pelicans to pull off a road upset at +320 doesn’t have much value either considering how the Sixers have won six of the last seven meetings in this matchup.

Against the spread

“LEAN” to the PELICANS +7.5 (-102).

While I wouldn’t sprinkle any on the money line in this situation, I do like the Pelicans.

They rank in the top five in offensive rebounding rate while the Sixers sit 21st in defensive rebounding. The Sixers are also down a key scorer and premier wing defender and Thybulle’s potential absence could be huge as well.

The Pelicans rank second in opponents’ second-chance points and ninth in opponents’ points in the paint.

Considering C Joel Embiid, who is averaging 43 points per game, will be met by the brick wall of C Jonas Valančiūnas, I expect this to be a close game.

Over/Under

BET on the OVER 215.5 (-110).

The Sixers rank top five in turnover rate and 11th in true shooting percentage. The Sixers should increase their pace with key scorers like F Georges Niang ready to step up for the more defensive-minded Green.

They’ve played at a faster pace over their last five games and without Curry or Green, I expect their defense to take a hit more than their offense. With that in mind, I’ll take the Over here.

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Additional NBA sports coverage:
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Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).

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Keon Johnson scores nine points in NBA G-League game

Former Vol Keon Johnson scores nine points in NBA G-League game.

Keon Johnson recorded nine points for Agua Caliente in its 103-94 loss to Stockton at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.

Johnson also recorded eight rebounds and three assists for the Los Angeles Clippers’ NBA G-League affiliate.

Johnson played at Tennessee during the 2020-21 season before departing for the 2021 NBA draft. He was a member of the SEC’s All-Freshman Team during his lone campaign with the Vols.

He was the No. 21 overall selection in the 2021 NBA draft.

As a two-way player for the Clippers, Johnson has appeared in 15 NBA games, averaging 3.5 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game.

Follow us at @VolsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook for ongoing coverage of University of Tennessee athletics.

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