When is the betting market going to learn? With 20 seconds left on the clock Damian Lillard had the ball at the top of the key, his Trail Blazers down 124-123 to the Pelicans. Lillard took the ball in his left and drove past Lonzo Ball to get within four feet of the hoop. As he went to finish Ball fouled him, Lillard’s attempt bounced off the glass and in to give Portland a 125-124 lead with 16.4 seconds left and a free throw attempt to make it a two-point game. One desperate mid-range shot attempt from Brandon Ingram later, and the Portland Trail Blazers had won, and covered, their sixth consecutive game.
Portland is now 9-3 SU/10-2 ATS in its last 12 games, but the streak is not what surprises me; it’s the market’s refusal to buy in that gets me. In each of Portland’s last four games the line has moved against it, including last night where the Blazers opened catching three and closed as a 4.5-point underdog. The time to play against Portland is coming, but to do it with one of the worst defensive teams in the league was not that time.
Now that we’re warmed up, let us begin!
Note: *indicates that team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
Updated injury reports can be found here.
Updated odds for every game can be found here.
The Main Event
Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers (-2.5, 236.5)
The best offense in the NBA against the best defense. Kyrie Irving taking on LeBron James. In what world would this not be our main event of the day?
Fresh off of their comeback win over Phoenix the Nets head to Staples for what could be a preview of the NBA Finals. Brooklyn has won and covered their last four games, posting a 10.0 net rating during their winning streak. This has largely been due to an offense that continues to operate at an insane level, averaging 126.4 points every 100 possessions. Keep in mind, Kevin Durant has not played in three of these four games! The Lakers continue to perform at a high level on defense, even during this 4-8 ATS slide that they have been on, giving up just 107.5 points every 100 possessions. One might think that this is the biggest defensive test the Nets have faced, but keep in mind they dropped identical 1.337 offensive ratings on top 10 defenses in Phoenix and Golden State.