It was loaded a slate of basketball on Monday, but the highlight had to be LeBron James getting into an altercation with a fan courtside in Atlanta, right?
In all seriousness, the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a poor scheduling spot to get the win and cap a seven-game road trip with a victory. Los Angeles was just 3-4 ATS on the trip, but the win over Atlanta sets up a massive playoff revenge spot for the Denver Nuggets against the Lakers this coming Thursday.
However, I wanted to focus on information here. Yesterday, the Lakers were as low as a 5-point favorite because of the questionable status of Anthony Davis and LeBron James on the injury report. The duo was confirmed active, and the line eventually closed Los Angeles -7, a number they covered in the waning seconds.
LeBron has been on every single injury report since the first game of the season with that ankle issue, and Davis has been on a majority as well. Bettors need to keep track of these trends, because it gave me the opportunity to lay five on a game that closed seven because I knew the Lakers’ tendency to label LeBron as questionable despite being healthy.
On to the notes!
Note: * indicates that team is on second leg of a back-to-back.
Updated injury reports can be found here.
Updated odds for every game can be found here.
Memphis Grizzlies* at Indiana Pacers (-6, 221)
The Grizzlies are red-hot, heading into Tuesday on a seven-game winning streak, in which they are 6-0-1 ATS. Over this stretch, they have the second-best net rating in the league (+ 11.5) buoyed by an efficient offense (115.1) and smothering defense (103.5). The latter has been the real story for Memphis. On the season, they rank second in defensive efficiency, according to Cleaning The Glass, allowing just 106.8 points every 100 possessions. Over this run, only one opponent, San Antonio, has managed to average more than 1.079 points per possession, and that creates a fascinating matchup here against Indiana.
Memphis’ defensive philosophy is similar to Milwaukee’s: Cut off the rim, allow perimeter shots. They rank 13th in frequency of opponent attempts at the rim (32.7 percent), and they allow just 56.8 percent shooting within four feet of the basket. Only one of their last eight opponents has shot over 60 percent at the rim! This matters because Indiana consistently attacks this area of the floor. The Pacers rank first in frequency of attempts at the rim (44.2 percent), but shoot only 61.0 percent within four feet, a surprisingly poor mark for a team that works that area so hard. The Pacers also do not shoot the ball particularly well in general, and we can look at their loss against the 76ers on Sunday for proof. Philadelphia slapped on a zone defense in the fourth quarter, and outscored Indiana 31-6 over the final eight minutes to pull out the win. If Indiana can’t get to the rim, what is going to happen tonight?