The Golden State Warriors are going into the Mecca of basketball without Steph Curry and two of their top wings to face the newly-unstoppable New York Knicks in the first half of a TNT doubleheader. Then the West’s first-place team, the Memphis Grizzlies, go on the road to face the West’s second-place team, the Denver Nuggets in the headlining game. No offense to the plucky Warriors, who actually won a road game this week in Toronto, but you might want to wrap your holiday presents during the early game. Or focus on the same-game parlays!
The Knicks have won seven straight games behind the inspired play of Jalen Brunson, who is averaging 20.8 points and proving Mark Cuban’s Shark Tank experience still hasn’t made him any better at deciding on free agent deals. The Warriors beat the Knicks on November 18 in San Francisco, 111-101, though 62 of those 111 points were scored by Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Donte DiVincenzo, and JaMychal Green who are unlikely to play with illnesses.
JaMychal Green is also unlikely to play tonight for the Warriors with a non-COVID illness, I’m told. Donte DiVincenzo already listed as doubtful with the same. Thinning rotation. Could open extra opportunity for Moody and Wiseman.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 20, 2022
In the late game, Memphis visits the Nuggets, in a battle between MVP candidates Nikola Jokic and Ja Morant. It’s also a matchup between Jokic, one of the NBA’s best offensive big men, and perhaps the best defensive young big, Jaren Jackson Jr., who is blocking 3.1 shots per game in 25 minutes a game - while fouling 20% less than he did last season.
Warriors at Knicks
The Knicks are favored by 5.5 points over the Dubs, because the oddsmakers know that stars like Poole and Kevon Looney shine when the lights are the brightest at the Garden. And who knows what might happen if Spike Lee fires up Ty Jerome with smack talk? He might go for double digits! The game total is 221.5.
If you believe in the Warriors, there’s a simple and profitable parlay that pays handsomely. Take the Warriors on the money line, Jordan Poole 30+ points, and Klay Thompson +20 points, and you get +700 for your trouble. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Warriors knock off the Knicks and those two players do not score a bunch of points. We do not like the (+1400) parlay of Warriors +5.5 points, Poole at 40+ points + assists, Thompson getting 30+ points + assists, because that would require Klay to pass the ball.
We also like betting on the Ground-Bound Mound of Rebound, Kevon Looney. Parlay Looney getting 20+ points + rebounds with Draymond Green getting 18+ points + assists, and the payout is +525.
If you believe in the streaking Knicks, or simply think Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody won’t be enough to counter Brunson and Julius Randle, there are some parlays for you as well. Brunson only scored 13 points versus the Warriors in November, and we think he might be pressing in the rematch. We like the parlay of Brunson under 21.5 points with Randle going over 25.5 points, for +360. Add the Knicks on the money line and it’s +550.
For longshot bets, give us the Knicks -5.5, Randle scoring 30+ points, and Mitchell Robinson getting 12+ boards (+1100).
Grizzlies at Nuggets
Denver is a 1.5-point favorite tonight, which means the home-court advantage of playing at a mile above sea level is countered by the team’s uncertain injury situation. Michael Porter Junior is likely out, Jamal Murray and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are questionable, and Jokic has a sore knee.
The total is 236, a sign that the oddsmakers think Memphis will be able to impose its fast pace on the more deliberate Nuggets.
With Morant facing off against Jokic, why not bet on a triple-double? If you parlay a Morant triple-double with Memphis on the money line, it’s +675. Morant averages 26.7/6.7/7.7, but as you may have heard, this guy tends to ramp it up in high-profile games. If you take a Jokic triple-double and the Denver money line, it’s +280, mainly because Jokic is nearly averaging a triple-double (25.2/10.9/9.0). If you like the Double Triple-Double where both stars fill up the stat sheet, it pays out at +1400.
We are taking a position, however, and it’s that Murray plays and Jokic defends home court. Give us the Nuggets -1.5, Jokic going over 24.5 points, Aaron Gordon going over 18.5 points, and Jaren Jackson getting 3+ blocks for a sweet 14:1 payout. It’s dangerous to bet on a dynasty like the Grizzlies, but tonight we are rolling with the two-time MVP.
Also, if Draft Kings puts up a prop about Shaq crashing into a Christmas tree during Inside, we would be all over it.
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