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TNT doubleheader features LeBron’s return to Cleveland and a Serbia-Slovenia showdown

It’s Brow vs. Spida and Luka vs. Joker on TNT. And we’ve got a preview for all the parlay animals out there.

Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James can still smell the champagne from the Warriors’ celebration in 2015.
Photo by Lauren Bacho/NBAE via Getty Images

In a star-studded TNT doubleheader, The Kid From Akron is heading back to Ohio tonight, while The Lad From Ljubljana visits The Two-Time MVP From Sombor. That’s right, LeBron James is taking his talents to Northeast Ohio for a matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks face Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in the nightcap. And we didn’t even mention the guy who has scored 99 points in his last two games, Anthony Davis, who has been Brow-beating any big men who stand in his way for weeks.

The Lakers have won three in a row and eight of their last ten games to climb into 13th place in the West. Davis is scoring, the team is finally making some threes, and LeBron is suddenly the league’s most overqualified sidekick.

As for Cleveland, they’re third in the East and 10-1 at home, but they may be without starting center Jarrett Allen, who has missed five games with a back contusion. They’re also missing small forward Dean Wade, also known as the Austin Reaves of the Cuyahoga.

Meanwhile the Mavericks have righted the ship after a four-game losing streak by making the ultimate slump-breaking move for the 2022-23 season: They played the Golden State Warriors. Dallas has won three of four and are playing decidedly better since shifting Tim Hardaway Jr. into the starting lineup ahead of Reggie Bullock. Both players have thrived in their new roles.

Denver lost two straight games on a road trip to the Southeast, where Jose Alvarado and Dejounte Murray both torched them. They’ll be playing without sore-heeled Michael Porter Jr., and they’ve been struggling to put together an effective bench unit. As a Warriors fan, I can’t relate.

Draft Kings Odds

The oddmakers aren’t buying the Lakers’ hot streak, listing Cleveland as 5.5-point favorites, with an over/under of 225.5. But we are focused on our favorites, the same-game parlays. We’ll put our hands up, we’re placing our bets, it’s a parlay in the U.S.A.

If you believe in the Lakers’ last ten games, then you’d like a simple parlay: Lakers +5.5, along with LeBron James getting 40+ points + rebounds and Anthony Davis racking up 30+ points + rebounds (+400). It almost feels like the players are reversed, as Davis’ points + rebounds have been at least 30 in every single game he’s played this season. In fact, we like betting Davis to go over 28.5 points and 13.5 rebounds, along with the Lakers on the moneyline, for +850.

If you believe in the Cavs - and don’t believe in the Lakers’ perimeter defense - we say take the Cavs moneyline, along with Donovan Mitchell scoring 30+ points, and Darius Garland getting 20+ points (+330). We also like going with the Cavs moneyline, along with both Davis and Evan Mobley pulling down 12+ rebounds. The Lakers are surging, but they’re also in the middle of a road trip, and we expect some missed shots tonight.

In the late game, the Nuggets are 4.5-point favorites at home, with a total of 222.5. What do we like best in this game? Aaron Gordon’s newfound three-point shooting and Nikola Jokic’s passing against this Mavericks team, which hasn’t shown the same defense as in years past. Parlaying the Nuggets -4.5 with Gordon hitting more than one three-pointer, plus Jokic getting 10 or more assists, gets you +500 odds.

Another fun one to root for is the Double Triple-Double. If Doncic and Joic both put up triple-doubles, it pays off +1100. If you pick a team - we like the Nuggets - on the moneyline, it goes to +2000.

For longshots, we like a very optimistic Denver parlay: Nuggets -4.5 points, Jokic with 12+ rebounds and 2+ blocks, along with Gordon getting 7+ rebounds and 1+ block. That pays off at (+5000) - look, if the first four of those happen, the Nuggets are certainly winning by five points.

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