It’s a battle of Eastern Conference contenders who don’t like each other much on TNT this Thursday! And a battle of two Western Conference teams with very high-scoring and popular players who seem to get along just fine! There’s no love lost between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, who met in the playoffs last year, and both have strong feelings about Kyrie Irving. And LeBron had some strong words for Luka Doncic after a game in 2020.
"You're a bad motherf*cker."— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) November 2, 2020
- LeBron James to Luka Doncic after Lakers beat Mavs in OT exactly one year ago
In that game, LeBron became the oldest and Luka the youngest NBA player with 30+ points, 10+ rebounds and 15+ assists in a game. pic.twitter.com/wpzCuRjJHU
OK, but they’re still going to try to beat each other tonight!
At this point, Luka is on TNT almost as much as re-runs of ‘Charmed’. And Kyrie Irving is on this week because like TNT, he knows drama. The red-hot Nets are two games behind the Celtics, but they just lost Kevin Durant for a month. The Celtics are also red-hot, winning eight of their last ten, and they’ll be without the post defense and handsomeness of the resting Al Horford.
For the Los Angeles Lakers, they’ll be without the still-injured Anthony Davis and the ill Patrick Beverley, while the Dallas Mavericks are missing Josh Green and the NBA player with a name better suited to the House of Lords, Dorian Finney-Smith.
Let’s talk parlays!
Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets
The Celtics are favored by 1.5 points on the road, and the over/under is 225.5 points, which indicates a somewhat low-scoring game for Boston. These are two top-ten defenses and two top-five offenses, though Brooklyn will miss Durant’s 29.7 points per game. We are guessing that Joe Harris replaces KD in the starting lineup.
We like a nice tidy parlay that banks on Uncle Drew sticking it to his old team. You can parlay Kyrie getting 30+ points with Brooklyn +1.5 and the over on the points total, for +425. If you like a scoring duel between Irving and Jayson Tatum, you can bet that each gets 30+ points along with your preferred team on the moneyline. If you parlay with the Nets moneyline, it’s +500, compared to +475 if you take Boston. We also like taking Irving to go over 30.5 points, hit 4+ three-pointers, and Brooklyn on the moneyline for +450.
There’s not as many Nets player props, simply due to the uncertainty with the starting lineup, as Coach Jacque Vaughn’s gamesmanship is keeping him from naming a starter. He also said the back end of the rotation might change every night. But he does want the Nets to play fast and take more threes.
Jacque Vaughn says the Nets will have to play faster & take more threes unable to lean on Kevin Durant’s mid range scoring. It’s one of a number of ways the Nets will have to compensate with Durant out, but they don’t want to overload TJ Warren. More here https://t.co/KCvn98SVDi— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) January 11, 2023
That’s why, even though it feels crazy to wager actual money on Ben Simmons wanting to shoot the ball, we like parlaying Simmons scoring 11+ points with Kyrie scoring 30+, and Simmons dishing out 8+ assists, for a cool +800.
Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas is a three-point favorite against the Lake Show, as the bookmakers aren’t convinced by the Lakers’ recent run of competent play. The total is 236 points, because while the Lakers’ offense has been clicking without Anthony Davis, their defense has not been.
Like a veteran pitcher in a five-man rotation, LeBron James will be playing this game on four days rest, having sat out the Lakers’ loss to Denver Monday night. King James hasn’t scored less than 25 points in a month, motivated by his imminent pursuit of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record and his desire to get the Lakers to use one of their future first-round picks. Plus, he’s on TV.
We like a LeBron James triple-double tonight, and we like him going over 31.5 points. That pays out at +850. If you want to get truly crazy, the Double Triple Double bet of James and Doncic both getting triple-doubles, it pays out at +2000. Hey, they’ve done it before.
We are not recommending this, but the TRIPLE Triple Double parlay where you’d add Russell Westbrook is +15000.
If you want to keep it simple, Mavs on the moneyline with LeBron and Luka each cracking 30 points is +225. We also like the Mavs moneyline parlayed with both stars getting 40+ points + assists, at +340.
What do we wish we could bet on this week? Kenny Smith losing - or refusing to participate in - the traditional Inside The NBA race to the board. Mayne next year, Draft Kings!