The time has come for another NBA on TNT doubleheader! This time, the Brooklyn Nets host the Boston Celtics at 4:30 p.m. (PST), followed by the Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Dallas Mavericks at 7:00 p.m. (PST). There are a ton of injuries going around, so be sure to check out our “things to consider” segment before placing your DraftKings bets. We’ll start, as always, with the early game.
BOS Spread: -1.5 (-115) Moneyline: -130
BKN Spread: +1.5 (-105) Moneyline: +110
Things to consider…
1) Celtics wing Jaylen Brown (left abductor) is questionable for this matchup. He has not missed a game since November 28 and has thus far been a sort of iron man for Boston. Averaging a career-high 27.2 points per game, Brown’s potential absence could dramatically shift the complexion of this contest.
2) Nets forward Kevin Durant (right MCL) is expected to miss about a month of action per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. This means that Brooklyn will be without its MVP candidate until around the NBA All-Star break. For this matchup, specifically, it means that the Celtics have a distinct advantage.
3) However, the Nets are defending homecourt, where they have a 13-5 record. It will be difficult for the Celtics to march in and capitalize on Durant’s absence. That said, we have not seen Brooklyn in action since Durant’s injury. They could – and probably will – be an entirely different team without him.
Main takeaway: The smart money stays with Boston, here. Although it can be challenging to gameplan for a team that is scrambling to cover holes in its lineup, the Celtics are one of the Association’s most capable teams and should be able to down the freshly hampered Nets.
And now, the late game.
DAL Spread: -2.5 (-110) Moneyline: -145
LAL Spread: +2.5 (-110) Moneyline: +125
Things to consider…
1) The most notable absence in this contest is that of Lakers center Anthony Davis (right foot). Davis sustained a stress injury in December and has not suited up since. Los Angeles, though, has been able to win games without him thanks to the heroics of forward LeBron James. The Lakers have won five of their last six contests.
2) Actually, both teams are pretty banged up right now. On the Lakers’ side, Davis (foot), Patrick Beverley (hip), Troy Brown Jr. (quad), Austin Reaves (hamstring), Lonnie Walker IV (knee), and even James (ankle) are all dealing with injuries of varying seriousness. On the Mavericks’ side, Dorian Finney-Smith (adductor), Josh Green (elbow), Maxi Kleber (hamstring), and Dwight Powell (hip) are in the same boat.
3) This is the third game of a five-game road trip for Dallas, and they lost the first two. The Lakers, on the other hand, are beginning a five-game homestand after two days off. The Lakers are fresher and enter this matchup with momentum and homecourt advantage.
Main takeaway: This could be the time to bet the underdog. Los Angeles may not be the better team on paper right now, but it will likely not have a better opportunity to beat Dallas this season. With James probable to play, there is good reason to put your money on the Lakers tonight.