NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Lakers-76ers & Timberwolves-Warriors (January 27)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Klay Thompson #11 high fives Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors.
- The Action Network's NBA analysts have three best bets for Thursday's NBA Action.
- In tonight's double header -- Lakers vs. 76ers and Timberwolves vs. Warriors -- our crew likes one player prop, one total bet and a moneyline parlay.
- Check out their picks and breakdowns below.
Editor’s Note: The Los Angeles Lakers have ruled out LeBron James for tonight’s game with knee soreness. Anthony Davis has been cleared to play. For real-time injury updates, check out our FantasyLabs NBA news page.
Thursday night will feature a double header on national TV with plenty of stars in action on the slate. The Los Angeles Lakers will face the Philadelphia in the early matchup (7:30 p.m. ET on TNT) and the Minnesota Timberwolves will battle the Golden State Warriors in the late game (10 p.m. ET).
Our analysts give out their favorite bets for tonight’s matchups below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Brandon Anderson: If you ever have a few hours to change your life, might I recommend spending them just watching an entire game of Matisse Thybulle on defense?
I know, I know, we’re accustomed to ball watching. Tonight’s game is loaded with stars. You want to know how healthy Anthony Davis is. You want to see what Russell Westbrook is up to. You want to watch LeBron James. I get it. We focus on the guys with the ball and pay attention to the stars.
But watch Matisse Thybulle defend and an entire new and magical world opens itself up.
Thybulle is unlike any defender I’ve ever seen. He has an innate knack for jumping passing lanes, poking the ball out, blocking opponents from behind, and generally making life absolutely miserable for the other team.
When you play a team with Matisse, it’s like you’re playing 5-on-6, because it feels like there is a clone of Thybulle out there. The man is in multiple places at once, constantly getting his hands on the ball and making plays. He’s a defensive savant.
Tonight, we get to watch Matisse paint another masterpiece.
The Lakers are not exactly great at taking care of the ball. They rank 23rd in turnover rate and turn it over more than once every eight possessions, and they allow the fourth most steals in the league at 8.3 per game. I won’t tell you exactly why the Lakers turn it over so often, but I can tell you a big part of the reason rhymes with Fussell Festbrook.
The Sixers are missing Seth Curry tonight and maybe Danny Green (not to mention that other guy still), and that should leave big minutes for Thybulle. And that means we’re in business.
Thybulle played 33 minutes last game, and if we get anything close to that, we’re golden. The numbers bear it out: In 17 games with at least 25 minutes played, Thybulle is averaging 2.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. That’s over 50% above this line, and sure enough, he’s gone over 2.5 steals + blocks in 14 of those games, hitting this over 82% of the time.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Raheem Palmer: Neither one of these teams is particularly great at defending the rim. Despite the presence of Joel Embiid, the 76ers are allowing teams to shoot 65.2% at the rim, which ranks 17th in the NBA. Conversely the Lakers allow opponents to shoot 65.7% at the rim, which ranks 21st.
The Sixers also rank 24th in transition defense, an area where the Lakers, when motivated, can push the pace and score points. The Sixers have struggled at times this season with teams that can get out in transition.
Lastly, the 76ers (fourth) and Lakers (11th) rank high in the NBA in Free Throw Attempt Rate, according to NBA Advanced Stats. Embiid, who is like the center version of James Harden, should be able to draw fouls against this Lakers defense, which ranks near the bottom of the league in opponent free throw rate.
Lakers vs. 76ers | Timberwolves vs. Warriors
Between the Lakers and 76ers, the Sixers have been the better team over the season. The Lakers have not had a good record against teams above .500 (7-12 straight up). I don’t think Anthony Davis matches up well with Joe Embiid and he’ll likely get banged up in a physical battle.
In the late game, I also like the Warriors. If the Timberwolves get up to +7, I’d be tempted to make a bet on them, but I’d rather take the value on the Warriors’ moneyline instead of taking them to cover -5.5.