NBA Wednesday Betting Picks & Angles (Nov. 27): The Lonzo Ball Hinge and the Kyrie Letdown Spot
Photo credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Lonzo Ball
Two angles based on matchups and trends…
THE ANGLE: THE LONZO BALL FADE
The Pelicans are 6.5-point dogs on Wednesday at home vs. the Lakers in Anthony Davis’ return. The line is showing signals of sharp bets on the Pelicans, but the majority of tickets and money are on the Lakers (predictably, as it’s the Lakers).
But finding a narrative bet with Davis is difficult — i.e. fading the Lakers with AD likely shook by the boos and emotions or backing Davis to get his revenge. There is one player, however, who I think influences this game more than expected, and he’s questionable.
Lonzo Ball came back for New Orleans over the weekend, with the Pelicans tailing off from their run they were on by going 1-2. He’s questionable Wednesday night with an illness.
- In games Ball has played this year, the Pelicans have gone 2-8 straight up and 3-7 ATS.
- In games Ball has missed time, the Pelicans have gone 4-2 SU and 4-1-1 ATS.
What’s more, the Pelicans have a -8.2 Net Rating with him on the floor and a -1.2 Net Rating with him off the floor. Brandon Ingram, who has the worst Defensive Rating of any Pelican with over 100 minutes played, sees a five-point (per 100 possessions) improvement in his Defensive Rating when Ball is on the bench this season.
We can localize this even more. The Pelicans are 27th in spot-up points per possession allowed, via Synergy Sports, and among all Pelicans, Ball has allowed the most points defending spot-ups. He’s either closing out late or too hard, allowing blow-bys to the rim. He’s 10th percentile defensively on spot-ups, league-wide. And while certainly the lack of rim protection on New Orleans impacts that, the fact that he’s behind his teammates’ curve in this regard makes a bad situation worse.
If Ball plays, I’m backing the Lakers to get the cover with a big number. If Ball sits, I’m taking the points with New Orleans.
THE PLAY: Lakers -6.5 if Ball plays, Pelicans +6.5 if Ball sits [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
THE ANGLE: RIDE THE KYRIE LETDOWN
The Celtics went 24-17 straight-up and 18-12-1 ATS last season without Kyrie Irving. With Irving out due to a shoulder injury, the Nets are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS.
There isn’t a bigger letdown spot than this. The Celtics want to show up and beat down their former teammate who caused so much uncertainty and bad vibes last year — only he’s not playing. So it’s just the Nets, without Irving and Caris LeVert.
Kemba Walker is coming back from an injury. The Nets have big wings and finishers inside in Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan over a small frontline for Boston.
And the Nets are getting eight points.
I want to test the Irving theorem once more.
THE ANGLE: Nets +8 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]