NBA Expert Betting Picks (Thursday, Jan. 23): Best Bets for Lakers vs. Nets
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kyrie Irving (11) of the Brooklyn Nets.
There are just three games on Thursday’s NBA slate, but our experts have decided only one game is worth their attention:
- 8 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Lakers at Brooklyn Nets
See the two bets they’re making below.
Odds as of Thursday evening and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
World Wide Wob: Lakers at Nets
- Spread: Lakers -5
- Over/Under: 230
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
Honestly, regarding this game, it doesn’t matter if Kyrie Irving plays or not. The benefits of his brilliance have been neutralized by his inevitable 30-shot box score.
He will undoubtedly show up and exert effort reminiscent of a playoff game with LeBron James on the opposing side, but I worry about him trying to take over too much.
Kenny Atkinson’s pace and space system built around D’Angelo Russell is just not working with Spencer Dinwiddie and Kyrie running point, two guys who command the ball more than anyone else on the court.
With all of that said, remember one thing that reigns true throughout any game you bet on for any sport: you’re betting the number, not the teams. Nets +5 at home against a Lakers team on the second leg of a back-to-back in New York City (potentially without Anthony Davis) is just BEGGING the public to unload on the Lakers.
This is Brooklyn’s Super Bowl on national television at home in LeBron’s only visit to Barclays this season. You will see an overachieving, unsustainable version of the Nets you haven’t seen all year. Kyrie will probably go ballistic, giving him the encouragement to continue his high usage strategy for weeks to come. But we’re not betting those games, we’re betting tonight’s game.
And I like to think the Lakers had themselves a fine evening in NYC last night after the Knicks game. It would not surprise me in the least to see them come out and stink it up. I’ll take a cat with its back against the wall against a sleeping doberman any day. Nets win.
The PICK: Nets +5
Brandon Anderson: Lakers Over/Under 30.5 First Quarter Points
You know how the schedule works. West Coast teams only play Eastern Conference teams twice all season, once on the road and once at home. That means only one visit to face the Knicks and Nets, usually on the same trip. And it means only one road trip to the Big Apple each year.
The Lakers played the Knicks yesterday and get the Nets tonight as Wob noted. That means a third-straight night of partying in NYC for LeBron, Dwight Howard, and Davins. It means a slow start for a tired, veteran team.
You can play that angle any number of ways, but let’s keep it simple. Lakers under first quarter for a slow start after a week of partying in the Big Apple. It happens to the best of us.
The PICK: Lakers under 30.5 first quarter