|NBA Matchups, Odds, Analysis 1/14-1/17: Lakers @ Thunder
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NBA Matchups, Odds, and Analysis January 14-17, 2019 By: Christopher B. Watford for NoLuckNeeded.com
The NBA continues to be the league where magic happens, unless you’re the Orlando Magic, then you only experience sadness. A lot has happened this week, so let’s do a short recap. Harden became the first player since Kobe Bryant to average 40 points over a 15-game stretch. Minnesota finally fired Tom Thibodeau (maybe they saw me trash-talking him in last week’s article). Enes Kanter tried to eat seven burgers in an attempt to impress someone and missed not only next day’s practice, but the next game. With Enes Kanter out due to burgers and Thibs cashing unemployment checks, let’s take a look at the notable matchups for the upcoming week.
Portland Trail Blazers (26-17) @ Sacramento Kings (21-21) 1/14/19
One of the problems I run across when I write these articles is that players are often times getting small injuries or are resting on random games, making it harder to calculate a spread if you don’t know what players are going to suit up. With that being said, the Kings have become one of the best teams to bet on this season. They’ve been a mediocre team for years and the odds are still reflecting it as such.
With their near overnight success, the Kings are still one of the most surprising and exciting teams to watch this season. If you place your wagers accordingly you can win some serious moolah. But regardless of their success, this game is going to be a tough one for Sacramento. They’re playing sub-500 basketball over their last ten games and these two teams battled it out a couple weeks back and the Kings went on to lose it in an overtime thriller, 113-108.
The main matchup for this game is the battle of the backcourts. De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield could be the next Dame and McCollum. If we’re looking at raw numbers, Dame and CJ average a combined 47 points per game. The backcourt of Fox and Hield is obviously younger and less experienced but they average a combined 38 points per game.
The last time these two teams met, Lillard and McCollum combined for 41 points, but they got some help from Jusuf Nurkic who put up 24 points and 23 rebounds. The backcourt of Hield and Fox combined for 40 points in that matchup. If the Kings can limit Nurkic and his impact on the glass and keep up the input from Fox and Hield, they stand a chance to win this.
Keep your eyes on injury updates and Intertops.eu for updated odds. Watch on NSCA, NSNW, or NBA League Pass this Monday at 10:00 PM ET.
Who will win the NBA Eastern Conference? Celtics? Raptors? Bet your team!
Minnesota Timberwolves (20-22) @ Philadelphia 76ers (27-16) 1/15/19
Is it just me or does it feel like these two teams have faced off a hundred times already this season? The Butler drama went on for so long my head is still spinning from it. In reality, this is the second and final time these two teams will meet this year (unless they both make it to the finals, but don’t hold your breath).
The Wolves have started to slow down a little bit after their resurgence they experienced after trading Butler. The Sixers are still one of the hottest teams in the East, sitting only 3.5 games behind the first seed. If they can continue to work out their troubles, you might be seeing this team in the ECF.
Keep your eyes on Derrick Rose for this game. I’ve said it time and time again, but it’s one of my favorite stories of the season. Rose is third in All Star voting and is averaging 18.9/4.8/2.8 on shooting splits of .486/.462/.838. Rose has been the key to winning certain games this season and he’s an integral piece to the team. Not to mention the fact that he deserves to win 6MOTY.
Watch this game this Tuesday on NBATV at 7:00 PM ET.
LA Lakers (23-20) @ OKC Thunder (25-16) 1/17/19
The Lakers have been very inconsistent with the absence of LeBron. Last week, Kyle Kuzma put up 41 points in 29 minutes in a win against the Pistons. The very next game, Kuzma put up 11 points on 4-18 shooting from the floor and 0-5 from three in a 113-95 loss against the Utah Jazz. Michael Beasley was the highest scoring Laker in their losing effort, where he put up 17 points on 6-15 shooting.
The Lakers have a small glimmer of hope going in to this game: LeBron James will be reevaluated on January 16th for his groin injury. LeBron has been very durable throughout his entire career and if he can come back to this young Lakers squad then they stand a fighting chance against the Thunder. LeBron not only makes everyone around him better, but his presence is absolutely invaluable.
Russ and the Thunder are struggling a little bit, but they’re still the third seed in the West. Russ put up a John Stockton-esque statline against the Spurs in their double overtime loss, finishing the game with 24 points, 24 assists, and 13 rebounds.
If LeBron is back for this game and the Lakers are the over, it might not be a bad idea to place your money on them. The Lakers will be playing this game in OKC where the Thunder are 13-6 at home. LA has struggled slightly on the road with a 9-12 record, but again, if LeBron is back, don’t count the Lakers out.
Watch this Thursday on TNT at 9:30 PM ET.
(Check NBA game odds and updates at Intertops Sports Betting)
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