NBA Preview Friday 19th of February
Current Bank: 121.66 units (+21.66)
Another 2/2 yesterday with the most ridiculous comeback of the season as the Warriors cashing a win bet they had absolutely no right to. There was some 30-1 on Betfair during the 4th quarter but somehow the Miami Heat melted and the Warriors took it to overtime to steal the win. Onward to today with just one match to look at, and even with injuries on both sides it’s arguably the NBA Finals Preview.
Brooklyn Nets v LA Lakers
2:10 pm AEST
A mouth watering matchup on a Friday afternoon Australia time sees these two juggernauts of the league finally meet up. Disappointingly, both teams lack a star on either side with the Lakers Davis out for at least another 2-3 weeks, while the Nets Durant is still about a week away from returning to the court. This has certainly robbed us of a proper preview, but what it may lack in star power, certainly makes up for on a betting front.
On the Lakers side first, and Lebron James even at age 36 has been absolutely scintillating this season. He is the clear MVP favourite right now, and even playing less minutes so far this season compared to, well, ever, he is still ruling the league with an iron fist, and has a fantastic cast of help to go with it. Caldwell Pope has been deadly from 3 and the acquisitions in the offseason of Schroder and in particular Montrez Harrell have been fantastic for the defensive side of the ball. The Lakers currently rank number 1 in defensive rating in the league, and despite the fact they aren’t fantastic with turnovers, they are amazing at shutting scoring down, not allowing rebounds and no defending the 3pt shots. Offensively, they only rank 14th in the league but with a stalwart defence this has allowed them to have the 2nd best standing in the league behind the Utah Jazz.
The Nets on the other hand are the antithesis of what the Lakers are. They are a scoring powerhouse, but more so when Durant is on the floor. Kyrie Irving when he decides to play has been on an absolute tear averaging 28 points a game, and James Harden who’s been running the point for the Nets is so stranger to scoring himself as we’ve seen time and time again through his career. Joe Harris is what Caldwell Pope is to the Lakers, and even off the bench they are getting valuable minutes from guys like Shamet and Green. They’ll certainly miss Durant, but there should be no shortage of points on the Nets side.
However, where the Nets are extremely vulnerable is the defensive end. They rank 26th in the defensive rating. This team was built to win games by allowing high scores and also shooting slightly higher, and if the Nets aren’t able to put up points, this Lakers team will have a field day on them. The Lakers are missing a key defender in Davis, but the Nets don’t really have a big man to take advantage of that out, and they also don’t really have a defender is a suitable matchup for Lebron James. For these reasons alone, the Lakers should have their way with the Brooklyn defence, and if they can enact their season best own defence, the Lakers should be winning this in style.
The market has opened up the Lakers a -2 point favourite, and that has quickly been snapped up and we now sit at -3. Not getting the best price in market is frustrating, but the -3 flat still proves value and the Lakers at home should do just enough to get past the number
BACK: The LA Lakers -3.0 at $1.90 for 2.5 units