Short four-game schedule around the NBA on Tuesday with TNT having a rare doubleheader on the night (no doubt to make up for losing a Thursday one to show NCAA Tournament games).
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The opener features Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder, and NBA bettors no longer have to worry about whether LeBron James will play or not. He won’t, with the team convincing him to shut it down the rest of the way. Might as well considering losing out could increase the Lakers’ draft lottery odds … remote as they are.
James signed with the Lakers likely believing that Paul George would be his sidekick, but the Los Angeles native surprised many around the NBA by not even considering signing with the Lakers as a free agent last summer and re-upping long term with Oklahoma City. George is having his best season and will get some MVP votes, but the Thunder are wildly inconsistent – they are capable of beating anyone or losing to anyone, sometimes both within hours.
Oklahoma City is just 7-13 since the All-Star break and might end up eighth in the West and staring at a first-round playoff matchup against Golden State.
This wraps up the Lakers-Thunder season series, with each club having a road win. LeBron missed both of them. Oklahoma City has failed to cover its past seven games against teams with a losing record.
The TNT nightcap could determine which team is the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs as the Denver Nuggets visit the Golden State Warriors. Those two are going to finish 1-2, but the order is TBD. It would be an upset if it’s not Golden State. For one, the Dubs are the better team. Second, they would clinch the season series and the tiebreaker with a victory here. The Warriors lost in Denver in the final seconds early in the season but have stomped the Nuggets twice since.
Unless the Nuggets and Warriors meet in the Western Conference Finals, this will be Denver’s last-ever game in Oakland with the Dubs heading to San Francisco next season. The Nuggets are 5-1-1 ATS in their past seven at the Warriors, but are listed as 8.5-point underdogs for Tuesday night.
Also Tuesday, the Houston Rockets continue their push for the West’s third seed when they visit the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are one of the NBA’s most improved teams, but the longest playoff drought in the league will continue. Houston, a 5-point favorite for Tuesday, goes for the four-game sweep, and the home team is 7-2 ATS in the past nine meetings.