Top Game to Bet: Clippers (-6) at Kings
The Kings welcome the Clippers to town Friday night. Sacramento has lost three of their last four games and 2-6 in their last eight overall. The Clippers have won two straight and three of their previous four games.
These two teams are headed in completely opposite directions.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have each scored 24 or more points in three straight games. They've each had a fair share of near double-doubles and well-rounded games during that will stretch, and on the month, they're averaging a combined 52.2 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 11.4 assists.
What's been most impressive is George and Leonard's assist numbers. Leonard is averaging 6.0 assists per game and George a career-high 5.5. The Kings allow the most assists per game (27.8) and points per game (122.0) on the season, so expect the Clippers duo to feed their teammates and find the bottom of the net.
The Kings have six players averaging double-figures but through 12 games ranks dead last in points per game allowed (122.0), last in opponents field goals made per game (45.6), last in opponent field goal percentage (49.5%), 29th in +/- (7.3), and 28th in made three-pointers allowed (15.0). The list literally goes on and one for Sacramento's defensive woes.
Last season these two teams met three times, and the Kings came away victorious twice. When you dig deeper, one win was with Kawhi in and P.G. out, the other with P.G. in and Kawhi out. The catch? In the game, the Clippers won, yes, both Kawhi and P.G. played, and it was a 105-87 win.
In 2018-19, the Clippers won all four games, all by seven or more. Dating back to 2010-11, the Clippers have won 31 of the last 39 meetings! From 2015 on, L.A. leads the series 15-4 and had a 10-game winning streak versus Sacramento before it was broken up last season.
The Clippers have also won 14-straight games in Sacramento S.U., an insane mark. In the last eight meetings between the two teams, the smallest margin of victory has been seven for either side. Sacramento has only kept the spread under six once since 2014 at home versus L.A.
Trends To Note
Clippers are 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
Clippers are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings in Sacramento.
Clippers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
Kings are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.
Kings are 1-5 ATS in their last six games playing on one days rest.
Kings are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall.
Bet Locked In: Clippers -6 (1u)
Top Team to Fade: New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans are losers of four-straight -- all by single digits. During this losing streak, New Orleans has surrendered 114.5 points per game (21st) and own the second-worst three-point percentage (42.4%), 28th-ranked 42.5 three-pointers per game, and dead last in opponent assists per game (29.8).
The Lakers have won four straight and eight of their last nine games. A win tonight would give them the longest winning streak of the season thus far. In their previous 10 games, the Lakers have held opponents under 109 points in seven. New Orleans is 2-3 on the road with wins over Oklahoma City and Toronto, two of the worst teams right now, home or away.
The Lakers swept last season's series 4-0 and have won seven of the last eight between the two. L.A.'s victories came narrowly last year, by four, eight, nine, and 10 points. With New Orleans is 1-4-1 ATS in the last six meetings and 0-3-1 in L.A. over the previous four, it's safe to say the Lakers at least win outright and extend their winning streak to a season-long five. If LeBron and Davis suit up tonight, I'm playing Lakers and Clippers MLP (money line parlay) on DraftKings for -124 odds.
Bet Locked In: Lakers ML x Clippers ML parlay (-1u) **
Friday Night Betting Notes
Timberwolves at Grizzlies: Over/Under 224.5
This will be the second of a back-to-back from Wednesday, which also was our feature pick that night. Unfortunately, Minnesota still doesn't play defense in the fourth quarter, so we just missed the under for a -1.1u, but Christian Wood came through for +4u last night on two big plays!
Anyway, back to what matters. Ja Morant is unexpectedly questionable to return after injuring his ankle just three weeks ago. Either way, he will likely be limited if he plays, well, if the Grizzlies know what's good for them. Memphis is 4-0 ATS in their previous four meetings at Minnesota and riding a 4-1 ATS mark in their last five games of this season.
The Grizzlies locked down the Wolves in the fourth quarter, outscoring Minnesota 38-17 to earn an 11-point win. Both teams endured their cold stretches, but Minnesota once again relied on the three-ball, going 9-of-37 (24.3%). One of my basketball betting methods is taking the second team of a back-to-back, but there's just no trusting Minnesota. The Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings, and if Ja Morant is out, that's the angle I'll be taking, once again.
Hawks at Jazz: Over/Under 224.5
This is arguably the best game on the slate, and I'm excited to see the matchups. Trae Young versus Donovan Mitchell. Clint Capela and John Collins versus Rudy Gobert. This game could go a lot of ways, but the most obvious one appears to be the Under.
The Under is 6-0 in the Hawks' last six games overall and 5-2 in the Jazz' last seven home games. In this series, the Under has gone 4-1 in the previous five meetings. The Jazz has won three consecutive games and held Detroit and Cleveland to 86 and 87 points in their last two. Obviously, Atlanta's offense is much more superior, but last year's only meeting ended 111-106 in favor of Utah. The Hawks have held six-straight opponents under 108 points, hence the six-straight Unders on their side.
Trae Young is in a quality spot to bet on. He played fewer than 30 minutes in his last outing, and that gives him great value. Initially, Young's prop line was 27.5 points, but once his game versus the Suns was canceled, the line was re-opened at 28.5 versus the Jazz. In his last nine contests, dating back to 2018-19, following a game of 30 minutes played or fewer, Young has scored 16, 28, 30, 31, 31, 34, 37, 39, and 42 points -- a 32.0 PPG average with eight-of-nine overs to the original 27.5-line. Only once this season has this trend qualified, but he scored 37 points versus Chicago in 26 minutes, then posted 36 points in 35 minutes at Memphis the following game.
Magic at Celtics: No line yet
The Celtics swept the Magic last season, winning by three (O.T.), nine, and 16, scoring 109 or more in all three. In 2018-19, Orlando swept the Celtics, and in 2017-18, the green gang won three-of-four. Overall, Boston has won six of the last 10 meetings, and as long as Jaylen Brown plays, there is a bet to be made.
The injury report is worth watching as four players are questionable, and five players are sidelined for the Celtics. If Brown plays, his props are going to look delightful without Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Robert Williams, and a few more out of the lineup. Brown is averaging a career-high 26.3 points and 3.5 assists, plus the second-most rebounds per game (6.2). This game could possible be postponed due to COVID protocols, but if now, watch out for Brown.