The NBA on TNT returns tonight, kicking off at 6:30pm CST with the Brooklyn Nets set to battle the Philadelphia Sixers in Ben Simmons’ return to Philly. Following the conclusion of that one, the suddenly frisky Los Angeles Lakers will look to make it four wins in a row as they head to the desert for a matchup with the Phoenix Suns.
Here’s a look at the betting breakdown ahead of tonight’s matchups:
You can bet your favorite spread, moneyline, total or game prop over with our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Nets (-7.5, -315 ML) at Sixers (+7, +260 ML) | Total: 217
As of writing 69% of bets placed on the DraftKings Sportsbook had been wagered on the Nets, along with 83% of the handle (money) according to VSiN. While your casual, public bettor likes the Nets, the professional gamblers like them even more. That 83% of the handle is currently the most lopsided wager of the night. Of course, it’s worth noting that these bettors have gotten different numbers than just the -7.5 that the line is currently at. In fact, this was at -7 just last night, with steam from these pros pushing the line to what is theoretically a more efficient line of 7.5.
As for the total, 69% of bets are on the over, and 70% of the handle is as well. This suggests that, in general, most of the money on this total is coming from your casual bettor, while the pros (or sharps) are staying away from this number.
The Picks: Sixers +7.5 | Under 217
I’m well aware of how banged up the Sixers are right now, but I expect this to be a raucous environment. Philadelphia is going to be ready to play in this emotionally charged matchup, and I just can’t trust Brooklyn to lay this many points, especially on the road. I think the Nets end up winning, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being a closer game than it should be given the talent gap. I’m expecting an ugly game, that Kevin Durant finds a way to win down the stretch.
Lakers (+9.5, +350 ML) at Suns (-9.5, -435 ML) | Total: 227
Currently, 60% of bets placed on this game have been supporting the Suns, paired with 74% of the money. The sharps seem to have attacked the Suns here, as the handle % is greater than the percentage of bets placed. One would have to think that much of this money came in early, under the assumption that LeBron James would not play. To that point, this number was at 7 last night, and has moved to 9.5 with the news that James was again out nursing an adductor injury.
It appears that the sharps are staying away from this total as well, as the percentage of bets placed is once again nearly identical to the handle. The public is pretty split, with 54% of bets on the over, to go along with 53% of the money.
The Picks: Suns -9.5 | Under 227
While it has been genuinely fun to see Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis look more like themselves, this could be a rough one for them. Talent and depth matters, and the Lakers are at a severe disadvantage in that department here. Not to mention, there’s no love lost, and the Suns are just so fundamentally sound. They take advantage of the kinds of mistakes the Lakers make on a nightly basis in a way that other teams may not. You can’t give a team as sound as Phoenix an inch, and I don’t trust Los Angeles to play disciplined enough to keep this close.
I am admittedly not a huge prop guy, but there’s one narrative that I’ll play into tonight, with Ben Simmons returning to Philadelphia. I think that game’s going to be close, but I actually do expect Simmons to be aggressive. He seems like he’s in the right head space to head back to Philly now, and with his line at just 10.5 points, I’m willing to bet that he can continue his better play. He has scored 11 points or more in each of his past three games, so we are just banking on him to continue that pace against a depleted Sixers team.
The pick: Ben Simmons over 10.5 points (-130)