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NBA on TNT Tuesday Preview: Lakers/Cavs and Mavs/Nuggets

LeBron James visit his hometown crowd in Cleveland in the appetizer, before Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic square off in the night cap

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Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The NBA on TNT returns tonight, kicking off at 6:30pm CST with the LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers headed on the road for a battle with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where the real headliner will be in the front court between Anthony Davis, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen. Following the conclusion of that brawl, two of the league’s very best square off, when Luka Doncic leads the Dallas Mavericks against the Denver Nuggets and Nikola Jokic.

Here’s a look at the betting breakdown ahead of tonight’s matchups:

DraftKings Odds

(As of 10pm CST Monday night)

You can bet your favorite spread, moneyline, total or game prop over with our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

Lakers (+4, +155 ML) at Cavaliers (-4, -180 ML) | Total: 224

As of writing 63% of bets are on the Lakers to cover the spread, but just 29% of the handle (money) is trusting LA according to VSiN. This indicates that while the average bettor likes LA, professional, sharp bettors are fading the public, and placing their bets on the Cavs to cover the four-point spread. The public and sharps are more in agreement when it comes to the total, with 77% of bets and 86% of the money currently coming in on the over. While it’s closer, it still indicates that the pros are betting this over.

The Picks: Cavs -4 | Under 224

Given how dominant Anthony Davis has been of late, I was very tempted to go with the Lakers, but the Cavs are just a bit too deep. They have two great options to throw at Davis, and are built to slow down a team like the Lakers that relies so heavily on scoring at the rim. This is putting a lot of faith in Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, but those two guys have earned that faith.

I do think this is a rock fight, though. The Cavs ability to take away the rim is well documented, but the Lakers also have a great half-court defense. If they’re able to take care of the ball, this one could grind into an old-school game quickly. The pros love the over, so this will probably look silly, but I really struggle to see this as a high-scoring affair.

Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Mavericks (+4.5, +160 ML) at Nuggets (-4.5, -190 ML) | Total: 223

As of writing, 62% of bets have been wagered on the underdog Mavericks, but just 25% of the handle is on the Mavs to cover. While the public seems to be optimistic about Luka’s ability to make this a nail-biter, the professional bettors are on the Nuggets.

It’s a similar story on this total as with the Lakers and Cavs. For now, 85% of bets and 94% of the handle is on the over for this one. It’s definitely possible that these numbers change, drastically even, as we get closer to tip-off, but the early action is heavily on this one to turn into a shootout.

The Picks: Nuggets -4.5 | Over 224

This game is more simple for me than the appetizer. I don’t trust the Mavs at all right now, especially against a good team. They’re a hard bunch to predict, since their success almost entirely goes as their role players shooting goes, but I’m just not sold on this team right now. Of course, it’s possible that Luka goes absolutely nuts and makes this all a moot point, but in a primetime matchup, I’d think you could say the same for Jokic as well. Give me the home team to win and cover.

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