We have an exciting NBA slate tonight where every single game has playoff implications. This is an advantage of the new Play-In tournament, as it has teams that would previously have been eliminated still fighting at this point of the season. With all this in mind, it is great to be able to handicap games where we know that every team will be going all out. Let’s take a look at tonight’s games for the winning Banker and 2 team parlay
Los Angeles Lakers vs Los Angeles Clippers
I detailed the Lakers’ many flaws when betting against them for my Banker on Tuesday. We will not revisit their obvious deficiencies, we will just note that nothing that we saw in the loss against the Dallas Mavericks moved them off of our “Fade List”. Reports have come out that Russell Westbrook and Lakers management have agreed that he will find a new home in the offseason, and he will just be playing out his one-year stint with the Lakers. The lack of a good fit between Westbrook and LeBron was quite obvious to most observers. LeBron should be surrounded by four shooters. With Westbrook shrinking the space on the floor for the Lakers, the fit was destined not to work. Will the Lakers make a push for the Play-In tournament? Or are they content to pack it in? The Lakers’ upcoming first-round pick will be shipped to the New Orleans Pelicans so they have no incentive to tank. It is whether LeBron wants to subject himself to another Play-In tournament this year or end the season early in order to get ready for next season.
On paper, the Los Angeles Clippers are not a good team. We must give credit to Tyronn Lue, the Clippers head coach. He has his team playing motivated every single night. The team is coming off an absolutely dominant performance against the Houston Rockets in Houston on Tuesday night. The Clippers won 113–100, but the game was not nearly as close as the final score indicated. The Clippers have amassed an amazing amount of depth and when they get their stars back the next season, they will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.
There’s not much more to add to this handicap. We will continue to bet against the Lakers and on occasional nights, we will lose. Still, I think that once again we win tonight. Both teams should be up for this game with the battle of bragging rights for LA. The Clippers have had the Lakers’ number. The Clippers are 30-7 against the Lakers since 2012-2013. Tonight’s Banker is Los Angeles Clippers -2.5.
2 Team Parlay
Detroit Pistons vs Toronto Raptors
The Pistons are one of the few teams eliminated from contention so far this season, but they’ve been playing hard. The Pistons have plenty of young players to which they have been giving heavy minutes in order to develop. Players such as Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart are all playing heavy minutes and look to be a nice core for the Pistons to build around. The Pistons’ lack of success this season means they will be drafting high once again and can add another blue-chip talent to play with Cade Cunningham. The Pistons definitely have a plan set out on how to compete in the future, but for now, they will struggle to be competitive until the 2022 season ends.
The Raptors have been all over the place. After roaring into the All-Star break, they got blown out in the first two games after the All-Star break. They then absolutely dominated the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn, and then beat them by one point at home on Tuesday. The Raptors were once a bastion of consistency but have been unpredictable lately when it comes to results.
The Raptors do play solid defense however and that’s the angle that we will look out for tonight’s game. I believe this will be a low-scoring, slower affair. The Raptors do have a nice length and athleticism to slow down the Pistons star forwards Cade Cunningham and Jerami Grant. The spread of -8.5 seems right. but we will go for the under 215.5 in what should be a slow-paced defensive battle. The first half of the two-team parlay is the Toronto Raptors/Detroit Pistons under 215.5
Memphis Grizzlies vs Boston Celtics
The Memphis Grizzlies and the Boston Celtics are 2 of the hottest teams in the league right now. Both teams are 8-2 and their past 10 and have been improving as the season progresses. However, the Boston Celtics suffered a tough injury when Jaylen Brown sprained his ankle against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. The Celtics were able to hold on for a win against the Hawks, but it will be a much tougher task tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Ja Morant followed up his career-high 46 point game in Chicago with a 52-point performance in the win over the Spurs on Monday night. Ja Morant inserted his name into the MVP conversation and is continuing to play better and better basketball. The Memphis Grizzlies play excellent defense and have a chance to become the number two seed in the West with the way they’re playing. I believe they will continue their good momentum tonight against one of the best teams in the East. They can take advantage of Jaylen Browns’ absence. The second half of the two-time parlay is the Memphis Grizzlies -3.