Are the Los Angeles Lakers worth your bet now that D’Angelo Russell has returned from his injury? The immediate answer has to be no as Russell was just 1-for- 8 from the field in 17 minutes in a loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday. The Lakers are really struggling right now and enter the week on a six-game skid. I’d stay away as they are on the road all week. But here are three games I would parlay together in NBA betting.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers, Tuesday
This is an ESPN national TV game. Can Russell Westbrook start another triple-double- streak? In Sunday’s 99-96 win over Boston, Westbrook scored 23 of his 37 points in the second half to help the Thunder defeat the Celtics. He had 12 rebounds but only six assists, ending the NBA’s longest triple-double run since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. Thunder guard Victor Oladipo left the game for good after spraining his right wrist on a hard fall with 5.2 seconds left in the first quarter. He leaped to challenge a shot by Jonas Jerebko and fell onto Jerebko’s shoulder and back on the way down, causing him to lose control of his landing. So you may not see Oladipo here. Tuesday marks the first of four regular season matchups between the Trail Blazers and Thunder in 2016-17.
Portland and Oklahoma City split the season series 2-2 last season, with both teams winning their home games. The Trail Blazers have won five of their past six games (four straight) against the Thunder at the Moda Center. Portland is 5-3 over its past eight games against Oklahoma City. Westbrook averaged 18.3 points and 12.0 assists in three games against Portland in 2015-16 (two double-doubles). Westbrook averaged 38.5 points in four games against the Trail Blazers the season prior (2014-15). I like Portland here.
Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday
The 76ers are a much improved team this year but they just can’t beat Toronto, dropping 13 straight in the series. On Nov. 28, Kyle Lowry set a club record by hitting all six of his 3-pointers for a game-high 24 points and Toronto beat Philly 122-95. On a night when DeMar DeRozan was held to 14 points on 4-for-13 shooting, a host of other Raptors played a supporting role. Terrence Ross had a season-high 22 points, including a trio of 3s among his eight field goals . Lowry added eight assists and four rebounds. Six players scored in double figures for the Raptors, who took the lead for good late in the first quarter Robert Covington led the 76ers with 20 points. Will Philly have big man Nerlens Noel for the game? Noel made his season debut Sunday vs. Detroit after recovering from knee surgery. He looked good early in the game, but left with a sprained left ankle so he’s questionable Wednesday vs. the Raptors. Rookie of the Year favorite Joel Embiid should play after sitting out Sunday with minor inflammation in his right below. Coach Brett Brown described Embiid’s absence as “precautionary.” Back Toronto here.
New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors, Thursday
This is the second of the usual Thursday NBA doubleheader on TNT. The Knicks enter the week having won six of seven and are 2-0 on a West Coast road trip following a 118-112 win at the Lakers on Sunday. Kristaps Porzingis had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Derrick Rose scored 25 in his return from injury. Brandon Jennings scored 15 of his season high-tying 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Knicks moved a season-best four games over .500 (14-10). Golden State has won five of six following a 116-10 victory in Minnesota on Sunday. Klay Thompson scored 30 points and the Warriors roared back to avoid their first set of consecutive regular-season losses since 2015. Stephen Curry had 22 points and nine assists, and the Warriors rallied from a 10-point deficit to start the fourth quarter to keep their streak alive. Golden State blew out New York twice last year and I like the Warriors to do that again here. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, as a player with the Utah Jazz, faced off against Warriors coach Steve Kerr and his Chicago Bulls team in the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals.