Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook
Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) defends against Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) in overtime of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

NBA Best Bets, Jan. 28

Kyle Barrette

After a short slate yesterday, we will double the picks today and try to keep the streak alive. LeBron barely missed yesterday’s game, and it was ugly. You know that didn’t sit well with the King. With the injury not expected to be serious and the result of him not playing, I really only expect him to miss one game and be back in there tonight. We last touched on Portland getting a majority of their starters back, and they went out that night and beat the Raptors team on the road by nine. Don’t look now, though. This team that couldn’t win against anyone on the road just ended a six-game road trip with a 4-2 record.


Over 228 for the Lakers/Hornets
Even if James sits out another night, I still love this bet. This line looks like it was put out with the premise that he was not playing, but that’s just a quick fix for the books. The Hornets are ranked second in pace of play and the Lakers are number seven. The only reason this number is not in the 230’s like other lines we have been seeing is because of the uncertainty around LeBron. Congrats to the Hornets as they are no longer the league’s worst defense. Charlotte is now in 28th and allowing 114 per game, and the Lakers are about the same at 26th, allowing 112 per game. The Hornets will have no problems shooting jumpers all night and taking advantage of a lazy Lakers defense that hates to close out. Take the over/under 228.

Portland ML in Blazers/Rockets
This line seems weird, but with Portland’s star player out and a few others and Covington a possible no-go, it makes a little more sense. For the most part, the Rockets are fully healthy and playing at home against a team that is notorious for losing on the road. The Blazers’ defense has slightly improved with the return of Powell, and it showed in their recent 4-2 road trip. The defense will be tested here because the Rockets play at the fastest pace in the league and will blitz this Blazers team if they are not ready. Offensively, Portland has never really struggled through the injuries too much, and it has only improved with McCollum coming back. Not only that, but Houston is also now the worst-ranked defense in the league, allowing 116 points per game. So, if the Blazers can slow them down even a little, look for them to be able to easily capitalize on that defense. Take the Blazers ML.

Same Game Parlay
Over 229 in Lakers/Hornets, Lakers Team Total Over 110.5 pts, Hornets to win by 1-10 Pts, Trail Blazers ML, Jusuf Nurkic First Basket, Anfernee Simmons to score 25+ Pts and Trail Blazers to win by 1-10 Pts.

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