NBA Tuesday best bets: Celtics, Spurs are live 'dogs vs. slumping foes
We cashed two of our three NBA bets against the spread on Monday and nearly hit outright on the frisky Spurs as sizable underdogs. We're going back to the well for our best bets of Tuesday's three-game slate.
Remember when the Knicks opened the season with a 5-1 record and were riding a three-game win streak into November? It's been a rough stretch since, as New York has dropped 11 of its last 17 games and been outscored by 4.1 points per 100 possessions.
In comparison, the Spurs have posted a similar record and are 3.3 points better per 100 possessions. They've won five straight ATS, including that narrow loss to the Suns on Monday and a win over the NBA-leading Warriors on Saturday. San Antonio has won outright in four of its last five underdog spots and deserves to be priced as the favorite here.
Pick: Spurs +2.5
Friends don't let friends bet on the Lakers, especially not when their two best players are battling injury. Los Angeles is a league-worst 8-16 ATS and has been favored in 15 games despite owning a negative net rating (minus-1.7). (To nobody's surprise, L.A. is 3-12 ATS as a favorite.)
Oddsmakers continue to price this group as an elite squad, even against a Celtics team that ranks in the top 10 by advanced metrics and is fresh off a 28-point beatdown of the Trail Blazers on Saturday. Conversely, the Lakers lost outright against the underdog Clippers on Friday in LeBron James' return to the court, as he shot just 39.1% from the floor and a paltry 25% from deep.
If James can't play up to his usual standard, it's hard to see his supporting cast providing enough help to justify this price. We've seen a large enough sample to avoid backing L.A. against the NBA's upper tier, especially when giving points. Don't fall for it here.
Pick: Celtics +2.5