Game of the Night: Lakers at Nuggets (-4, 217) – 9:05 PM EST
These two Western Conference squads sit 1 ½ games apart as both teams have gone through different starts through the first six weeks. The Lakers (11-8 SU, 7-12 ATS) overcame a 2-5 start in LeBron James’ first season donning the Purple and Gold to win nine of the past 12 games. Meanwhile, the Nuggets (13-7 SU, 11-9 ATS) jumped out to a 9-1 start, but have dropped six of the previous 14 contests, although Denver is currently on a three-game winning streak.
The Lakers are on a 7-2 run the last nine games, but the two losses in this stretch have come to the Magic. The most recent defeat to Orlando occurred on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center as the Lakers squandered an early double-digit advantage in a 108-104 setback as 7 ½-point favorites. Los Angeles extended its UNDER streak to four, while hitting the UNDER in 10 of the last 12 games, including four of the past five away from Staples.
Denver suffered through a 1-6 stretch prior to its current hot streak, which includes wins over Minnesota, Orlando, and Oklahoma City. In Saturday’s 105-98 triumph over the Thunder as six-point underdogs, the Nuggets opened up a 23-point halftime advantage and never looked back as Jamal Murray led Denver with 22 points. The Nuggets are also riding an UNDER streak by cashing in four straight, including in a 112-87 home blowout of Orlando on Friday on a 211 total.
In the first matchup this season at Staples Center on October 25, the Lakers handed the Nuggets their first loss, 121-114. L.A. cashed as 1 ½-point underdogs by outscoring Denver in the fourth, 34-25, while James posted a triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. The Lakers have dropped four straight visits to Pepsi Center, including a pair of defeats last season.
The Raptors (17-4 SU, 11-10 ATS) have been equally great on the road (8-2) as they have at home (9-2) this season. Toronto travels to Memphis tonight prior to a home showdown with Golden State on Thursday. The Raptors are riding a five-game winning streak after knocking off the Wizards and Heat at home, while topping the 122-point mark four times during this hot stretch. Toronto failed to cash as 12-point favorites in Sunday’s 125-115 triumph over Miami, but Kawhi Leonard continued his solid debut season with the Raptors by scoring 29 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
The Grizzlies (12-7 SU, 12-7 ATS) have dropped two straight following a five-game winning streak, coming off Sunday’s surprising home loss to the Knicks. Memphis lost for only the second time in nine opportunities at FedEx Forum in that 103-98 setback to New York as 8 ½-point favorites, in spite of limiting the Knicks to 37% shooting. The Grizzlies are listed as a home underdog for the third time this season, as Memphis knocked off Denver and lost to Utah in its first two chances in this role.
Top of the Empire
The Knicks (7-14 SU, 11-9-1 ATS) are riding a three-game winning streak, which including road victories at Boston and Memphis. New York has cashed in five of the last six games, all as an underdog of seven points or more, while holding an opponent to less than 100 points for the second time this season in Sunday’s win over Memphis. The Knicks hit the UNDER for the first time in six road games against the Grizzlies, as New York continues a three-game road trip at Detroit.
The Pistons (10-7 SU, 10-7 ATS) overcame a slow start to pull away from Phoenix on Sunday, 118-107 to cash as 8 ½-point favorites. Detroit has won six of its last eight games, while covering seven times in this stretch. The Pistons are on a four-game OVER streak, while putting up 113 points or more in each contest during this stretch. Last season, Detroit swept the three-game series from New York, including a 104-101 home victory as 6 ½-point favorites.
The two teams sitting at the bottom of the Southeast division hook up tonight at American Airlines Arena in Miami. Atlanta (4-16 SU, 8-12 ATS) snapped a 10-game slide in Sunday’s 124-123 home upset of Charlotte as 6 ½-point underdogs. The Hawks erased an early 11-point deficit as Atlanta drilled 16 three-pointers and shot 53% from the floor to pick up their third home win in 10 tries.
The Heat (7-12 SU, 8-11 ATS) have struggled at home this season by dropping seven of 10 at the AAA, including five straight. The last home win for Miami came on November 7 against San Antonio, while the Heat own a 1-4 ATS mark in their last five in the role of a home favorite. The Heat will look to avenge a 123-118 road setback to the Hawks on November 3, as Miami has knocked off Atlanta in each of the past three home matchups.
Phoenix (4-15 SU, 8-11 ATS) is in the midst of a rebuilding project this season as the Suns return home from a 1-3 road trip. The Suns were competitive in all four games, which including a buzzer-beating upset of Milwaukee last Friday as 13 ½-point underdogs. Phoenix led Detroit by one point heading into the fourth quarter on Sunday, but fell apart late as the Pistons outscored the Suns, 35-23 to pick up the cover as 8 ½-point favorites.
Indiana (12-8 SU, 10-10 ATS) heads to Phoenix with no rest tonight after blasting the beat-up Jazz last night, 121-88 as 4 ½-point underdogs. Victor Oladipo remains sidelined for Indiana with a knee injury, but seven Pacers scored in double-figures on Monday, led by Doug McDermott’s 21 points off the bench. Indiana owns a perfect 3-0 record with no rest this season, but all three wins came at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers have captured each of the past three meetings in Phoenix, including a 23-point blowout last season.