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Big Bets from Big Memphis: TNT double-header sees LeBron go home and a western conference battle

LeBron takes on his former squad in Cleveland, while Luka and Jokic battle it out in Denver

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Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With a partnership with DraftKings Sportsbook, we have another “Big Bets from Big Memphis,” where we track and predict each TNT double-header of games using DraftKings’ odds.

While the Memphis Grizzlies, along with the majority of the NBA, are off tonight the few matchups going on have plenty of relevancy to the Grizzlies. The scorching hot Lakers who are 8-2 in their last 10 after a slow start travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers who haven’t missed a beat integrating Donovan Mitchell into the lineup. Later in the night two Western Conference contenders face off in a critical early season matchup. Denver has played well to start the season but enter the matchup losers of their last 2 games. Meanwhile the Dallas Mavericks have relatively disappointed to start the year with the absence of Jalen Brunson leaving Mavs fans in shambles. Can the Lakers stay hot against one of the best teams they’ll play during this stretch or will J.B. Bickerstaff and co. slow them down? Will the Nuggets snap their skid and continue the Dallas slide, or will Dallas pick up a signature win to try and get them on the right path?

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Spread: Lakers +4 (-110), Cavaliers -4 (-110)

Over/Under: 224 (-110)

Moneyline: Lakers (+145), Cavaliers (-195)

The Lakers have recovered from a poor start to the season and have won 8 of their last 10 matchups. The competition has been fairly weak, with 3 wins over the struggling San Antonio Spurs but recent wins over the Bucks and Trail Blazers are a promising sign they’re at least not as bad as the early season struggles suggested. The Cavs, meanwhile, have been excellent with Donovan Mitchell fitting in just fine alongside Darius Garland in the backcourt. The Cavs are 15-9, including 10-1 at home. It’s an interesting matchup with LeBron returning to Cleveland once again. Will LeBron and the Lakers continue their run, or will the Cavs and their tough interior defense be too much for them?

Best Bet for Lakers: Anthony Davis O/U 41.5 Pts + Rebs + Asts

It’s no secret Anthony Davis has been on an absolute tear of late, earning Player of the Week last week averaging 37.8 points and 13 rebounds over 4 games. In his last 9 games Davis has registered a double-double in each matchup. The Cavaliers present a tough matchup, especially if Jarrett Allen who is currently questionable plays, but AD has been on such a tear of late it may not matter. If you’re going to bet the over on his points (O/U 27.5) you might as well go big and go with the points, rebounds, assists combination.

Best Bet for Cavaliers: Donovan Mitchell O/U 3.5 rebounds

With Jarrett Allen questionable, the Cavs might be in need of a needed boost crashing the glass, especially with the way AD has been playing lately. It feels like a great opportunity for Mitchell to have a higher emphasis on crashing the boards, and looking to collect tip outs to get started on the fast break. Mitchell hasn’t been dominant on the boards, hitting 4 or more rebounds just twice in the last 5 games but tonight’s matchup feels like the Cavs will need Mitchell to get rebounds to help secure a win against the Lakers.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets

Spread: Mavericks +4.5 (-110), Nuggets -4.5 (-110)

Over/Under: 223 (-110)

Moneyline: Mavericks (+150), Nuggets (-205)

The nightcap on TNT is between two teams perceived in the preseason to be NBA Finals contenders. The Nuggets got the return of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. (Out tonight, knee) after both missed all of or the majority of last season while Jokic continues to play at a MVP level. Getting healthy has Denver out to a 14-9 start to the season. Meanwhile Dallas has underwhelmed this season as the team sits at 12-11 following last night’s win against the Suns. The record isn’t bad, but the team has been inconsistent and really misses Jalen Brunson. JaVale McGee lasted maybe a couple of weeks before being replaced as the starting center as the Mavs go back to Dwight Powell and leaving Christian Wood in his Sixth Man role. While the Mavericks domination over the Suns last night is encouraging, it’s easy for them to get up for a rivalry game after their playoff series last year. Traveling to Denver to play on the second night of a back-to-back is tough. Will the Mavs have enough energy after landing in Denver late last night/early this morning, or will the altitude and lack of consistent play outside of Luka Doncic be too much for them to get on a 3-game winning streak?

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