We preview three of Tuesday’s biggest NBA games, including three quality teams from the West.
There is no doubt that the Eastern Conference has caught up thanks to the likes of Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee, but we love the look of the West.
Games on the card are Lakers vs Hornets, Heat vs Suns, and Celtics vs Trail Blazers.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Charlotte Hornets
When: Tuesday, April 13, 8 p.m. ET
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Analysis: The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled at times without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but they’re in for the fight.
Los Angeles scored a 126-101 win over Brooklyn last week and it was a terrific effort given the circumstances. It should give the Lakers confidence.
Ben McLemore is one player who could get hot and the Lakers don’t want him to stop shooting.
“Once I see one go in, it’s a wrap from there,” McLemore told SB Nation. “Then I start making a few more and then I start rolling. It don’t take much for me to get hot, especially when I see one go in that was sweet. Then I’ve got guys that are backing me up, continuing to build my confidence within myself to go out there and continue to shoot.”
Standing in their way are the Charlotte Hornets, who have been playing solid basketball. The Hornets scored wins over Indiana, Oklahoma City, and Milwaukee on the road before returning home and losing a close game to Atlanta.
Charlotte had every chance to win that game, but it should derive plenty of benefit from the outing. It’s also only one game back of Atlanta in the Southeast standings, so the pressure is on Charlotte to perform.
The Lakers are tough to predict with so many injuries, but we like the defending champions in this spot. They scored a gutsy win over Brooklyn and although in the middle of a lengthy road trip, it could galvanize this unit.
Online sports betting markets will have Los Angeles at value odds and although a tricky spot, we think the Lakers can get it done on Tuesday.
Pick: Los Angeles Lakers -1 (-110)
Miami Heat vs Phoenix Suns
When: Tuesday, April 13, 10 p.m. ET
Where: PHX Arena, Phoenix, AZ
Analysis: How impressive has Phoenix been? The Suns have emerged as a frontrunner in the playoff race and that momentum could see them beat the Heat.
Phoenix is 37-15 overall and 20-8 at home. Its most recent win came over Washington and although beaten by the Clippers prior to that, it was a tough game on the road.
Getting back to PHX Arena has helped and this is a Suns team that defeated Utah in overtime last week, so there are quality wins on the board.
SUNS CLOSE OUT THE JAZZ IN OT, 117-113 🔥
☀️ Booker: 35 PTS
☀️ CP3: 29 PTS, 9 AST
7th straight win for Phoenix pic.twitter.com/h6qYSYqWGe
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 8, 2021
Miami has improved over the last couple of weeks, which was expected. It was a dour start for the Heat, but after scoring six wins from their last 10, things are looking up.
In the first meeting, Phoenix got the better of Miami 110-100. Interconference games can be tough to predict, so having past results are a key betting guide for bettors.
If Chris Paul and Devin Booker can continue their stellar play, we have little doubt Pheonix will be right in the thick of the Western Conference playoffs. However, a loss to Miami will throw some doubt and NBA betting lines could be affected.
It’s good to see Miami improving and it’s not without a chance in the playoffs. However, we love what Phoenix is doing and it should go 2-0 in the series.
The Suns are playing some of the best basketball and, with a healthy roster, there are no excuses.
Add the Phoenix Suns on your NBA parlay ticket.
Pick: Phoenix Suns -3½ (-110)
Boston Celtics vs Portland Trail Blazers
When: Tuesday, April 13, 8 p.m, ET
Where: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Analysis: Just when it looked like a loss to Philadelphia could completely derail Boston’s season, it bounced back with three consecutive victories.
The Celtics are 28-26 following wins over New York, Minnesota and Denver. The win over Denver came via a terrific comeback win and now another tough test awaits as the Celtics head to Portland.
Sitting at 31-22, Portland is in a good position in the Western Conference, but recent results haven’t been pleasing. The Trail Blazers have lost three of their last four games.
We’re not concerned about the losses to Los Angeles and Utah, but scoring only 98 points at home against Miami wasn’t ideal. We expect a much better showing from Portland against a Boston team that has been wildly inconsistent.
Bettors have no idea what to expect from the Celtics. They look awful day one day and then brilliant the next, but we fear for this team. Boston doesn’t have much team cohesion and it’s relying on individual plays from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
It’s not a winning strategy and the Celtics could be exposed by Portland, which has a terrific team dynamic.
Bettors should get an even betting market but include the Portland Trail Blazers in your parlay selections.
This is a classic bounce-back situation for the Trail Blazers, which don’t often lose consecutive games at Moda Center.
Boston has been one of the most unreliable teams and we don’t fancy its chances of stealing one on the road.
Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -1 (-110)
Parlay: Los Angeles Lakers -1, Phoenix Suns -3½ and Portland Trail Blazers -1 at +600