Pelicans, Lakers slender underdogs in NBA midweek matchups
Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | December 1, 2015
Memphis Grizzlies @ New Orleans Pelicans
Power forward Anthony Davis will be gunning for his fifth double-double in six games when he leads the New Orleans Pelicans into action against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday as slim 0.5-point home underdogs in NBA betting with Coral.
Davis has battled hip, shoulder, and knee injuries since opening the season as a strong 4/1 bet to emerge as NBA MVP. Those ailments have not slowed down the 22-year-old, who has averaged 26.2 points and 14.2 rebounds per game during his current hot streak.
Despite Davis’ strong play, the 4-13 Pelicans have struggled to find consistency, losing their last two to remain four games back of a playoff spot and nine games under .500.
Defense has been a particular problem for the Pelicans, who have surrendered 100 or more points in 15 of their first 17, and sit dead last in the Association with 108.9 opponent points per game. But the team has enjoyed home cooking, averaging 111 ppg while going 3-1 SU and ATS in their last four at Smoothie King Center.
The Grizzlies arrive in the Big Easy fresh off a 92-84 victory over the hapless Philadelphia 76ers, improving to 7-2 SU in their last nine, but winless in their last two against the spread.
Averaging just 96.2 ppg, Memphis ranks 27th in the Association on team offense, and are winless in their last two visits to New Orleans, averaging just 92 ppg in those matchups.
They return home following Tuesday night’s contest to face the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night, while the Pelicans visit the Houston Rockets on Wednesday before hosting the Cleveland on Friday night.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers will host a special guest on Tuesday night when Kobe Bryant takes the floor in his hometown for the final time in his 20-year NBA career, leading the Los Angeles Lakers into action as slim 0.5-point underdogs.
Five-time NBA champion Kobe recently announced he will retire at the end of this season, setting the stage for a season-long farewell tour, which kicks off at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.
While Kobe’s illustrious career offers much to celebrate, the Lakers’ recent dismal performance does not.
LA has lost six straight since tallying just their second win of the season, getting blown out by an average margin of 15.7 points and covering the spread just once during their current skid.
Losers of 18 straight SU to start the season, and 28 overall, the 76ers want nothing more than to spoil Kobe’s homecoming.
Philadelphia has come close to picking up their first victory over the past 10 days, keeping it close in their last five games, all on the road, picking up ATS wins in each to improve to 7-2 ATS in their last nine.
The Sixers have lost three straight overall to Los Angeles, however, and have recorded just one SU win over the Lakers in their last eight on their home floor.
Following Tuesday’s clash, the 76ers make the short journey to New York to take on the Knicks on Wednesday, while the Lakers continue their eight-game road swing with a visit to Washington on Wednesday, followed by a date with the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.
In other NBA betting action on Tuesday night, the Cavaliers are favoured by 9.5 over the Wizards, the Minnesota Timberwolves are 1.5-point favourites against the Orlando Magic, and the Phoenix Suns visit the Brooklyn Nets as 3.5-point favourites.