4 Best Bets For Tuesday, Including Cavaliers vs. Knicks, Clippers vs. Lakers (January 24)

NBA Rivalry Week rolls on with a host of fun matchups on a sneaky good Tuesday night slate.

In the TNT doubleheader, we get a rematch of the 2022 Eastern Conference finals: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat (7:30 p.m. ET). In the late game, it’s the Battle of Los Angeles at Crypto.com Arena: LA Clippers vs. LA Lakers (10 p.m. ET).

Along with the latter matchup, our betting analysts are focused on what could be a budding rivalry in the Eastern Conference between the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks (7:30 pm ET).

Read on for their in-depth analysis and best bets for Tuesday below.

NBA Odds & Picks

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New York Knicks

Pick
Above 220.5
Book
FanDuel
Tip off
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Andrew O’Connor-Watts: I wrote about this matchup in my game guide and mentioned playing more Knicks overs in the next week or so. I think the market will take some time in adjusting to the absence of Mitchell Robinson, who will be out until the second week of February (at the earliest) with a broken thumb.

The betting market isn’t properly valuing Robinson’s importance as the fulcrum of a Knicks defense that, until recently, was top ten in Adjusted Defensive Rating according to Dunks and Threes.

Robinson is 10th in the league in Defensive Estimated Plus-Minus (+2.5) — a telling statistic in predicting Defensive Player of the Year winners in past seasons. To give you an idea, Jaren Jackson Jr, the odds-on betting favorite to win DPOY, is number one in Defensive EPM (+3.9).

After a few bad weeks, the Knicks have fallen to 15th in Adjusted Defensive Rating (113.8), and that was with Robinson playing steady minutes. Now, those minutes will be divided up between Jericho Sims and Isaiah Hartenstein—both of whom are at the bottom of the Knicks roster in terms of Efficiency Differential and in the seventh and 22nd percentile among all NBA players respectively.

I got this at 219.5, but I would bet the over up to 222.


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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New York Knicks

Pick
Jarrett Allen Over 8.5 REB | 10+ and 13+
Book
FanDuel
Tip off
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Joe Dellera: The Cavaliers head to the Garden to take on the Knicks who will be without their best interior defensive player, Mitchell Robinson. I wrote about his impact at length in my weekly Player Props Forecast.

Since Robinson went down early against the Wizards on Jan. 18, the Knicks have a Rebounding Percentage of 46.1%, which would be the worst number in the league over the full season. This is in sharp contrast to their fourth-best ranking on the full season of 51.8%.

I expect Jarrett Allen to take full advantage on the interior. When these teams played earlier in the season, Allen pulled down 13 rebounds. Now, he gets a matchup against Jericho Sims and Isaiah Hartenstein who have not been nearly as good as Robinson.

His rebound line is seen at 8.5, a number he has exceeded in 56% of games this season. I’ll take the base line and some alternates 10+ (+160 Bet365) and 13+ (+650 Bet365).


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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Pick
Clippers -4
Book
FanDuel
Tip off
10 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Chris Baker: The Clippers have covered this number against the Lakers both times these teams faced off this season, winning by an average of nine points across both games.

The Clippers were actually missing Kawhi Leonard for each of those games, while the Lakers had Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, and Lonnie Walker available. Now the tables have been turned and the Clippers have gotten Leonard back while the Lakers have lost all three of the aforementioned players to injury but the line is a point shorter than it was on opening night?

I don’t agree with that line move at all and am confidently backing the Clippers here at -4. The Clippers have been remarkably disappointing this season, but at least they can say that when Kawhi plays they are truly efficient. The Clippers have a +6.2 net rating and rank above the 80th percentile in both offensive and defensive rating when Leonard is on the floor.

This has not been the case for LeBron and the Lakers without AD. The Lakers are getting respect after a massive comeback win on the road against the Blazers, but the Blazers are a uniquely good matchup for the Lakers.

The Lakers’ offense ranks first in rim rate while the Blazers’ defense ranks dead-last in rim rate allowed. The Lakers bullied the Blazers at the rim attempting 45% of their shots from there. This will not happen against a Clippers defense that ranks seventh-best in the NBA in opponent rim rate allowed.

On the defensive end of the ball, the Lakers should struggle to matchup with this wing-heavy Clippers team as their current rotation features virtually no wing defenders outside of LeBron, Troy Brown Jr., and rookie Max Christie.

The Lakers are bereft of physical wing defenders and that is a major reason why they traded for Rui Hachimura. However, Hachimura will not be suiting up for this one and I expect the Lakers to struggle with the Clippers’ talent on the wing.

Zubac should also have an advantage down-low as he gets to go up against the big tandem of Thomas Bryant and Wenyen Gabriel. Bryant is actually ranked dead-last in defensive RAPTOR among NBA centers while Gabriel weighs under 200 pounds. The Clippers can use Zubac to force double-teams all night long if they so chose.

The Clippers are substantially better than they were when these teams matched up early in the season, while the Lakers have gotten substantially less healthy since then. This line should be closer to -6 or -7. I happily grabbed the -4 and would play it up to -6.


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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Pick
Lakers +5 | Lakers ML
Book
BetRivers
Tip off
10 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Matt Moore: The market has moved this overnight from +4 to +5, so you might wait to see how far the sharps take it. The majority of tickets and money in the Action Network App are on the Lakers and yet this has gone the other way, so the smart bettors are backing the Clippers.

I’m fine being dumb.

I make this Lakers -5.5. That’s right, a full 10-point swing here. How? Well, how about the Clippers are not good? They’re 25th in schedule-adjusted net rating vs. the Lakers who are 21st. The Clippers are 29th in schedule-adjusted offense. Again, this is the second-worst offense in the NBA so far this season.

“But Kawhi and PG are back!”

OK, no problem, let’s adjust this five full points for Kawhi and PG. That gets us to Lakers -0.5.

“But the Clippers are just better!”

OK, I don’t know why you think that 45+ games in with a win differential of a whopping … ONE between these two teams, but fine. Let’s upgrade the Clippers another full two wins.

That’s Clippers -2. We’re still three points off the line from where I have it.

I’m not saying the Clippers can’t win. They are favored by the market, so in the strictest objective sense, they should win. But this number is simply too high. I’d get it if this were Clippers -2, no real travel on the road, etc. I get how much they’ve dominated the Lakers lately.

But the Clippers literally have not beaten a team outside of Texas in the year of our lord 2023. I will play the number. Give me the Lakeshow.

(NOTE: Wait and make sure LeBron plays, you don’t want to get caught if he doesn’t play.)


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