NBA Picks & Parlay of the Weekend | December 9

darren cooper
By:
Darren Cooper
09/12/2023/
NBA
NBA Picks and Parlay of the Weekend

Tonight is the first NBA Cup Final when the Indiana Pacers take on the Los Angeles Lakers in Las Vegas and  Michigan sportsbooks have all the action. The Pacers have never won an NBA “trophy,” losing in the NBA Finals in 2000 to the, ironically, the Lakers. Los Angeles is one of the most decorated teams in the NBA with 17 NBA titles. The teams split two regular season meetings last year.

NBA In-Season Tournament Finals: Lakers vs. Pacers

Lakers -192 Moneyline at DraftKings

It’s always been one of those fun arguments to have with your friends. If there was one NBA game and your life depended on it, who would you want on your team? LeBron James would be an easy answer.

The King has been the star in the NBA for over 20 years. He has another chance to write his name in the history books with a win Saturday night. It’s the final of the NBA’s In-Season Tournament. Yes, the tournament has had mixed reviews, but it has had the sportsworld talking and that’s what the NBA wanted.

The NBA didn’t quite get the game they wanted in the finals. They really probably wanted Giannis and the Bucks, not the Pacers, but the Pacers play an exciting style of basketball scoring almost 130 points a game. But this whole tournament has seemed set up for James and the Lakers to win.

I’m leery of the spread (Pacers plus 4) because I think it can come down to the last minute, but LeBron James and one game to win? That’s a winner.

NBA In-Season Tournament Finals: Lakers vs. Pacers

Over 241 points at DraftKings

About that Pacers offense, at this rate, it may go down in history as the NBA’s best of all time. The Pacers are averaging 128.4 points a game. Tyrese Haliburton is the focal point of the offense.

Indiana is 16-4 over/under this season. The Lakers are 9-14 over/under, but the crowd in Vegas wants to see points. This one could be 100-100 after three quarters and then the style will change in the fourth when the teams start locking in on defense.

Indiana has scored over 120 points 16 times this season, the Lakers eight.

It’s one game for the NBA Cup. The NBA is a high-scoring fun league right now. The Pacers will set the, pardon the phrase, pace and the Lakers will happily join in. Both teams will score a lot.

NBA In-Season Tournament Finals: Lakers vs. Pacers

Tyrese Haliburton Under 28.5 points at DraftKings

The point guard from Iowa State has been the breakout star of the NBA In-Season Tournament. In his last two Tournament games he had 27 and 26 points. In the regular season, he also had 44 against the Heat and 33 against Portland. He’s a walking bucket.

Haliburton averaging 26 a night, which would be a career high. While I think we will see a lot of points Saturday night, 28.5 seems real high (LeBron’s over/under is also 28.5). I don’t think the Lakers will let Haliburton ‘go off’ and ring them up for like 35 points. The Pacers will need a team effort to win tonight.

28.5 points is just too high. Take the under on Haliburton.

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Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.