The Pistons play the first game of a home-and-home with the Brooklyn Nets. Is this the night the Pistons end their 25-game losing streak, or can they at least cover the spread at Michigan sportsbooks? We’ve also got our eyes set on a big game in Oklahoma City where LeBron and the Lakers take on the rolling Thunder.
NBA Picks & Parlay of the Weekend | December 23
Detroit Pistons at Brooklyn Nets Best Bet
The Basketball World has its eyes on the Pistons in Brooklyn tonight. Detroit enters the contest having lost 25 games in a row. A loss tonight would tie the NBA single season record of 26. The all-time NBA record is 28.
Pistons owner Tom Gores had a late-night conference call with reporters Friday talking about his frustration and promising change, but nothing specific.
In their last 10 meetings, the Nets have won eight times, but the Pistons have covered in seven of the 10 meetings. Brooklyn isn’t a great basketball team. Cam Thomas and Mikal Bridges each average over 20 points, but that’s about it. The Pistons know what is at stake, they will play hard from the jump, but they haven’t figured out how to win and close out games in the fourth.
Do the Pistons win tonight? Probably not, but I like them to cover this spread.
LA Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder
If you feel like the Lakers kind of go through the motions in the regular season, you aren’t the only one. The NBA regular season is long, and as the Lakers showed last year, they just want to get in the playoffs and then go at it 100 percent.
This is one of those games the Lakers might – might – be up for. They’ve lost four in a row, and LeBron James didn’t play in Thursday night’s loss to the Timberwolves, but really, remember the Lakers are in the showcase game on Christmas against the Celtics.
Meanwhile, the Thunder are rolling. Chet Holmgren is giving the Thunder just what they need inside to balance their offense. OKC has won 15 of their last 20. If this was a playoff series, you’d go with the Lakers, but this isn’t the playoffs.
OKC is 18-8 against the spread. Go with the Thunder to cover.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander total Best Bet
Gilgeous-Alexander has led an interesting career already in the NBA. He was drafted by the Hornets in the first round, was flipped to the Clippers, played a year there, then traded to Oklahoma City in the Paul George and picks deal.
It’s taken him a while to settle in, but he was an All-Star last year. Playing in Oklahoma City he doesn’t get the pub of the other NBA stars, but he’s fast as heck, makes great decisions and can shoot lights out. In his last five games, he’s scored 31, 20, 25, 43 and 30 points.
But look at this total from DraftKings and realize how hard it is to score 34 points in an NBA game. And if the Thunder win big, he’s going to come out in the fourth.
Gilgeous-Alexander should have a good night, but ride the under here.
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.