LeBron James makes his one scheduled appearance for the season back in Cleveland as the Lakers start a four-game road trip against the Cavaliers. Could this be LeBron’s last game in his old home? Both teams are coming off a loss. The Cavaliers are expecting to get star Donovan Mitchell back from an injury. He’s one of the highest scoring players in the NBA.
NBA Picks & Parlay of the Weekend | November 25
LA Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers
The big storyline is obvious as LeBron James makes his return to Cleveland where he started his career and had so much success. Could this be his final game in Cleveland? No one is thinking about James retiring. He’s still playing at a high level, and he hasn’t said anything but you never know.
Our best Michigan sportsbooks recognize the Cavs as one of the solid playoff teams in the Eastern Conference. They lost Donovan Mitchell to an injury (he’s expected back today) but have still won four of five. Darius Garland picked up the scoring slack in Mitchell’s absence.
The Lakers are starting a four-game road trip after a tough loss at home to Dallas where LeBron missed a tough 3 at the buzzer. They’ll be without Rui Hachimura for a little while with a broken nose.
For part one of our parlay, take the Cavs to cover. They’ve beaten the Lakers two games in a row, and the boost they get from Mitchell’s return is huge.
LA Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers over/under 225
I got burned on that under pick on the Pacers/Hawks earlier this week. I won’t make that mistake again. If the NFL is now an Under league, the NBA has become an Over league.
Both these teams average 112 points a game, that’s where the oddsmakers get their total from. The Cavs are 9-6 over/under this season, while the Lakers are 5-11. The last three Cavs games have hit the over.
Totals are always so connected to the style of play that’s going to happen in the game. This one doesn’t seem to be a slog. You know the Lakers will want to get LeBron involved early, so he will score some. Then the Cavs will answer. The Cavs are younger – of course – and have had a couple of days off. The FanDuel odds are -110 either way. I’m liking the over. They may not score 300 points like the Pacers/Hawks did, but they’ll be over 120 each.
Take the over 225 total on Lakers/Cavaliers.
Anthony Davis over/under 21.5 points
Avid players at top Michigan sportsbooks know that entering every Laker game, LeBron James is listed as questionable with a calf injury officially and then ends up playing like 40 minutes looking about 15 years younger than his actual age.
Lakers star Anthony Davis is also always on the injury report with hip spasms. To his credit, he usually plays, but sometimes he plays well, sometimes he plays like he’s 15 years older than he is.
Davis is coming off a 10-point performance against the Mavs where he didn’t score in the fourth quarter. He’s averaged 20.1 points against Cleveland in his career.
When the Lakers lose, it’s usually because Davis isn’t scoring points and the Lakers rely too much on LeBron. But Davis never seems passionate for regular season games.
Take the under 21.5 points scored by Anthony Davis.
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.