Not sure there's been a more interesting game in NBA history between two such horrific teams as in Tuesday night's Los Angeles Lakers at Philadelphia 76ers matchup. The clubs have all of two wins between them, so it certainly could have lottery ramifications down the road if the teams finished tied for the NBA's worst record. But of more immediate relevance, the 76ers can set the NBA record with a 19th straight loss to open a season. And it's the final game for Kobe Bryant in his hometown of Philadelphia -- he starred at Lower Merion High School. Smartly, Kobe on Sunday announced he was officially retiring after the season. So I'm sure the proud Kobe would like to have a big night in the City of Brotherly Love, and I guarantee you he hears louder cheers than any player on that sad Sixers team.
Lakers at 76ers (pick'em, 197.5)
I was hoping that Philly might be favored for the only time this season; maybe by tipoff the Sixers are. Los Angeles was beaten 107-103 at home on Sunday by Indiana. Kobe, a few hours after making his announcement, had 13 points and the chance to tie the game late on a 3-pointer but he shot an air ball, which pretty much sums up this season for him. He was an ugly 4-for-20 from the field. In 16 career games at Philadelphia, Kobe has averaged 22.9 points, 4.2 rebounds 4.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game. The 76ers were again competitive on Sunday but lost 92-84 in Memphis to drop their 28th straight game overall -- that's an NBA record. Philly led by five midway through the fourth quarter. The loss at Memphis marked the fifth straight time Philadelphia has lost by single digits. The team played a second in a row without Nerlens Noel with right knee soreness and he's questionable for this one. The Lakers swept the 76ers last season.
Key trends: The Lakers are 1-9 against the spread in their past 10 following an ATS win. The "over/under" is 10-2 in the Sixers' past 12 at home.
Early lean: I think Philly wins if Noel plays. Otherwise go Lakers. Under regardless.
Wizards at Cavaliers (-9.5, 203)
This is the first of an NBA TV doubleheader and should have live betting at sportsbooks. Washington dropped a fourth straight Saturday, 84-82 at home against Toronto. Something is really off with this team. Way too much talent to be 6-8. The 84 points allowed were the fewest Washington has allowed all season. John Wall missed two late free throws that proved costly. Nene and Gary Neal both sat out with injuries, and they are questionable for Tuesday. Cleveland remained unbeaten at home this season with 90-88 win over Brooklyn on Saturday. LeBron James hit a running hook shot with a second left for the win. The Cavs, who have won 29 of their past 30 regular-season home games, were 3-1 vs. Washington last season. They won the final three meetings by an average of 23 points.
Key trends: The road team is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. The over is 9-3 in Cleveland's past 12 overall.
Early lean: Cavaliers and over.
Suns at Nets (+3, 206)
Brooklyn ended a two-game losing streak with an 87-83 win over the Pistons on Sunday. Brook Lopez made the tiebreaking free throw with 29 seconds to go after pulling down an offensive rebound. The Nets' Andrea Bargnani left the game in the first quarter with a tight left hamstring and won't play vs. Phoenix. The Suns ended a four-game skid with a 107-102 victory in Toronto on Sunday. Guard Eric Bledsoe blocked a potential 3-pointer by Luis Scola in the final seconds. The Phoenix reserves combined for 51 points while shooting 56 percent from the field. Center Tyson Chandler (hamstring) missed his second game of the season. The Suns won both meetings last season, getting their first sweep against the Nets since 2010-11. Four of the last eight meetings overall have gone to overtime.
Early lean: The Nets are 5-1 ATS in their past six after a win. The under is 7-1 in the Suns' past eight vs. the East.
Key trends: Nets and under.
Magic at Timberwolves (-2, 201.5)
Orlando concluded a 3-0 homestand with a 110-91 win over Boston on Sunday. Coming off the bench for a third straight game, Victor Oladipo scored 19 points and had eight rebounds and six assists. The Magic went 9-6 in November, the first winning month for the team since March 2012. Minnesota's three-game winning streak ended in a 107-99 defeat at the Clippers on Sunday. Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio sat out his second straight game because of soreness in his left ankle. Rubio thinks he can return Tuesday and practiced Monday. The Magic beat the visiting Timberwolves 104-101 in overtime on Nov. 18. Evan Fournier hit a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left in overtime. Rubio had eight points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.
Key trends: Orlando is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The under is 5-2 in Minnesota's past seven at home.
Early lean: Minnesota and under.
Grizzlies at Pelicans (-1, 201.5)
Memphis nearly was the first team to lose to Philly but rallied for a 92-84 win Sunday. Zach Randolph had 17 points and 11 assists after missing the previous five games. The Grizzlies won't beat many other teams turning the ball over 26 times. New Orleans lost a second straight Saturday, 107-87 in Utah. Anthony Davis had 36 points and 11 rebounds but Jrue Holiday had only two points. The Pelicans believe that guard Tyreke Evans will make his season debut on Tuesday off knee surgery. The Grizzlies and Pelicans split four meetings last year, each winning both at home.
Key trends: The home team is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 5-1 in the past six.
Early lean: Pelicans and under.
Mavericks at Trail Blazers (-1.5, 203)
Your NBA TV nightcap should also feature live betting. Dallas was in Sacramento on Monday. So Mavs forward Chandler Parsons probably won't play in the second of a back-to-back. Portland was at the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. Portland and Dallas split the season series 2-2 in 2014-15, with each team winning both of its home games. Neither team has won consecutive games in this series since Dallas did so during the 2012-13 season. It's a return to Portland for Wesley Matthews, who signed as a free agent with the Mavs this offseason. He's the Blazers' all-time leader in 3-pointers made.
Key trends: The home team is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings. The over is 8-3 in Portland's past 11 vs. the West.
Early lean: Blazers win. Go over.
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