By Charles Jay
What's this? The Los Angeles Lakers are actually WINNING some games? They're not supposed to be doing that; they're supposed to be tanking and hoping they can get the #1 or #2 pick in the NBA Draft, right? Well, if that is what management has had in mind, that is not the direction the players are following. The Lakers will be lining up for action on Sunday night, with its fourth straight victory within reach, as they play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:35 PM ET. And BetDNA customers will have the chance to place wagers in real time, as they utilize the live betitng software. They also have the best parlay odds and best teaser odds available as well.
We will be the first to admit that there coudl be asterisks placed next to these last three wins, as the Memphis Grizzlies really have nowhere to go, up or down, in the playoff queue; the San Antonio Spurs used their starters for only a short time, and the Sacramento Kings are still trying to slove the problem of playing without DeMarcus Cousins. So you don't to go overboard. But you also have to keep in mind that the Lakers, with a victory here, will have no worse than the third-worst record in the NBA, and that impacts how many chances they will have in the NBA lottery. And if they are NOT in the top three teams that are drawn, the Philadelphia 76ers will get their draft pick, and that would be a big downer.
Realistically, the Lakers have given it their "best" shot, benching veteran players like Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov and looking at very young players. But when you consider that their best players are all youngsters, there is no plausible reason to bench THOSE guys for purposes of tanking. Actually, D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and the rest of the kids have made enough mistakes to create their own chaos, and that has frustrated coach Luke Walton. But the theme all along is that the talent is there, and it just needs time to develop.
In the basketball betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetDNA , home of the best parlay odds and best teaser odds, the Timberwolves are 5.5-point favorites, with a total of 221.5 points.
We know that the Timberwolves are the better team, and their young talent is more developed, but we are hesitant to lay points with them here. For one thing, they don't defend; in fact, they have surrendered at least 50% shooting from the field in eight of their last 13 games. And they have not matched the firepower of their opponents either, not even reaching 50% in any of their last 10. Utah feasted on their permissiveness the other night, hitting 60%, including 14-25 from three-point range, in a victory in Salt Lake City.
But there is an interesting offensive shift going on with the Timberwolves. Perhaps head coach Tom Thibodeau wants to see if Ricky Rubio can shoulder an additional load, but he has asked him to score more, and Rubio has responded. Even though he's averaging only 11.2 points per game, he has tallied at least 20 in seven out of his last 15 appearances. And from March 1 forward, only one of his games has resulted in a single-digit scoring total. Let's not forget that Rubio was considered to be an incredible talent when first coming into the NBA, but someone who was a weak shooter. Needless to say, he's working on that. But he makes Minnesota more dangerous, as BetDNA patrons already know that they have a very potent center in Karl-Anthony Downs and a coming superstar in Andrew Wiggins, who has played more minutes than anyone in the league.
There have been three meetings between the two teams this season, and each of them has not only gone over the total, but also the total that has been posted HERE. In the one that was played in Los Angeles, the Lakers came back from an eight-point deficit with less than three minutes remaining and send the game into overtime. They wound up hitting 14 out of 23 from long-range in the 130-119 overtime victory. Minnesota is also in "shoot-first, ask questions later" mode, going 11-2-1 to the "over" in their last 14 games. We don't totally trust the Lakers, but we could see something wide-open between these two squads, which would send us OVER this total of 221.5 points, as it is listed in the basketball betting odds.
BetDNA allows you to make wagers during the game with their live betting apparatus, and it truly adds a new dimension to the proceedings…… Remember also that you get the best parlay odds and the best teaser odds, and you also get a lot of different ways to open up an account, including your major credit card, person-to-person transfers (like Western Union), the UPayCard and also the virtual currency of Bitcoin, and when you use that particular method, you can often get paid on the same day you make your request…… Remember, those are the kinds of things that happen - because BETTING IS IN THEIR DNA!