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Odds and Ends

NBA Best Bets for Nov. 24

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: November 24, 2021, 9:59 am ET

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It's Wednesday, and that means we've got a bevvy of NBA basketball to bet on. I've picked out a couple of plays I really like, and will waste no more time in getting to them now.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers (-1.5) Total: 218.5

I'm the first one to say the Lakers have a bad roster, but don't you think this is a little out of hand? We know LeBron James makes L.A. a playoff team, at the very least, and we are expecting him to return on Wednesday from his one-game suspension.

Given James is back in the lineup, and there'd be no reason to assume otherwise, I'm inclined to take the Lakers here. Indiana's defense has been suspect for most of the season, ranking around the middle of the league, and the potential absence of Caris LeVert — causing a 14-point swing per 100 possessions according to the metrics — would be a devastating blow. It would mean Malcolm Brogdon needs to shoot the ball more, which would help a struggling Lakers defense.

I'd recommend waiting for injury news if you'll be on your computer all day and locked into the latest, but even on the second night of a back-to-back, the Lakers should win with a fresh LeBron.

Edge: Lakers +105

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Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics (+1) Total: 215.5

Here's another drastic market overreaction. The Celtics have really struggled at times this year and the consensus is that they're an imperfect basketball team. That is especially true with Jaylen Brown out — and he's listed as questionable here along with Josh Richardson.

Boston beat three terrible teams in the Lakers, Thunder and Rockets and that's seemingly put them in firmly respectable territory according to the books. I do think Boston can be good, but the Brooklyn Nets have really asserted their dominance over the past two weeks.

The Nets rank eighth in defensive rating this year and eighth in field goal percentage inside of 10 feet. Boston has attempted a hefty bunch of shots in the paint and from mid-range, which seems to be where Brooklyn has thrived on defense.

Brooklyn may be lacking a little something on offense, and still can't rebound, but we need to respect the way this team is playing right now with James Harden kicking it into full gear. They get the road win. 

Edge: Nets -121

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Kenny Ducey

Kenny Ducey is a former member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, writing and editing for Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus. His work also appears at DraftKings and The Action Network. Follow him on Twitter @KennyDucey.