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NBA Three at 3: Best Bets for Wednesday, December 29

Published on 12/29/2021
By Zachary Cohen
Grizzlies guard Ja Morant
Grizzlies guard Ja Morant hit a game-winning shot against the Phoenix Suns on Monday.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, December 29, there will be nine games played in the NBA. The evening's featured doubleheader will have the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Memphis Grizzlies and then the Dallas Mavericks facing the Sacramento Kings on NBA TV. Here are our best bets for tonight: 

1. Clippers at Celtics - Right now is the time to be fading the Los Angeles Clippers, even if it means taking the inconsistent Boston Celtics. While Jayson Tatum is out for the Celtics in this game, the team will still have guys like Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams III and Al Horford in this one. That's a heck of a lot more than the Clippers have to work with at the moment, and Brown will be the best player on the court in this game, by far. With Brandon Boston Jr. now joining Reggie Jackson, Nicolas Batum, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard on the injury report, it's really just hard to envision where the points will be coming from for Los Angeles. Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris are both capable of scoring, but they are not primary options and they do their best work when playing alongside stars. Boston is also 31-15 against the spread when coming off back-to-back road games over the last three seasons, and the team is also 11-2 against the spread when coming off a game in which the team scored 105 or less points this year. 

THE PICK: Celtics -5.5 

2. Lakers at Grizzlies - The Grizzlies have already gone 2-0 against the spread in their two meetings with the Lakers this season, and they actually won by 13 when these teams met at FedExForum back on December 9. Over the last five games, Los Angeles is allowing an average of 121.2 points per game. That's a truly awful mark and this Lakers defense is a nightmare right now. When considering that the Grizzlies have the sixth-highest offensive rating in the NBA, it's not out of the question that Memphis will end up blowing Los Angeles out here. The Grizzlies are coming off of a road victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday, and it's time to start taking Memphis seriously as a contender in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies are also 9-1 against the spread when coming off a game in which they outrebounded their opponent by 15 or more over the last two seasons, and that's exactly what they did against the Suns. Meanwhile, the Lakers are 7-19 against the spread after having lost three of their previous four games over the last three seasons. When Los Angeles starts to struggle, the team can take a while to get out of its funk. 

THE PICK: Grizzlies -5.5 

3. Mavericks at Kings - The Mavericks are coming off of a solid win over the Portland Trail Blazers, but this team is just not that good with Luka Doncic on the sidelines. Dallas is also missing Tim Hardaway Jr. in this contest, and that's just two main sources of offense for Jason Kidd. Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Brunson are both capable of keeping the Mavericks in games, but winning this one is a tough ask. The Kings are obviously nothing special this year, but they are better than the Mavericks in all facets of the game. With Tyrese Haliburton, De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, the Kings have the advantage in the backcourt. And with Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes, Sacramento should also be able to outperform Dallas in the frontcourt. On top of that, the Mavericks are just 6-9 straight-up and 4-10-1 against the spread when coming off a win this year. Meanwhile, Sacramento is 6-5 both straight-up and against the spread when revenging a road loss to an opponent this season. 

THE PICK: Kings +2.5 

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