Gambling Outsiders Week Two: Russell Westbrook doubtful for Lakers-Nuggets

Russell Westbrook rests on a play during a Lakers game, Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

In this 2022-23 NBA season, we here at Lakers Outsiders will be providing a weekly gambling blog to our readers! Donny McHenry (@donny_mchenry) and Alex Torres (@alextorres_11) will both provide two bets each week, with each bet including our reasoning for why we like it. One bet will be related to a Lakers game, while the other one will be related to a random other NBA game going on that week.

Last week, we combined to go 3-1 so if you rode with us, congratulations on your winnings. We will look to continue our extremely small sample size of success this week, starting with the Lakers’ game on Wednesday vs. the Nuggets… a game that may not feature Russell Westbrook as he is doubtful due to hamstring soreness.

Donny’s Bets

Lonnie Walker over 15.5 points (+100)

There were a few interesting point totals scattered throughout the Lakers player props that intrigued me for this upcoming Nuggets game. Russell Westbrook is doubtful, which means he will almost certainly be out. Although the Lakers’ roster probably won’t take advantage of the additional open 3-point looks they’ll get with the improved spacing they’ll receive with Russ out, I do see certain players being able to take advantage of the additional driving lanes that will be available to them. Because of that, I really, really, really wanted to bet LeBron James over 30.5 points at -105 odds. However, this would probably depend on LeBron breaking his own individual slump from 3-point land, as he’s currently averaging 27.3 PPG while shooting 25.9% from behind the arc. I’m not going to be making any Lakers bets depending on any sort of improved shooting.

But Lonnie Walker? He scored 15 against the Trail Blazers on only 13 field-goal attempts after dropping 26 against the Clippers on 21 attempts. He shot poorly from deep in both games, making only three of his 14 3-point attempts in both games.

Because of that, I’ll definitely take his over at 15.5 given he will almost certainly get more opportunities without Russ clogging up everything. And if he is able to break his own slump? He’ll blow that point total out of the water.

Bucks -4 (-110) vs. Nets

I always approach lines with the Brooklyn Nets like I do with the Lakers. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have wild, rabid fanbases that move the line favorably to the Nets no matter how well (or poorly) they are playing. The same sentiment goes for the Lakers, who should probably be even bigger underdogs on Wednesday in Denver.

That thinking applies to this bet above, as I am shocked the Bucks are only 4-point favorites at home against these dysfunctional Nets. The Nets are coming off a 134-124 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies and if their defense felt overwhelmed by Ja Morant and Desmond Bane then they are in for hell against Giannis Antetokounmpo who scored 44 points in the Bucks’ most recent game against the Rockets in which they won 125-105 on the road. Also, that game was this past Saturday. With the Bucks’ number one-rated defensive rating through their first two games, the Nets’ poor defense, and the added rest that the Bucks have… give me Bucks -4.

Donny’s record on the year: 1-1

Alex’s Bets

Denver Nuggets -5.5 (-110) vs. Lakers

I know, I know. Raj is going to be really mad at me for this. Both teams are coming off losses to the Portland Trail Blazers, the only difference is that the Nuggets were embarrassed by 25 points. So that means both teams will be hungry for a dub, but the Nuggets will have the home-court advantage and with that elevation in play, it’s hard to pick against them.

I haven’t even gotten to the fact that the Lakers are simply bad. It’s going to take a heroic performance from Anthony Davis and LeBron James for them to even be in this game. So much has to go right for this team to win and a road game against Denver isn’t the most ideal situation. They will see each other again on Sunday at Crypto Arena, a much more winnable game for the Lakers.

At the end of the day, it’s about picking the right bet and I can’t think of a lock more than this one. Also, Donny took my Lonnie Walker IV bet, which I really liked as he is my favorite new addition to the roster.

Devin Booker points total over vs New Orleans Pelicans 

Quick disclaimer, not sure what will be his points prop for this game, but quite frankly I don’t care, he has been on fire to start the season. After a statement win against the defending champions Warriors, the Phoenix Suns welcome a sneaky contender in the Western Conference, the Pelicans, on Friday. Both teams currently sit at 3-1 and this game will be nationally televised on ESPN. I rely on players like Booker to deliver on the big stage against a team they could potentially run into in the Western Conference playoffs.

We all saw Book get into it with Klay Thompson, which means the fire is burning for Book, who is entering his seventh season and is looking better than ever. Chris Paul is older and this team needs Booker to carry them to the promised land after a disappointing exit in the playoffs last season.

I expect Booker to have yet another big game and keep our undefeated streak alive.

Alex’s record on the year: 2-0

All odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook at 8:45 a.m. PT on 10/26/22.

NOTE: Gambling involves risk and neither Lakers Outsiders itself or the writers of this article are liable for any losses or damages incurred by the reader, either directly or indirectly, as a result of the use or misuse of its information and/or recommendations.

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