Not every TNT doubleheader is going to feature the upper echelons of both conferences. But oftentimes, the games will pit two teams in similar positions, two teams trying to find their identity or reach a different level in their play. Tonight, the East features the Bulls in Brooklyn to face the Nets. Chicago has looked good in quality wins vs. the Celtics and Heat, but recent losses to Cleveland and San Antonio show just how inconsistent they can be. Lonzo Ball is still nowhere near close to returning, Zach LaVine is rounding in to form, but DeMar DeRozan is still a rock, averaging 26 points on 53-33-89 splits. The boys in Barclays might be having more of an existential crisis. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have been spectacular early in the regular season, but their defense has been last in the league and the returns of Seth Curry and Joe Harris won’t help that. They’ll be coming off a back-to-back with a hard fought win against the Pacers on Monday night, so fatigue could play a factor vs. the Bulls.
Out west, the once upstart Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Phoenix Suns. At first glance, a team featuring Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert in the front court and Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell handling the rock should be competent on both sides of the floor. They’re 4-3 start is indicative of their problems; for as much young and veteran talent they have on their roster, they’re a mediocre offensive team that has relied on their top-10 defense to win games against comparatively lackluster opponents. The Suns on the other hand, have been the cream of the crop in the Western Conference. They’ve recaptured their dominance from last year with Chris Paul manning point guard duties and Devin Booker as the designated scorer in the valley of the sun. DeAndre Ayton will be out with a sprained ankle, but Monty Williams has used a revolving door of centers that includes Bismack Biyombo and Jock Landale to plug up the middle.
Tonight could feature three 30-plus point scorers on national television. The Nets are just one-point favorites hosting the Bulls and the Timberwolves are 3.5-point dogs in the desert, but if you want to really make the doubleheader interesting, how about a triple parlay on the league’s best scorers?
Kevin Durant (32.6 points per game), Kyrie Irving (30.1), and Devin Booker (29.3) have stormed out of the games and all could eclipse their numbers tonight in front of a TNT audience. Here are the over/unders for them tonight: KD (30.5 points, O -110, U -120), Kyrie (27.5 points, O -105, U -120), and Book (28.5, O -105, U -120).
Single $100 bets on the over for Kyrie and Book would pay out $195.23 each, but two-pick parlay on both scores $381.17 at +281. For what it’s worth, Booker has scored 30-plus in four of his last five games and Irving, despite the cloud of controversy around him, has done it in three of his last five with 28 against the Pacers on Halloween.