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TNT doubleheader features LeBron back in Cleveland and a Doncic-Jokic MVP battle

Can the Lakers keep it going in James’ homecoming?

Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The headline of Lakers-Cavaliers is LeBron James’ return to his hometown. In his last two homecomings to The Land, he’s put up gaudy numbers: last year’s 38-point, 10-rebound, and 12-assist triple-double and 46 points in January 2021. The Lakers are coming into The Land winners of eight of their last ten games and a huge win in Milwaukee to kick off their six-game east coast road trip. Despite a five-game losing streak in November, the Cavaliers have maintained their standing as one of the best teams in the East. Their back court of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland are averaging 50 points combined and they’re buoyed by a bench of veterans like Kevin Love and Robin Lopez and Cleveland lifers like Isaac Okoro and Cedi Osman.

The TNT night cap features a star-studded head-to-head between Dallas’ Luka Doncic visiting Mile High and reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic. The 12-11 Mavericks are one of the most confounding teams in the league. Last night, they pounded the Phoenix Suns 130-111, but have losses to the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, and Detroit Pistons. The Nuggets come home after 0-2 road trip in New Orleans and Atlanta. They’re still one of the NBA’s best offenses with the return of Jamaal Murray and addition of utility man Bruce Brown, but their defense ranks in the lower sixth.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

DraftKings odds

The red-hot Lakers are 4-point underdogs in Cleveland while the Nuggets are favored by 4.5 points hosting Doncic and Dallas. But if you’re not betting on the games, DraftKings has a bunch of fun props to put your money on.

While the MVP matchup between Doncic and Jokic is intriguing, there isn’t a better player in basketball right now than Anthony Davis. However, he’s going up against Center City in Cleveland. The Cavaliers can throw a revolving door of length at AD with Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Lopez on the roster. Up until recently, Davis had balked at the idea of playing center full-time, but he’s thrived over the last nine games. He’s averaged 35 points and 16 rebounds and capped it off with 55 points and 17 rebounds in a win over the Washington Wizards. The Cavs may have the depth to keep AD in check, but LA’s #1 option may have other plans.

Our friends at DraftKings put the over-unders on Davis at 27.5 points (-125 over, -105 under), 12.5 rebounds (-110 over, -120 under), and 2.5 assists (+120 over, -150 under). DK also has a double-double wager on AD at -280 for yes and +220 for no. For what it’s worth, in the Lakers’ loss to the Cavaliers a month ago, Davis was held largely in check with just 19 points on twelve field goal attempts.

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