NBA Betting Tips: Two picks for tonight’s play-in matches

 | 16th April | 

3 mins read

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The NBA play-in tournament starts tonight with the Los Angeles Lakers facing the New Orleans Pelicans, while the Golden State Warriors make the short trip to Sacramento to take on the Kings, as all four teams are looking to advance to the first round of the play-offs.

Those two games are the focus of our NBA betting tips for Tuesday, as postseason basketball finally gets underway, and we've picked out a couple of bets for the occasion.

NBA Betting Tips - Tuesday, April 16

  • Los Angeles Lakers to beat New Orleans Pelicans @ 10/11
  • Golden State Warriors -2.5 vs Sacramento Kings @ 5/6

Los Angeles Lakers to beat New Orleans Pelicans @ 10/11

The first game in this year's play-in tournament sees the Lakers take on the Pelicans, and these sides played each other in the final game of the regular season just a few nights ago.

The winner of the contest will advance to play the second-seeded Denver Nuggets in the first round of the Western Conference play-offs, while the loser will get a second chance to make the play-off field later in the week against either the Golden State Warriors or the Sacramento Kings.

New Orleans could have avoided another match-up with LA if they'd have won on Sunday, as they would have claimed a top-six spot in the Western Conference and advanced automatically to the first round of the play-offs. However, LeBron James had other ideas as he put on a clinical performance in a 124-108 victory for the Lakers.

However, the Pelicans finished the season strongly, but I can't see them getting their revenge against LA here. The Lakers have plenty of guys on their roster who have postseason experience, and while Zion Williamson is starting to look like the player we all saw and raved about in college, this is his first play-off appearance with the Pelicans, and the lights may be too bright for this young New Orleans side.

I'm taking the Lakers on the money line.

Golden State Warriors -2.5 vs Sacramento Kings @ 5/6

A Californian dust-up between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings is the second play-in contest from the Western Conference, and the Warriors sent the Kings home last year in the first round of the play-offs, adding further interest to Tuesday night's match-up.

The winner of this game will advance to play either the Los Angeles Lakers or New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night, and the winner on Friday advances to play the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the play-offs.

I know this isn't the same Warriors team that we've become accustomed to seeing over the past decade, but it's hard to count them out considering the wealth of postseason experience they have within their ranks. They finished the regular season 10-2 in their final 12 matches, and have played well on the road this year, which could work in their favour on Tuesday.

Stephen Curry was rested against the Jazz in Sunday's regular-season finale so he will be raring to go, while the Kings are dealing with multiple setbacks, as Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter will both be absent here due to injury. There's no doubt Sacramento will want revenge for last year's elimination, but I think the absence of Monk and Huerter will prove costly.

The two sides split the four-game season series, as Golden State won the first two and the Kings the more recent match-ups, and both teams have won on each other’s floor this term. The Kings will make this one competitive but I'm taking the Warriors -2.5 at 5/6, implying they have a 54.5% chance of covering the spread here.

Check out the rest of our NBA Betting Tips here.

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