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A four-game night in the NBA on Thursday is headlined by a couple intriguing matchups. Two of the games feature two teams currently in playoff positions: the cross-conference tilt between the Philadelphia 76ers (third in the East) and Dallas Mavericks (7th in the West), and the Western Conference affair between the Clippers (6th in the West) and Warriors (5th in the West).
The table below displays the odds (spread, moneyline, and total) for all Thursday’s games. Under the table, find my best bets for the day. (All wagers are one unit unless stated otherwise.)
NBA Odds for Thursday, March 2nd
|Raptors vs. Wizards||-1 (-110) / +1 (-110)||-115 / -105||Off|
|76ers vs. Mavericks||+3.5 (-110) / -3.5 (-110)||+140 / -165||Off|
|Pacers vs. Spurs||-4 (-115) / +4 (-105)||-180 / +155||238.5 (-110o/-110u)|
|Clippers vs. Warriors||-3 (-110) / +3 (-110)||-150 / +130||Off|
The odds in the table above come from DraftKings as of 12:30 a.m. EST on Thursday morning. None of the four games feature lopsided spreads, though it is notable that three of four road teams are favored. Only the Mavericks, who are laying 3.5 to the 76ers, are favored on their home court.
Pick #1: Warriors moneyline (+130)
The Warriors (32-30, 25-7 home) have adjusted admirably to their latest stint without Steph Curry. Golden State is 5-4 since Steph went down with an ankle injury, including three straight home wins over the Rockets, Timberwolves, and Trail Blazers. While that trio certainly isn’t the stiffest competition, Golden State hasn’t left any doubt about the outcome. They covered the spread in all three, beating the Blazers by 18, the Rockets by 15, and the T-Wolves by 5.
The win over the Blazers on Tuesday was a tale of two halves; Golden State overcame a 17-point halftime deficit to wind up routing Damian Lillard and company.
The Clippers (33-31, 18-16 away), on the other hand, have lost three straight since signing Russell Westbrook, falling by a point at home to the Kings in double-OT, by 10 to the Nuggets in Denver and, most recently, by seven at home to the Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
Notably, these teams just tangled in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day, with the Clippers handing the Curry-less Warriors a 134-124 setback. But Thursday’s game is at the Chase Center, and the Warriors are a different beast at home. Even without Curry, and fourth-leading scorer Andrew Wiggins, Golden State has enough firepower and cohesiveness to come out on top in a game that should have a playoff-type atmosphere.
The Warriors’ recent three-game win streak and Clippers’ three-game skid have put the teams into a virtual tie for 5th in the West. With just 1.5 games separating both teams from 10th – and fewer than 20 games left in the season – the importance of Thursday’s matchup isn’t going to be lost on anyone, least of all the crowd at the Chase Center.
Pick #2: same-game parlays – Pacers moneyline + Myles Turner over 22.5 points (+192)
The Indiana Pacers have come out of the All-Star break looking like a completely different team than the one that lost nine of 11 games heading into the hiatus. In their first game back, they took the mighty Celtics to overtime before falling 142-138 as 9.5-point underdogs. They rebounded from that heartbreaker with a decisive road win at Orlando (121-108) and a narrow but hugely impressive road win at Dallas (124-122), a team that’s 20-12 on its home court.
Just two games back of the #10 seed in the East, every game is going to feel like a must-win for Rick Carlisle’s team the rest of the way.
Big-man Myles Turner has looked particularly invigorated the past few games. With point guard and leading scorer Tyrese Haliburton questionable for Thursday due to a calf injury, more of the scoring load is going to fall on Turner (whether Haliburton plays or not). His over/under has been set at 22.5, which is well above his season average (18.2). But he’s exceeded that number in every game since the break and he’ll have the chance to feast on an abominable San Antonio front court.
The Spurs (15-47, 9-21 home) mercifully put an end to a 16-game losing streak last time out, stunning the Jazz 102-94 in Utah. But don’t let that fool you. This is still the worst team in the NBA, and they’ve only declined since trading Jakob Poeltl to the Raptors earlier this month. The team’s leading rebounder by a wide margin, Poeltl was the only Spur pulling down more than six rebounds per game. They acquired some size in return from the Raptors in the form of center Khem Birch, but he remains out with a knee injury.
The Pacers are also an undersized, rebounding-deficient team. But the Spurs are not equipped to hammer Indiana on the glass, and will be at a significant disadvantage everywhere else on the court.
Even with Haliburton listed as questionable, even with the Pacers being a miserable 10-20 away from home, I love the Indiana moneyline at a reasonable -180. Pairing it with Turner over 22.5 points results in a +192 same-game parlay.
NBA season betting record: 6-1-1 (+8.93 units)
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