Thursday’s seven-game NBA slate will get us one step closer to the weekend. The national-TV doubleheader will be handled by TNT, featuring the Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat & Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Clippers.
Last night, I went 1-3 to bring my season-long record to 86-52-2 ATS (62.3%). Here are four more free NBA picks to get things going in the right direction once again.
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Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat (-8) – Total: 204.5
LAL: normal rest (4th straight road game)
MIA: normal rest (4th straight home game)
This should be a nice and easy win for the Heat, who will be looking avenge an NBA Finals loss from last season. Although this version will be a lot different, with the Lakers missing LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the end result very could be too.
Miami has covered five of its last six meetings against LA, and it also comes into this matchup in better form. Over the last five games, the Heat own a 4-1 ATS mark while the Lakers are only 3-7 ATS in their last 10.
Betting Pick: Heat (-8)
Chicago Bulls (-4) at Toronto Raptors – Total: 218.5
CHI: normal rest, front-end b2b (@ATL tomorrow)
TOR: 3 games in 4 days (all at home)
The Raptors will be missing Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry tonight, making this task even more insurmountable. Although Toronto has taken 12 of the last 13 meetings against Chicago, that one misnomer came in the last meeting. Not to mention, the Bulls are in much better form, covering each of their last four games. Meanwhile, the Raptors are only 3-11 ATS in their last 14.
Betting Pick: Bulls (-4)
Cleveland Cavaliers (-3.5) at Oklahoma City Thunder – Total: 218.5
CLE: 2 days rest
OKC: back-end b2b (vs CHA yesterday), 3 games in 4 days (all home), 4 in 6, 5 in 7
This is just an undesirable situation for OKC, which will be playing its second game in as many nights, and a string of five games in seven days. Meanwhile, Cleveland had a full two days of rest before tonight’s game. Neither team is particularly great ATS this season, but the rest advantage for the Cavs is worth a lot more than 3.5 points.
Betting Pick: Cavaliers (-3.5)
Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz (-6) – Total: 232.5
POR: normal rest
UTA: back-end b2b (@PHX yesterday), 3 games in 4 days, 4 in 6, 5 in 7
Yet again, we can gain an advantage by going against a tired team. The Jazz will be playing their second game in as many nights, and yesterday’s affair with the Suns went to overtime. While Utah has been one of the best ATS teams this season, it’s only 1-4 ATS over the last five games.
Portland has been strong on the road, going 15-10 ATS in those games. Look for them to keep this one close enough and win us the bet.
Betting Pick: Trail Blazers (+6)