Thursday’s five-game NBA slate isn’t big, but it’s packed with a lot of punch. The national-TV doubleheader will be handled by TNT, which will feature the Portland Trail Blazers at Miami Heat & Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers.
Portland Trail Blazers at Miami Heat (-3) – Total: 219.5
POR: normal rest, front-end b2b (@ORL tomorrow) MIA: normal rest, front-end b2b (@CHA tomorrow)
While the season-long trends may favor the Trail Blazers in this matchup, I’m going against the grain and rolling with the Heat here. A big factor in that decision is that Portland just made the long trip across the country as it’ll embark on a four-game road trip against teams from the East.
Miami has won three of the last four meetings between the teams, so there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic here. In addition, the Heat got throttled on their home floor on Tuesday, and it would be foolish to think they won’t show up tonight.
Betting Pick: Heat (-3) * UPDATE: Jimmy Butler has been listed as questionable (stomach illness). If he doesn’t play, I won’t place the wager.
Washington Wizards at New York Knicks (-3) – Total: 225
WSH: normal rest NYK: normal rest
I’m going against the grain once again. Even though the Wizards have suffered two separate 18-point defeats to the Knicks this season, it’s time for the tide to turn. Washington will undoubtedly be laser-focused to not let this happen for the third straight time. After all, the Wizards have been a better-than-average underdog at 18-14 ATS this season. There’s not a whole lot of science to go on with this pick; I just believe Washington will show some fight and at least keep the game within a possession.
Betting Pick: Wizards (+3)
Golden State Warriors at Sacramento Kings (-2.5) – Total: 225
GS: normal rest, front-end b2b (vs ATL tomorrow) SAC: back-end b2b (vs ATL yesterday), 3 games in 4 days, 4 in 6, 5 in 7
Stephen Curry has missed each of the last three Warriors games and the total has gone under in all of them. With the Kings playing on the backend of B2B and a stretch of five games in seven days, that’s even more of a reason to believe we’ll see a low-scoring game tonight. In addition, the total has gone under in three of the last four Kings – Warriors matchups.
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