Thursday’s nine-game NBA slate gets us one step closer to the weekend, which is actually the end of the regular season on Sunday. Some of these games are still very important to playoff positioning, and that’ll make for an exciting night of hoops. The national-TV doubleheader will be handled by TNT, featuring the Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat & Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns.
San Antonio Spurs at New York Knicks (-4.5) – Total: 216.5
SA: back-end b2b, 3 in 4, 4 in 6, 5 in 7 NYK: normal (1st game home after long road trip)
While this should be a competitive game, I don’t expect to see a lot of points scored. Both teams have detrimental roads leading into tonight’s matchup: The Spurs are on the back end of a B2B and will be playing their fifth game over the last seven days while the Knicks just completed a long West Coast road trip, making tonight their first game back home. Some say that playing your first home game after a road trip is just like an extension of it.
It also helps that the Knicks run the NBA’s slowest pace and their games go under the total at that fourth highest rate. It’s also worth noting that the Knicks have four different players listed as questionable tonight.
Betting Pick: Under 216.5 points
Denver Nuggets (-4.5) at Minnesota Timberwolves – Total: 235
DEN: normal, front-end MIN: normal
I used the “If it looks too good to be true, it usually is” theory to perfection last night with the Trail Blazers getting the outright win. Well, here we are again, with the Nuggets looking like an easy winner at -4.5 tonight over the Timberwolves. However, it has been a very admirable stretch run for Minnesota, and it would surely like to keep things rolling with a win.
The T-Wolves are 7-4 SU/8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games, so look for them to be on-point here. Denver has won each of the last seven matchups against Minnesota, but it only covered the spread twice in that span.
Betting Pick: Timberwolves (+4.5)
Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns (-5) – Total: 233.5
POR: back-end b2b, 3 in 4, 4 in 6, 5 in 7 PHX: normal
While I did say last night that the Trail Blazers were better on the road, this spot could prove to be too much to handle tonight. This game will be their second in as many nights and the fifth over the last seven. The Suns are still trying to solidify that No. 2 seed out West, so I would expect them to take care of business rather quickly tonight. Sure, Portland is better on the road, but Phoenix is quite amazing at home, going 23-12 ATS and 21-10 ATS as a home favorite.
The Suns won (and covered) both meetings against the Trail Blazers this season. I also like the over on 233.5 points here too- four of the last five PHX-POR meetings have done just that.
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