After a busy Wednesday night in the NBA, things calm down on a quiet Thursday with just two games on the schedule. It’s a good thing, since anyone conducting any NBA betting may have had a rough go of it last night, with home teams going just 7-6 on the evening. If you listend to our NBA picks, though, you were probably making it rain, as we went a stellar 11-2 on the 13-game slate. We even could have easily had a perfect 15-0 run, if the Bulls hadn’t coughed up a loss to the inferior Magic and Detroit had taken care of business at home against the Celtics. We’ll take the 84%, though, which merely adds to our stout 693-347 season record (66%).
Enough self promoting, though, right? We have just two games to break down and pick for Thursday night, so let’s get to it:
Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat 8:00 pm ET on TNT
Derrick Rose returned last night against the Magic, but his 19 minutes didn’t help enough to get Chicago it’s 47th win of the year. That helped the Cavaliers clinch the Central division title, leaving the Bulls nothing to play for but possibly the third overall seed in the Eastern Conference. That’s not exactly nothing, but that may pale in comparison to Miami, who still has to lock up a playoff spot. Both teams are at full strength for the most part, but the Heat play host tonight and are a little more desperate on the surface. The Bulls would probably love to take the season series (currently tied, 1-1), but the Heat need this game more.
Pick: Heat 102, Bulls 98
Portland Trail Blazers @ Golden State Warriors 10:30 pm ET on TNT
Portland and Golden State could easily rest some guys tonight, so make sure you stay on top of the latest buzz before you finalizing your NBA bets. That being said, these teams match up quite well when at full strength, although the Warriors won both of the previous two meetings this year. More impressively, they won both games in Portland, where opponents usually struggle.
The Warriors now play host, where their homecourt edge is even more obvious, considering they’ve lost just two times at the Oracle Arena all year. We could dive into the matchup, but it probably isn’t necessary. Portland’s defense has taken a huge hit with the loss of shooting guard Wes Matthews (torn Achilles) and the Warriors are pretty much unstoppable on their home floor. That, and they’ve lost two games in a row and won’t be too excited about making it three straight.
Pick: Warriors 107, Blazers 102