We’re back from a mini-break to look over the NBA games for Thursday night. Wednesday was quite the busy night of NBA action, so Thursday could be a welcomed sight with just six games on the docket. It’s that perfect “not too many, not too few” slate, and also presents a ton of star power and some very interesting matchups.
We do need to consider some key injuries heading into games tonight, as Damian Lillard, Derrick Favors, Blake Griffin and Stephen Curry are just a few large names that are either already out or could miss tonight’s action. Let’s take a look at each contest and see which may you may want to be leaning with your NBA betting tonight:
Milwaukee Bucks @ Indiana Pacers
The Bucks travel to Indy for the second time this year as they try to snap a rough three-game losing streak. That may not be so easy against a pretty strong Pacers team that crushed them in a blowout earlier this year. Milwaukee is generally not very good on the road (3-15 away from home this year) and the Pacers have kept things under control on their home floor this year (11-4) so it’s tough to see a Milwaukee upset going down tonight.
Pick: Pacers 102, Bucks 92
Los Angeles Clippers @ New Orleans Pelicans
The Clippers and Pellies battle for the second time this season, as New Orleans tries to avenge a blowout loss in L.A. in late-November. The Clippers have been surprisingly strong (won four in a row) despite playing without Blake Griffin, but getting the job done against The Brow on the road won’t be easy. The Pelicans are much healthier now than they were last month and play their best ball (by far) at home. Without Griffin, this looks like a loss for the Clips.
Pick: Pelicans 106, Clippers 102
Portland Trail Blazers @ Utah Jazz
Portland absolutely wrecked the Jazz the last time they visited them in Utah, and that was when center Rudy Gobert was still healthy. The Blazers have actually done quite well with Damian Lillard out of the lineup (foot), having won three straight. Lillard could even be back tonight, which could give them a pretty big boost against a very depleted Jazz team. Derrick Favors is also iffy for this game and Alec Burks is out with a leg injury, so Portland may have a fourth straight win tonight.
Pick: Blazers 99, Jazz 97
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Detroit Pistons
Detroit won a defense battle in Minnesota earlier this year, and now the second (and final) game of this season series shifts to Detroit. The Pistons are quite strong (10-5) at home and are the superior defensive team, so it’s tough to see Minnesota get the win on the road tonight.
Pick: Pistons 95, Timberwolves 90
Golden State Warriors @ Houston Rockets
Stephen Curry is likely out for the second straight game, which could spell disaster for the Warriors, who lost just their second contest of the year in a blowout defeat last night. It was pretty ugly, so if this is a sign of what life is like when Curry sits, he may not be able to rest much this year. Houston isn’t exactly an elite team this year, but they’re at their best on their home court and should be able to take advantage of Curry’s absence and get the win.
Pick: Rockets 106, Warriors 102
Phoenix Suns @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Phoenix is in total shambles, as they don’t want Markieff Morris and just lost star guard Eric Bledose (knee) for the year. There is a ton of pressure on Brandon Knight and the Suns as a whole just aren’t right. That’s perfectly evident thanks to an ugly six-game losing streak, and it’s going to be tough for the Suns to turn things around in OKC against a Thunder squad that beat them by 21 points earlier this year. There should be a lot of offense in an up-tempo game, but this one heavily favors the Thunder, who are 8-2 in their last 10 games and a staggering 15-4 at home.
Pick: Thunder 112, Suns 105