After a heavy Wednesday night, NBA bettors get a bit of a breather on Thursday night, with just three games on the docket. That won’t necessarily be cause for relaxation, though, since the Rockets and Thunder face off in an intense clash in Houston, LeBron and Kobe face go toe to toe in L.A. and Carmelo Anthony could make his return (knee) to the court overseas.
It’s a hectic night despite just three games being rolled out, and we’ll do our best to get you prepped to make the right bets. We’re fresh off of a solid 6-4 night and roll into Thursday with a 318-166 season record:
Knicks @ Bucks
Carmelo Anthony (knee) could suit up in this battle with the Bucks that takes place in London as a an early game. The Knicks certainly would increase their odds of snapping a disgusting 15-game losing skid if Melo were to hit the floor, while this is a neutral setting that arguably helps both teams out. Milwaukee definitely holds the upper hand as the more consistent squad, but they may be vulnerable here. If Melo plays, we like the Knicks to get the upset.
Pick: Knicks 97, Bucks 95
Thunder @ Rockets
In what should easily be the game of the night, James Harden hosts his former team in Houston as the Thunder try to inch closer to a playoff spot. Houston is on the second game of a back to back and just gave up 120 points to the Magic last night, but they’ll be back home and Harden won’t want to lose to his former squad. Expect a big game out of Harden and if Dwight Howard can be half of what he was against the Magic (at least offensively), we like the Rockets.
Pick: Rockets 106, Thunder 103
Cavaliers @ Lakers
Probably the second best game of the three, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James give this otherwise meaningless battle some much-needed star power. The Black Mamba could always sit out due to rest, but he’ll want to battle King James. The Lakers are pretty bad and Cleveland isn’t great, so fans will be in for a show that involves a lot of offense and very little defense. L.A. actually has a solid shot at taking this one, given how badly the Cavs have been, but Cleveland can’t afford to lose this game.
Pick: Cavs 111, Lakers 109