The NBA betting is going to play second fiddle to college basketball for a few weeks, but not before a high-quality Thursday night in which the stars are going to shine on national television.
Miami Heat @ San Antonio Spurs
Thursday, 8:05 PM ET
NBA Basketball Betting Odds: San Antonio -2.5
This is one of the best games in the NBA all season long. Miami was able to dispose of the Spurs rather easily in late January, due to the fact that the Spurs were more worn down at that time, while Miami was coming off a long road trip and was happy to be playing at home for awhile. This game will be harder to predict. For one thing, the Heat’s victory in the first meeting between these teams will probably mean that San Antonio will plays this game with more urgency in an attempt to gain revenge. Also, San Antonio point guard Tony Parker has returned to the lineup and has made the Spurs’ offense very effective in his first few games back. The Spurs should be able to expose an inconsistent Miami defense and cover on the betting lines.
NBA Betting Pick: San Antonio -2.5
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Phoenix Suns
Thursday, 9:05 PM ET
NBA Basketball Betting Odds: Oklahoma City -5.5
The Thunder looked very good earlier in the week against the Philadelphia 76ers. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Thunder were playing the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that is tanking and has lost all momentum at this point in the season. Oklahoma City has still been a relatively mediocre team after the All-Star break. The Thunder have struggled with their defensive rotations and the larger process of playing consistent defense on a game-in, game-out basis. Phoenix is not a great defensive team, and that’s why the Suns should get scored upon in big amounts by the Thunder. However, the Suns should be able to score a lot on their own against Oklahoma City. Phoenix will be able to get in a groove on offense, since this game is being played in their own building. Phoenix will win outright.
NBA Betting Pick: Phoenix +5.5
Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers
Thursday, 10:35 PM ET
NBA Basketball Betting Odds: Clippers -10.5
The thing to realize here is that the Los Angeles Lakers just don’t have the depth to match the Clippers. That’s where these two teams become very different from each other. The Clippers have so much more muscle in the paint. The Lakers’ Pau Gasol can’t win every matchup he faces or take on the waves of bodies the Clippers are going to send in his direction. In addition to the Lakers’ problems in the paint, they have to deal with – and find a way to stop – Chris Paul on the perimeter. If the Lakers’ defense could not stop the New Orleans Pelicans earlier this week, they’re not going to get in the way of the Clippers’ offense, either. With the Clippers trying to continue their push to the playoffs and the highest possible seed in the Western Conference, they’re going to be motivated enough to perform well and bury the Lakers in what is technically a Laker home game at Staples Center, the arena jointly used by each of these teams.
NBA Betting Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -10.5