When you prepare for the TNT Thursday night NBA betting doubleheader this week, take a long look at the totals before you make a wager because all four teams that will take part in the weekly event are in the top nine in terms of scoring. There should be no shortage of points on the scoreboard, so consider the overs when you’re handicapping the betting lines on Thursday.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ New York Knicks
The Thunder (second in the NBA in scoring) have won four of their last five against the Knicks (ninth) and three of their last five in New York, but they’re definitely not the same team on the road as they are at home, where OKC is 27-4 straight up (21-9-1 against the spread). Oklahoma City is 17-12 SU (14-13-2) away from home and that may be a bit worrying down the stretch. The Knicks are 21-9 SU (15-15 ATS) at Madison Square Garden, but they may be without Carmelo Anthony, who injured his right knee and missed Monday’s win in Cleveland. They play Detroit on Wednesday night, so the Knicks could hold out their star until their Thursday night showdown against the Thunder, who are fully healthy and coming off a big win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
These are the types of games that the Knicks need to win in order to be considered a favorite in the East or at least a team that can compete with Miami. But even if Anthony is healthy, they still don’t have the defense (despite being 11th in the NBA in points allowed) to shut down the likes of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Thunder are too deep and too versatile for the Knicks.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Denver Nuggets
Odds: Nuggets -4
The Nuggets (fifth in the NBA in scoring) are a spectacular 26-3 SU at home (20-9 ATS) as they prepare for the Clippers (eighth), who are 20-12 SU on the road (17-15 ATS). However, the Clips have won just two of their last five in Denver and the Nuggets have won six games in a row. The Clippers are also playing on Wednesday night at home against Milwaukee and even though that is a game they should win handily, fatigue still could play a role in this game, especially in the high altitude of the Pepsi Center where many teams will flame out in the second half against the well-conditioned Nuggets.
This game should have plenty of highlight-reel lobs and an uptempo style that even casual fans can enjoy, and the matchup at point guard between Los Angeles’ Chris Paul and Denver’s Ty Lawson, a pair of former stars from the ACC (Paul at Wake Forest, Lawson at North Carolina) should be incredibly fun to watch. However, the Clippers just need to keep this close until the fourth quarter and then, there are few better closers in the NBA than Paul, whether it is setting up his teammates for easy shots or doing it on his own. In what should be a fantastic game, take the Clips.