NBA Betting: Thursday Night Preview & Predictions

The otherwise forgettable NBA betting matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night will gain more national attention after a breaking story on Wednesday. The Kings are once again up for sale and it appears they are nearly on the verge of moving to Seattle. That should add some spice to what normally would have been an overlooked game.

Dallas Mavericks @ Sacramento Kings

Odds: Kings -2.5

On Wednesday afternoon, the story broke that the Maloof brothers, the owners of the Sacramento Kings, were prepared to sell most of the franchise to a Seattle-based ownership group so that the Kings would move to Seattle in time for the 2013-2014 NBA season. The deal is not finalized, but sources close to negotiations say that it is just about to be completed, with a reversal or eleventh-hour withdrawal highly unlikely at this point. This would be Sacramento’s first game and – more precisely – its first home game since the announcement of this news story. The home crowd in Sacramento is likely to be emotional, and this game is going to occupy a much more central place in the media spotlight. Expect the Kings to play with great passion and energy in this game. The Sacramento roster will feel that it owes something to its fan base. Dallas will not match the Kings’ effort level in this contest. Take Sacramento.

Pick: Kings -2.5

New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers

Odds: Pacers -5

The Knicks have two full nights off before this game, while Indiana has just one night off. The Knicks should be able to play a strong defensive game and get enough scoring production from Carmelo Anthony to eclipse the Pacers, a team that plays well on defense but is still struggling to score. The Knicks, without Raymond Felton, are still a better team than the Pacers, who are still trying to cope with the absence of their best and most natural scorer, forward Danny Granger. The Knicks did lose to the Boston Celtics this past Monday, but they took that loss very personally and will try to make a statement in this contest in Indianapolis. Go with the Knicks in this contest, even though New York is playing on the road.

Pick: Knicks +5

Miami Heat @ Portland Trail Blazers

Odds: Heat -3

The Miami Heat are in the midst of a very bad patch of basketball. The Heat have looked very ordinary and very feeble over the past few weeks. They barely beat a bad Dallas Maverick team at home, lost to a noticeably unspectacular Chicago Bull team at home, and then served up an awful offensive performance this past Tuesday in an 87-77 loss to the Indiana Pacers, a team that doesn’t have its best scorer, Danny Granger. Miami is losing to teams that don’t have their best players. Chicago, after all, is still without its superstar point guard, Derrick Rose. Miami is in a rut, and there’s no guarantee that it will be able to escape that rut on this West Coast road trip. Portland has the offensive weapons to outflank the Heat’s defense. The Blazers will use their speed to great effect, beat the Heat and cover the NBA betting spread.

Pick: Trail Blazers +3

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