NBA Betting: Thursday Picks

The NBA season is past the point where most teams have hit the 60-game mark. Teams need to find a good identity heading into the playoffs and gain stability in their rotations going forward. It will be interesting to see how various teams and coaches cope with the NBA betting situations they face.

Houston Rockets @ Chicago Bulls

Thursday, 7:05 PM ET

NBA Basketball Betting Odds: Houston -4

This is one of the best games in the month of March. It’s a matchup that any diehard basketball fan should embrace. It’s the high-octane offense of the Rockets against the determined and focused defense of the Bulls. It’s true that Chicago got torn apart by the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night at home, but that game has been the exception rather than the rule for the Bulls this season. Chicago is such a relentlessly consistent defensive team that a bad defensive performance can be viewed as a one-off event and not as an indicator of what’s to come. The Bulls should be prepared for what Houston will bring, and what’s more is that they should be ready to play hard on national television. This game should be close – do not expect a blowout in either direction. However, Houston does have too many weapons and too many scoring sources for Chicago to ultimately stop.

NBA Betting Pick: Houston -4

Milwaukee Bucks @ Atlanta Hawks

Thursday, 7:35 PM ET

NBA Basketball Betting Odds: Atlanta -8.5

The Atlanta Hawks have endured a noticeable tailspin over the past few months, falling from third in the Eastern Conference to eighth and losing what hope they had for a victory in the first round of the playoffs. Atlanta is just trying to hold on to the final playoff spot and avoid a charge from the Detroit Pistons, who are in ninth place and tying to make up ground. There’s not much reason to recommend the Hawks as a betting choice at this point in time, but one really good reason is that the Hawks will be playing the worst team in professional basketball. The Bucks will show an occasional sign of life here and there, but they cannot string together bundles of victories or any week-long periods of competence. As mediocre as Atlanta might be, it should handle Milwaukee and cover on the betting lines without much of a problem.

NBA Betting Pick: Atlanta -8.5

Los Angeles Lakers @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Thursday, 9:35 PM ET

NBA Basketball Betting Odds: Oklahoma City -16.5

The thing to realize here is that the Los Angeles Lakers defeated Oklahoma City this past Sunday in the Staples Center, outscoring the Lakers in an old-fashioned shootout that could have been found in the 1980s. Oklahoma City’s defense has undeniably been a point of concern over the past month, with Russell Westbrook’s return to the Thunder lineup causing all sorts of problems and disruptions to the Oklahoma City lineup and rotation. The Thunder will be a work in progress for the next few weeks, and so one might think that the Lakers have a chance to beat them a second time in the span of a week. Yet, what are the odds of that happening to begin with? Oklahoma City will not allow the Lakers to beat them yet again, this time in Oklahoma.

NBA Betting Pick: Oklahoma City -16.5

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