NBA Odds & Picks: Thursday Best Bets for Clippers vs. Spurs, Kings vs. Warriors, More (March 25)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Ben Simmons (25) of the Philadelphia 76ers.
- Thursday has been dominated by NBA trade deadline news, but there is still basketball to bet on.
- A trio of our analysts highlights their favorite picks for: Trail Blazers-Heat, Clippers-Spurs, Kings-Warriors and 76ers-Lakers.
Yes, there is still betting to be done amid the NBA trade deadline frenzy.
Our analysts walk you through their favorite bets for Thursday featuring an underdog, an under and moneyline parlay.
NBA Odds & Picks
Trail Blazers vs. Heat
Joe Dellera: The Blazers travel to Miami to take on the Heat, who are in the midst of trying to acquire additional talent at the deadline. While the Blazers have engaged in some conversations as well, they certainly won’t be moving Damian Lillard, and it would be out of left field if C.J. McCollum was moved at the deadline.
With those two as anchors, the Blazers are safer from a roster composition perspective heading into Thursday night’s game even though Nassir Little and Anfernee Simons are questionable and Gary Trent was already traded to the Raptors.
Jimmy Butler has popped up on the injury report as questionable due to illness. When Butler does not play it severely impacts Miami’s success. He is a +8.7 this season — the best mark on the team, per Cleaning the Glass.
This season, the Blazers are 8-6 against the spread (ATS) as a road dog, while the Heat are 6-12-1 ATS as home favorites.
Given the flux of Miami’s trade situation and Butler’s illness, taking a preliminary position on the Blazers as road dogs is prudent.
Clippers vs. Spurs
Raheem Palmer: Did you know that the second game of the back-to-back series goes under often than not?
According to our Action Labs database, the under is 38-25-1 (60.3%) in the second game of a back-to-back set:
I’m not one to blindly follow trends — I’ll add my projection system makes this game 220 — so with this total sitting at 224 just one day after these same two teams played and the line closed 222 makes it clear that is mispriced.
Post All-Star break, the Clippers are just 19th in pace, playing 97.50 possessions a game. The Spurs play even slower at 97.38 possessions a game. While Wednesday’s matchup was a faster paced game at 102.3 possessions this felt like an anomaly.
The Clippers also put up an Offensive Rating of 130.9 and while this is certainly within their range of outcomes, on a back-to-back against the same team, I’m betting on a slower paced game and some offensive regression from the Clippers as the Spurs look to find a way to slow down an opponent that beat them by 33 points on Wednesday.
Kings vs. Warriors | 76ers vs. Lakers
Brandon Anderson: Wait, we’re still playing basketball games today? I thought we were just sitting around talking trades.
Okay, fine. It’s not the greatest slate I’ve ever seen, so I’m just going to keep this easy and play a simple angle. I’m fading the teams missing their superstars.
The Lakers are an easier fade with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis out. I wrote the betting guide for this one, and the Lakers’ team under is probably the best play, but also feel pretty good about the Sixers winning. Los Angeles is 0-3 with both of its studs out this season.
The defense has fallen off a cliff, and the offense has gotten some lucky shooting, but not enough. The Sixers are missing Joel Embiid too but are now 6-1 in their last seven without him and hanging in there with defense.
I’m a little queasier picking the Kings to win a game, but that’s why this is plus juice, and let’s focus on Steph Curry. The Warriors are 1-4 without Steph in the lineup, and the offense drops off around 15 points per 100 possessions without him. That should help offset this train wreck of a Kings defense just enough to help Sacramento get a win.
I don’t feel great about it, but it’s a little +157 jolt to end a long trade deadline day and see if we can successfully fade a couple teams built entirely around superstars that don’t have them right now.