Thursday NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Pistons vs. Pacers, Knicks vs. Rockets
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks.
- Looking to bet the NBA on Thursday night? Our experts have honed in on Pacers-Pistons and Knicks-Rockets.
- However, they're focusing on a total, plus a prop involving Cade Cunningham.
- Get both our staff's favorite NBA bets for Thursday below.
Thursday’s NBA slate is being heavily impacted by COVID. The Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors game was postponed earlier this week and the Brooklyn Nets are down a significant number of players ahead of their game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
For tonight’s four-game slate, our analysts are eyeing two off-the-radar matchups and betting one prop and one total. Check out their analysis of those games and best bets for Thursday below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Joe Dellera: The Pistons head to Indiana to take on the Pacers and the Pistons have had a bit of an extended layoff since their Tuesday game against the Bulls was postponed due to the Bulls’ COVID outbreak. With that in mind, they should be well rested and ready to play against the Pacers who just lost yesterday to the Milwaukee Bucks.
After the injury to Jerami Grant, one Pistons’ player that I’ve wanted to key in on is Cade Cunningham. He already had the highest Usage Rate on the Pistons (27.8%) and now without Jerami Grant trying to isolate every other play his 25.9% Usage Rate (second-highest on the team) can be distrusted amongst the rest of the roster. Well, in the first game without Grant, Cunningham posted a 31.4% Usage Rate with 26 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. While those stats are impressive, they came at a cost — and that cost was seven turnovers.
This is a significant spike up from his 3.7 turnover average prior to Grant’s injury. This seven stands out even more when you consider that Brooklyn generates turnovers at the fifth lowest rate (13%), per Cleaning the Glass. Indiana is about middle of the road in that respect, but with his turnover prop sitting at 3.5 I think this is an angle we can capitalize on.
Cade has gone over this line in eight of his last ten games, with an average of 4.6 turnovers. Given his expanded role and increased usage, coupled with some rust from the extra days between games and he should turn the ball over at least four times tonight.
Kenny Ducey: The Rockets and Knicks both rank in the bottom eight of the league in defensive efficiency, and in the past 10 games it’s been more of the same. In fact, Houston and New York find themselves in the bottom four of the league in that span, allowing more than 116.1 points per 100 possessions.
On the second night of a back-to-back, you can expect this Rockets defense to be as bad as ever. The over is 3-0 when Houston is on a back-to-back, which is a telling number considering the under is actually 15-13 in all of its games. That’s because Houston, like New York, has struggled to score all year long.
Well, the Rockets are on an absolute roll offensively, ranking third in points scored per 100 possessions over the past 10 games with a rating of over 117.1. While New York’s offense has been dreadful of late, it’s had to go up against some pretty good defenses, and even shorthanded Julius Randle should still be able to lead a strong charge on that end of the floor against a Houston team still without Christian Wood.
We’ve seen enough offensive outbursts from the Knicks, most recently in San Antonio, to trust them against one of the worst defenses in the NBA to at least help chip in here towards the total. This will be a serious pace-up spot for them, and with two poor defenses we should see a high-scoring game. It doesn’t hurt that the Knicks are scoring 4.6 more points per 100 possessions on the road, either.