NBA Odds & Betting Picks: Our Favorite Bets for Rockets vs. Spurs, Warriors vs. Nuggets (Thursday, Jan. 14)
Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV.
- Another small card hits Thursday's NBA action, with five games on the schedule.
- Our staff has focused on two showdowns tonight: Rockets vs. Spurs and Warriors vs. Nuggets.
- Take a look at their key betting angles below.
With a small, five-game card on Thursday’s NBA lineup, our handicappers have targeted two games they plan to bet tonight: Rockets vs. Spurs and Warriors vs. Nuggets.
Take a look at their in-depth analysis and picks on those contests below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Rockets at Spurs
Brandon Anderson: Tonight begins a new era of Houston Rockets basketball, and unfortunately for a franchise in transition, it will happen on national television.
James Harden is finally gone. So are Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Robert Covington, Clint Capela and just about every other name you associated with this team over the last few years.
The only real remnant is P.J. Tucker, the guy who doesn’t really impact the box score, but he’s a perfect, small-ball center fit next to Harden. Oh.
The new-look Rockets are supposed to get me excited about John Wall, Victor Oladipo and Boogie Cousins, but there’s just a few problems with that. First, it’s not 2017. Second, I’m not that excited about a first-round exit anyway. And third, how many games will that trio even play together healthy? Like, ever?
Wall is out tonight for due to knee issues, along with Houston’s best wing in Danuel House. Oladipo won’t be ready to play yet, and Eric Gordon is questionable. If you’re thinking, “Boy, that feels like it leaves the Rockets pretty shorthanded in the backcourt,” you would be correct.
Can I interest you in starting point guard Sterling Brown? What if I tell you he’ll be surrounded by such luminaries as Jae’Sean Tate and David Nwaba?
The thing we know about the Spurs is that Gregg Popovich’s teams take care of bad teams. We’ll see what the Rockets become in time, but Christian Wood and a cast of end-of-the-roster guys sure looks like a subpar group.
I’d feel even better if DeMar DeRozan wasn’t also questionable for San Antonio, but the Spurs have a lot of athleticism, talent and depth even without him, so I’ll lay the -7 and play up to -8 if DeRozan is in the lineup.
Rockets at Spurs
Raheem Palmer: Initially, I liked the full game under at 221.5 points, but steam within the market sucked out all of the value from this game.
After trading Harden, the Rockets will not only be missing him but they’ll be without the pieces they traded for in Oladipo, Rodions Kurucs and Dante Exum. In addition, they’ll also be missing Wall ,who’s out with left knee soreness, while Gordon is questionable with a lower leg injury.
This unit severely lacks ball handling, playmaking and perimeter scoring. This team was just 20th in Offensive Rating (108.6) in their non-garbage time minutes with a healthy lineup, and now they’ll be fielding a team without a point guard.
The Spurs have the eighth-lowest opponent field-goal percentage (60.8%) at the rim, which is the area in which the Rockets shoot the highest percentage at 67.7 percent.
Warriors at Nuggets
Raheem Palmer: The Nuggets have blown double-digit leads three times in the last week, squandering an 18-point advantage against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Jan. 5th; a 12-point lead against the Mavericks two days later; and, an 18 point-edge two days ago.
While they were able to rebound to win their game against the Timberwolves, they lost against the Mavericks and Nets in humiliating fashion. Denver was simply unable to get a stop down the stretch.
The Nets and Mavericks were top-tier offenses, while the Warriors rank just 22nd in Offensive Rating in their non-garbage time minutes. Luka Doncic lit them up for 38 points, and the Mavericks simply couldn’t be stopped from three-point range, shooting 16 of 40 from behind the arc.
The Doncic-Kleber pick-and-roll combo was all but unstoppable down the stretch, with the Mavericks having too much firepower to slow down once they got going. You could say the same about the Nets, who had Kevin Durant go off for 34 points on 12-of-18 shooting. The rest of the Brooklyn lineup shot 16 of 32 from behind the arc.
Outside of Steph Curry, this Warriors’ offense doesn’t have a ton of firepower to match this Nuggets team, as they rank just 23rd in three-point shooting percentage at 35.2 percent.
Rookie James Wiseman should have his hands full dealing with Jokic, while the return of Gary Harris gives the Nuggets another defender to throw at Curry.
The Nuggets may have lost to the Nets and Mavericks, but over the course of the past week, they’ve beat up on inferior competition in the Timberwolves, 76ers and Knicks.