NBA Best Bets: Our Staff’s Favorite Picks for Trail Blazers vs. Rockets, Clippers vs. Heat (Thursday, Jan. 28)

NBA Best Bets: Our Staff’s Favorite Picks for Trail Blazers vs. Rockets, Clippers vs. Heat (Thursday, Jan. 28) article feature image
Credit:

Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Serge Ibaka #9 of the LA Clippers.

  • Looking to bets Thursday's four-game NBA slate? You've come to the right place.
  • Our crew is betting props in two games: Trail Blazers vs. Rockets, Clippers vs. Heat.
  • Check out their picks on those matchups below.

Thursday’s NBA national TV schedule highlights four teams in the Western Conference looking to keep pace in the standings.

In the early game, the Portland Trail Blazers hit the road to face the streaking Houston Rockets (7:30 p.m. ET on TNT). In the late matchup, the Phoenix Suns are looking to snap a three-game losing streak when they face the visiting Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET on TNT).

Our crew is betting one spread and one prop in two games on Thursday’s slate. You can find their analysis and picks on those games below.

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INTRO

NBA Odds & Picks

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Trail Blazers vs. Rockets
7:30 p.m. ET
Clippers vs. Heat
8 p.m. ET

Blazers at Rockets

Pick
Rockets -4.5 (DraftKings)
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Matt Moore: Line has moved three points from open, I grabbed at -4.5. The Blazers are without CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic but continue to get credit from the market for some reason; their defense was a dumpster fire before the injuries.

Robert Covington is also out, meaning that the grand total of competent defenders on Portland is now: 1 (Gary Trent Jr.). Their second unit will continue to bleed. Melo is playing a larger role, which, yikes. Meanwhile, the Rockets when John Wall plays are 5-4 straight up and 2-0 with Oladipo.

Two of those losses came to the Lakers. As a favorite, the Rockets are 4-1 SU with Wall playing, 3-2 ATS and 2-0 with this new version. I like this number to 6.


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Clippers vs Heat

Pick
Serge Ibaka Over 1.5 turnovers (BetMGM)
Tipoff
8 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Joe Dellera: This season Serge Ibaka is averaging 25.2 minutes per game on 18.9% usage. Last game the Clippers were without Paul George and Kawhi Leonard due to health and safety protocols and Patrick Beverley missed as well due to a sore right knee.

In that game, we saw Ibaka’s usage spike to 26.5% as he was tasked with greater playmaking and scoring responsibilities and he even played 29 minutes instead of his normal 25.2 per game.

When players see an increase in usage, especially in a role they aren’t typically asked to play, this can lead to more turnovers. On the season, Ibaka averages 1.4 turnovers per game, but last game with his increased usage, he turned the ball over three times. Although Miami is a bit banged up for tonight’s contest, they have forced turnovers on 14.9% of their defensive possessions, the 11th-most in the league.

I see Ibaka’s turnover prop at 1.5 on BetMGM and I’ll take the over as he is forced to play more minutes and take on a greater responsibility as a facilitator.


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