NBA Expert Betting Picks (Thursday, Feb. 27): Our Best Bets for Trail Blazers vs. Pacers, Kings vs. Thunder, More
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Buddy Hield #24 of the Sacramento Kings.
- Looking for NBA betting picks for Thursday? Injuries may have hampered three of the four games on tonight’s schedule, but they haven’t stopped our experts.
- See what their best bets are for three of the games on tonight's slate.
Thursday’s NBA schedule features just four games, and our experts are betting on these specific matchups:
- 7 p.m. ET: New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers
- 8 p.m. ET: Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder
- 8 p.m. ET: Portland Trail Blazers at Indiana Pacers
See the three bets they’re making below.
Brandon Anderson: Knicks at 76ers
- Spread: Sixers -6.5
- Over/Under: 210
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
It’s a pretty ugly slate tonight if you’re looking for a night off from NBA action, but who needs a night off when there’s money to be made? I jumped all over Warriors +14 once it looked like LeBron James would be out, but that line has fallen all the way to +10 and removed much of the value.
Another falling line is happening in Philadelphia, with the 76ers missing both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. That one opened at -7.5 when Simmons was already out and has now dropped to -6 with Embiid confirmed missing, too.
But here’s the thing: they’re still the Knicks.
Philly could be missing Al Horford or Tobias Harris, too, and the Sixers should still take care of business against the lousy 17-41 Knicks. Don’t forget, the Sixers are nearly unbeatable at home, with a 27-2 record. I don’t expect win No. 28 will be too difficult either, since Philly will still have the best three players on the court.
The PICK: 76ers -6.5
John Ewing: Blazers at Pacers
- Spread: Pacers -9.5
- Over/Under: 218
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
The Pacers are 9.5-point favorites at home against the Blazers. As the line indicates, Indiana and Portland are two teams trending in opposite directions.
The Pacers rolled to a 119-80 victory over Charlotte on Tuesday and look to win their fourth game in five tries. The Blazers fell to the Celtics 118-106 last time out and have now dropped four of their past five games.
Indy is expected to win, but will the Pacers cover?
Contrarian bettors typically buy on bad news and sell on good. That often means taking road dogs, betting teams that failed to cover and fading those that cashed tickets in their previous game.
Wouldn’t you know it, combining these three strategies creates a winning betting system with a large sample and consistent year-to-year results.
Road underdogs have historically been undervalued as home court advantage is overrated. An additional contrarian take is to bet teams off an against the spread (ATS) loss as an underdog (teams casual bettors will avoid) against an opponent off an ATS win as a favorite (teams the public will chase).
By zigging when the squares zag, bettors following this system have gone 982-814-37 (55%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $12,140 betting games matching this strategy.
Portland opened as 10-point underdogs and the line moved to Blazers +9.5 earlier in the day. The line move and historical data suggests the smart money is on CJ McCollum & Co.
The PICK: Blazers +9.5 (line has since moved back to +10)
Rob Perez: Kings at Thunder
- Spread: Thunder -7.5
- Over/Under: 221
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
Dare I say … the Sacramento Kings have figured it out? Despite the injuries, this has been a whole different team since the trade deadline has passed and all the players are re-assured that their situations are stable for the remainder of the season.
After a disheartening losing streak, the Kings have put together wins in five of their past seven and they’re doing it with defense. That’s right, the Kings are locking up.
Four of those five wins have come as a result of their opponents scoring fewer than 103 points, which is a significantly low number in today’s NBA. Expect that trend to continue tonight against an OKC squad which, despite its success, goes through scoring droughts when Chris Paul isn’t doing Chris Paul things.
This lineup of Fox/Bogdanovic/Barnes/Bjelica/Giles is somehow playing defense, and it’s nice to see a team finally live by the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” strategy. On paper they should be getting annihilated, but that’s why they play the game. This one goes down to the wire.
The PICK: Kings +7.5