NBA Odds, Best Bets: Expert Picks for Cavaliers-Nets, Thunder-Clippers
Mark Blinch/Getty Images. Pictured: Luguentz Dort #5 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- The NBA slate features four games on Thursday night, but our betting experts have targeted a pair of those contests.
- Our experts have their eyes on a player prop and a side on Thursday night.
- Continue reading for their picks and a detailed breakdown.
The start of the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament will get plenty of attention Thursday night, but the NBA’s version of March Madness continues tonight as well with a four-game slate.
Two of Thursday’s games will be on NBA TV — Knicks vs. Magic (7 p.m. ET) and Thunder vs. Clippers (10:30 p.m. ET) — but a third matchup between the Cavaliers and Nets has big postseason implications.
Action’s NBA crew has two best bets for Thursday’s slate and you can find their analysis and expert picks for those games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets
Bryan Fonseca: It’s been very fun to watch Spencer Dinwiddie play point guard in Brooklyn again.
When the Nets originally signed him in 2016, he began as an old-school, high I.Q., low-turnover, pass-first point guard. He then grew into more of a combo guard, then a straight up scoring guard, and along the way wavered back and forth between the two depending on the situation. (I covered him for three of those seasons, from 2016-19, and y’all weren’t watching this team, so trust me on this.)
Today, he’s full-time point-Dinwiddie again, incorporating those scoring elements, and has had some great floor games in this second run with Brooklyn.
Now, 26.5 points + assists feels lofty, but he’s hit this over in six of his last eight games. He’s on a tear with assists, in particular, tallying at least 11 in five of his last six, and he hasn’t even broken 20 points in any of his last five games.
There’s room for volatility here — he had just eight points on six shot attempts two games ago despite 27 minutes of game — but the shot diet has typically been around 16 attempts per game during this recent stretch, along with six to eight free throw attempts.
Dinwiddie could be due for a 20-point performance, which would be his first since March 10 after three straight such games, and that’ll make cashing this bet a lot easier.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Joe Dellera: The Thunder are 4.5-point road dogs to the Los Angeles Clippers who now are dealing with the loss of Paul George due to a brutal knee injury he suffered in their last game against the Thunder.
When these teams played Tuesday, the Thunder were 7.5 point underdogs and won outright 101-100. While the Clippers shot an abysmal 57.1% from the free throw line, neither team could buy a 3-pointer.
Now, without George, this line moved to +4.5 — which is fair, he’s worth about 3 points to the spread — however, I felt that the 7.5 was way off last game and this 4.5 is off again tonight. The Thunder have been the better team all season long with the 12th-best Adjusted Net Rating compared to the 20th of the Clippers. Additionally, when the Clippers have been without both George and Norman Powell, they have a point differential of -12.0 on the year, per Cleaning the Glass.
The Thunder are not getting any respect in the market, and I expect them to cover this number as a road dog, a spot where they are 19-8-3 ATS this season.
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