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NBA Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: Thursday’s Best Bets

NBA Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: Thursday’s Best Bets article feature image
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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets.

  • The NBA only has two games on Thursday, but our analysts Joe Dellera and Chris Baker have best bets for each game.
  • Both analysts have spread bets for Warriors-Magic and Nuggets-Thunder.
  • Check out their picks below.

The NBA season continues on Thursday night with a modest two-game slate. Nonetheless, our NBA analysts have found value on both games between the Warriors and Magic and Nuggets and Thunder. Check out their best bets and analysis below.

NBA Odds & Picks

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Golden State Warriors vs. Orlando Magic
7 p.m. ET
Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
8 p.m. ET

Golden State Warriors vs. Orlando Magic

Pick
Warriors -8.5
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
7 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Joe Dellera: The Golden State Warriors take on the Orlando Magic tonight as 8.5-point favorites. This line has already moved from the soft open at 7.5 and is now 8.5 at most books.

I like this spot for the Warriors. Although it’s another road game, they did not need to travel far between locations considering their last game was in the same state against the Miami Heat, and they had a day off in between games.

Additionally, the Warriors’ offensive and defensive schemes are too complex for this young Magic team that does not have a true point guard with the injuries to both Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz. No Magic player on the roster is even averaging five assists; the ball sticks, and it is no surprise the Magic have the third-lowest assist percentage in the NBA (47.7%).

The Warriors suffered a tough loss to the Heat in their last game after leading nearly the entire game. Expect the Warriors to come out strong and stomp out the Magic in this bounce-back spot. Last season, these two teams split their regular season meetings; however, Steph Curry only played in one game, and in that contest the Warriors dominated and won by 31 props/points”>points.

Lay the points with the Warriors.


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Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Pick
Nuggets -6
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
8 p.m. ET
TV
NBA TV

Chris Baker: The Nuggets are not a team I want to fade off a loss this season because there is just too much talent on this roster to fade them when they are fully motivated.

I don’t like the way the Thunder match up with Jokic down low. Jokic is obviously the focal point of the offense, and if you can’t match up with him one-on-one then he will force help/double teams and pick you apart with his passing ability. The Thunder definitely cannot matchup with him as they are currently starting six-foot-eight Jeremiah Robinson-Earl at the center spot.

Jokic had 19 points and 13 assists on just 10 shot attempts the first time these teams matched up. It was clear he could score at will, but the Nuggets have made it a point of emphasis to try and get Jamal Murray going early in the season. I think Jokic will play with a bit more urgency here on the road off of an embarrassing loss to the Lakers on Sunday night.

That leads me to another edge the Nuggets have here with their two-day rest advantage over OKC. The Thunder battled with the Magic on Tuesday night while the Nuggets have had three days of rest and preparation for this matchup. Of course, there is always a chance the Nuggets come out flat and coast against a bad Thunder team, but just focusing on the talent disparity, I can’t justify this line being less than -8.

Combine that with the spot – off of a loss with extra time to prepare – and this line should definitely be closer to double digits. Trust the Nuggets to play to their potential on Thursday night.

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