Thursday NBA Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Heat vs. Kings, Nets vs. Lakers (Feb. 18)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured; Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler.
- Only three games are scheduled on Thursday's tiny NBA card.
- However, that doesn't mean our analysts haven't found two gems on the docket.
- See how they're are focusing on games featuring Heat vs. Kings and Nets vs. Lakers below.
There are only three games on Thursday’s NBA light schedule, but that doesn’t mean we are short of some very intriguing matchups.
Our Action Network analysts have honed in on two games: Miami Heat vs. Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers, with that latter being part of TNT’s nationally televised doubleheader.
Take a look at their top plays below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Heat vs. Kings
Brandon Anderson: Jimmy Butler should be an All-Star.
Honestly, I really think this should be pretty obvious. We’re only a few months removed from Butler dropping multiple triple-doubles on LeBron James in the NBA Finals. Remember how everyone agreed Butler was a clear, top-10 player in the MVP race?
That was literally like four months ago. And now Butler has fallen so far off the radar that people aren’t even mentioning him as an All-Star possibility.
And sure, Butler has played only 16 games and that matters. However, Kevin Durant has played 19 games, and everyone is penciling him right into the ASG starting lineup without thinking twice. And they should. Durant should start the All-Star Game, but maybe Butler should be starting right next to him.
In 10 games since Butler returned from his long absence, he’s averaging 21.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. He’s had three triple-doubles in that stretch, and he was a couple rebounds and an assist away from adding three more to his résumé. Gee, you think six near triple-doubles in a 10-game stretch is good?
The NBA will announce its All-Star Game starters tonight, shortly before this game tips, and Butler will not be one of them. Hey, guess who gets really motivated by quirky outside factors? Jimmy Butler.
The Miami star has taken over all the creation for the Heat, and as they struggle to find offense, he’s had at least eight assists in eight of his last 10 games. He’s gone over this number in six of his last seven appearances.
I think we get another triple-double tonight and yet another big game, plus a friendly reminder this guy should be in the All-Star Game right next to the other superstars who get announced.
I love this at plus juice and would play down to even odds.
Nets vs. Lakers
Malik Smith: This game is a clash of teams on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of identity. The Lakers are built on their defense and have typically been a safe under bet all season (18-11 per Bet Labs). At the same time, the Nets avoid defense like the plague and have been NBA’s most profitable team when it comes to the over (22-8) hitting on the total.
This game will essentially come down to who dictates pace. With Kevin Durant out due to a hamstring injury and Anthony Davis gone for the next few weeks, I expect LeBron James will avoid trying to getting into a high-scoring game with James Harden and Kyrie Irving.
The Lakers’ defense is still top of the league with Davis off the floor this season, and as much as we know Harden and Irving can get hot, the Lakers have the ability to limit those guys to some degree when they are on.