Thursday NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Bucks vs. Hawks, Warriors vs. Cavaliers (April 15)
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images. Pictured: Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love, left, playing against the Charlotte Hornets.
- A four-game slate will not stop our NBA analysts from finding betting value.
- Check out the two games that we see potential for bettors to profit from on Thursday night.
There are only four games on Thursday’s NBA slate, but our Action Network basketball analysts have found two sides they love on the limited schedule.
NBA Odds & Picks
Bucks vs. Hawks
Brandon Anderson: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Trae Young are questionable in this one as of writing, and that’s precisely why I’ve landed on this game.
There are four scenarios here, with three of them skewing heavily in our favor:
- Both players play: In that scenario, it’s the healthy Bucks, whose metrics have been the best team in the East. Milwaukee would be a significant favorite, with the club better on both ends of the court and Atlanta having no real matchup for Antetokounmpo. I’ll take the healthy Bucks -4 all day against any version of the Hawks.
- Both players sit: In this situation, which is perhaps most likely, I still prefer the Bucks. Both teams lose their best player, but that still leaves the best two players on the court by a wide margin on Milwaukee, with Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday more than good enough to take care of business. Young might be even more important to the Hawks, with his creation and offensive impact, than Antetokounmpo is to the Bucks, which is really saying something.
- Young sits and Antetokounmpo plays: Obviously, you have to love Bucks -4 in this case, which seems the more likely injury scenario between the one-sits-one-doesn’t angles. Young is dealing with a calf injury while Antetokounmpo practiced a few days ago, but sat out the first of a back-to-back set and feels like he’s being rested as a caution at this point as much as anything.
- Antetokounmpo sits and Young plays: This is the scenario that creates pause. Do we like the Bucks giving four on the road against Young and the Hawks? I don’t love it, but I also wouldn’t put it past Milwaukee to take care of things with its length and defense, even without the reigning most valuable player. Young almost certainly wouldn’t be at full strength, and I’m not sure the Hawks are ready for an opponent of this level just yet.
Given the scenarios above, and that I think Antetokounmpo is the more likely of the two stars to play, I’m happy to lay the points and take the Bucks. I’ll play them now at -4 before the injury news comes out and pushes the value away.
Warriors vs. Cavaliers
Raheem Palmer: The Cleveland Cavaliers are a different team since the return of Kevin Love.
Although they’re just 3-4 in the seven games since he’s been back, the offense has drastically improved, scoring 112.6 points per 100 possessions. This is a team that has been scoring just 106 points per 100 possessions in their non-garbage time minutes, according to Cleaning the Glass, so it simply can’t be understated how adding a 37.5% 3-point shooter and solid playmaker back in the lineup can make this team look competent offensively.
After defeating the Charlotte Hornets, the Cavaliers take on a red-hot Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, who are fighting for their playoff lives, So, if you’re looking to back the Warriors, you’re paying a bit of a premium.
Although they have made a living dominating bad teams, as they’re 16-6 against teams below .500, my model makes this line Warriors -5.08, so I’m seeing some value on the Cavaliers in this spot.
Golden State is just 10-18 SU and ATS on the road this season, and facing its second consecutive road game isn’t ideal for a team that struggles to score with Curry off the floor. Golden State is also dealing with injuries to Kelly Oubre, (questionable), Eric Paschall and James Wiseman.
It feels like the Warriors are short on bigs to deal with Jarrett Allen and Kevin Love, and with the Cavaliers at nearly full strength for the first time as Collin Sexton makes his return, I think they can keep this within in the number.
I’ll take the Cavaliers at +7.5 and would bet this down to 6 as my top selection.