Basketball bettors only have four games on the NBA odds board this Thursday, in what could be a lopsided night on the schedule, with no spread closer than 6-points.
NBA analyst Monique Vag looks at the NBA pointspreads, Over/Under odds, and team and player props, giving you her best bets and NBA predictions for tonight’s action.
The Philadelphia 76ers are 6-point favorites for the tail end of a back-to-back when they host the New York Knicks. However, they will be without both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid for this contest. The Knicks, who are also playing their second game in as many nights, have also lost 10 consecutive matchups against the Sixers.
New York has really struggled to put points on the board, ranking 28th in points per game at just 104.7. The Knicks are up against a 76ers team who rank 22nd in points per game, but have really struggled as of late, being held under 100 in two of their last three contests overall. Expect more of the same on both ends, and bet Under the game total of 211.5.
PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS AT INDIANA PACERS
The Portland Trail Blazers head to Indiana to take on the Pacers as 9.5-point underdogs, because Damian Lillard will be sitting this one out with a groin injury.
The Pacers have stumbled out of the gates recently, averaging only 20.7 first quarter points per game over their last three contests. Today, they take on a Blazers team ranked sixth in first quarter points per contest. Take Portland to keep things close early on even without Dame, and bet the Trail Blazers on the first quarter spread, getting 3-points.
MORE ROOM FOR MELO
Portland’s Carmelo Anthony has really stepped up in Lillard’s absence. Throughout that three-game stretch he has logged 20, 32, and 14 points and connected on no less than two made 3-point shots in each contest. Without Lillard in the lineup, there are a lot of extra field goal attempts to go around – look for a player like Anthony to go Over his points total of 16.5 on volume alone.
The Sacramento Kings and Oklahoma City Thunder have both been playing very well post All-Star break and enter today on respective three and four game winning streaks.
The Thunder have gotten out to very quick starts over their last three games, averaging 60.3 first half points per game, including putting up 72 last time out versus the Bulls. The Kings have also had a lot of success early, on averaging 59.7 first half points per game throughout that same stretch. Expect both teams to come out flying on and bet Over the first half game total of 113.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS AT GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
LA LA LOPSIDED
The largest spread of the night takes place in San Francisco, with the Lakers on the board as 10-point road favorites over the Warriors. The Lakers come into this one on a six game winning streak, but if they want to make it seven in a row, they’ll have to do so without LeBron James, who will be sitting with a groin injury.
The Warriors have really struggled shooting from the floor all season long, averaging 106 points per game and things won’t be easy against a stingy Lakers defense. Los Angeles allows only 107.4 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting. Look for the Lakers to step up on that end of the floor with LeBron out and keep a sub-par Warriors team Under their team total of 106.5.
NBA predictions and betting odds: More value with Melo prop originally appeared on NBCSports.com