2015 NBA Thursday night – Betting preview

Oklahoma City at Miami

This is a great matchup but certainly not an easy one to handicap. Oklahoma City is an elite team but it’s struggled on the road (3-4 SU, 2-5 ATS) and it’s been real mediocre against the Eastern Conference (5-5) this season.

Miami has gone 8-3 SU (5-6 ATS) at home this season but the effort has been lackluster at times and it’s certainly been caught napping in losses to the Timberwolves and Celtics.

I believe the Heat have only been tested five times this season against what I consider legit playoff opponents (Cavs, Hawks, Pacers, Raptors, Rockets). In those games, they’ve gone 2-3 and some would say that I’m giving too much credit to Houston.

The Thunder have been installed as short road favorites (-2) for this game and Miami has only been catching points twice this season, in road games versus the Cavaliers and Pistons. The Heat lost both those games by double digits.

Oklahoma City has won and covered three of the last four meetings against the Heat and that includes two straight victories (94-86, 112-95) at American Airlines Arena.  Miami is 5-1 versus the Western Conference this season, 4-1 at home.

Denver at Toronto:

The Raptors opened as 10 ½-point favorites for this game and this is the highest spread that they’ve given all season. The number seems a bit inflated but both clubs are going in opposite directions right now. Toronto captured a solid 96-86 road win at Atlanta last night and has won five of its last six after fighting through a 2-6 struggle. The Raptors have only played six home games and they’re a respectable 4-2 both SU and ATS, with the two losses coming by a combined seven points.

Including last night’s loss at Chicago, the Nuggets have dropped eight straight games. More importantly, they’ve gone 2-6 ATS during this run and are only averaging 91.2 PPG during this skid. On the road, Mike Malone’s team is 3-7 SU and 5-5 ATS.
The Raptors swept the season series (1-1 ATS) against the Nuggets last season while scoring 112 and 116 points. The ‘over’ cashed in both game and is 5-1 in the last six meetings between the pair. However, Denver enters this game on a 4-0 ‘under’ run.

The Nuggets have struggled on zero days rest (0-4 SU, 2-2 ATS) this season and Toronto (2-2 SU, 2-1-1 ATS) hasn’t been much better.

Orlando at Utah:

These teams met in early November at Orlando ran past Utah 102-93 as a 1 ½-point home underdog. The Jazz didn’t have center Rudy Gobert in the lineup and the big man will be ‘out’ against tonight due to a knee injury. Utah has gone 0-2 in his absence this season and will certainly miss his size (10.9 RPG, 2.6 BPG) in the middle.

Orlando (10-8 SU, 12-6 ATS) has been very competitive this season, especially on the road for bettors (3-5 SU, 5-3 ATS). Scott Skiles and his troops come into this game with a four-game winning streak and that confidence should help at this venue. The Magic captured a 98-93 road victory last season at Utah but was 0-5 (2-3 ATS) in its previous five trips to Salt Lake City.

Utah has had a difficult schedule thus far and only played six games at home. The Jazz are 3-3 both SU and ATS from Salt Lake City but two of the losses came to the Thunder and Warriors. The Magic are decent but certainly not in the class of those teams.

San Antonio at Memphis:

The Grizzlies opened as 1 ½-point home underdogs and as of Thursday morning, the number is up to 3 ½ at most betting shops. Memphis has gone 6-3 SU but 3-6 ATS at home this season and San Antonio hasn’t been spectacular on the road (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS) this season.

The Grizzlies are 0-1 as home ‘dogs this season and dating back to last season, they’re 3-7 in their last 10 when facing this situation, which tells you that it’s rare to see them win big games at home versus top-tier opponents.

The Spurs have won eight of 10 against the Grizzlies, which includes a 92-82 victory on Nov. 21 as eight-point favorites. The ‘under’ is on a 3-0 but the ‘over’ is 6-4 during this span.

San Antonio ripped Milwaukee last night and has only played two back-to-back games this season. They won and covered both contests, one of them being the aforementioned win over Memphis.

Boston at Sacramento:

The Association heads to Mexico City on Thursday as the Celtics (-2) meet the Kings in a neutral game. Boston continues to improve under head coach Brad Stevens, who has received a great effort from a lot of good NBA players and when they make shots, they can beat anybody. Boston just knocked off Miami 105-95 on the road this past Monday and this travel spot seems difficult but it would be worse if the game was in Northern California.

The Kings (7-12 SU, 9-10 ATS) are still finding their way under George Karl and they’ve been okay at home for their standards (5-6 SU, 5-6 ATS). The tempo has been fast and that’s resulted in a 10-8-1 ‘over’ record. Tonight’s total is 215 and the pace will from both teams will get close to that number.

Bettors have seen this series split the last three seasons and the home teams have won all six of those games. The total has gone 3-3 during this run but the ‘over’ has cashed in all three of the games played at Sleep Train Arena.

Indiana at Portland:

It’s hard to go against the Pacers, who have won six straight and 12 of their last 14 games after starting the season 0-3. During this span, Indiana has produced a 12-2 ATS mark and the two losses came on the road by a combined six points to quality opponents in the Cavaliers (101-97) and Bulls (96-95).

This could be a spot they get tripped up after beating the Chris Paul-less Clippers 103-91 last night at the Staples Center. The Pacers have gone 2-1 both SU and ATS on zero days rest this season and the ‘under’ is 2-1 in these games as well.

If you’re leaning to the Trail Blazers (7-12 SU, 9-10 ATS), then you need them to score. In all of their seven wins, they break the century mark. Knowing Indiana is ranked fourth in defensive scoring (95.3 PPG) could have you backing away.

Portland took both regular season affairs against Indiana last season and has won and covered four of the last five games. The Pacers haven’t won at Portland since the 2007 season. The Blazers are 4-5 both SU and ATS at home this season.

December 3, 2015 by : Posted in NBA, Sportsbook No Comments

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