The Warriors and Heat were able to cover, but unfortunately, the Pistons were not. A 2-1 record on Thursday night puts that overall record at 16-8. Here are the best bets for tonight:
Thunder (+6) vs. Trail Blazers
Portland has been hot lately, winning four in a row, entering this match against Oklahoma City. Still, without CJ McCollum, Damian Lillard has been putting the team on his shoulders. In the 3 of their last four wins, Lillard has scored over 30 points and made four three-pointers. They are 6-1 against the spread in their previous seven but have only covered twice over their last six against OKC.
The Thunder snapped a 3-game losing streak with a win over Milwaukee on Sunday night. More impressively, they did this without starting point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Lu Dort and Al Horford have both helped keep the Thunder competitive on a nightly basis. They hung with the Lakers on multiple occasions, only to lose by single digits twice and lost to the Nuggets by just two. In their last four, they have covered every time.
Portland has the 6th-ranked offense in the league but the second-worst defense allowing 115.2 per night. The Thunder have the eleventh-best defense but second-worst offense. The Blazers take another hit on the defensive end in the absence of Jusuf Nurkic. Portland’s offense might carry them to a victory, but look for OKC to compete and cover.
Only looking at the trends, one could be convinced to take the over in this one. The Nets lead the league in scoring with 121.4 points per night, while Phoenix ranks 11th-best in offensive efficiency. Brooklyn has scored 130 points in their last two, while Phoenix has gone for over 120 in two of three.
The total has gone over in 8 out of ten times the Suns have faced the Nets at home. In Brooklyn’s previous 20, the over has hit in seventeen matches. Additionally, both of these teams hit shots at a high clip. The Nets are number one with a rock-solid 50% from the field, while the Suns sit at 11th with an admirable 47.2%.
Brooklyn will be without Kevin Durant tonight, but Kyrie Irving and James Harden have been carrying the load. Harden is putting up triple-double numbers every night, while Kyrie is averaging almost 30 points. On the other side, Chris Paul and Devin Booker have been and will do damage as usual. Look for a highly-competitive game that will lead to a high-scoring affair and a hit on the over.
In the most anticipated game of the night, Ja Morant and Zion Williams face off at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. New Orleans lost three in a row to Chicago, Dallas, and Detroit after winning four straight prior. They have the third-worst defense in the NBA and have given up over 120 points per night in their last three losses.
On the other hand, Memphis is starting to get things back in order after losing four straight. They are coming off an impressive team victory against Sacramento on Monday night. In their last nine against Western Conference opponents, the Grizzlies have covered six times. Their 10th ranked defense will have their hands full with Williamson, Ingram, and the 7th best offense in the NBA.
New Orleans has been good against Memphis, going 6-1 over the previous seven matchups, but Memphis seems to be playing better basketball at this moment. The Grizzlies defense will contain the New Orleans’ offense and capitalize on a struggling defense to cover the spread.
(Trends/lines via OddsShark)