A Pair of Free Picks for a Light Thursday Night Slate

Troy Haliburton

Thursday, November 30, 2017 4:05 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 4:05 PM UTC

Thursday carries a short NBA schedule but there is still money to be made, and Troy Hailburton, indentified two possible targets to bring down your bookie. Read on and get the edge.

Sixers vs Celtics

The Sixers had one of the strangest endings to yesterday’s game against the Wizards. After getting up by as much as 24 points in the second half, Washington decided to implore a hack-a-Simmons strategy, in which they forced the Sixers rookie to have to knock down free throws. Simmons ended up shooting an NBA record 24 free throws in the fourth quarter. The Wizards strategy worked because Simmons only hit 15-29 free throws throughout the game, and the Wizards were able to whittle down the lead to a three point game with under a minute to go. Yes, the Sixers ended up holding on to win, but in the process may have created an extra mental barrier for a young to team to have to go through.

Tonight, Philly will have to play without their star center Joel Embiid because he is still not cleared to play on the second night of back-to-backs. The Celtics have figured out a way to have a balanced attack in absence of Gordon Hayward, by featuring more of rookie Jayson Tatum. Tatum is averaging 16. 2 points per game and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 50% from the field and 50% from 3-point range. The thing that makes Tatum such a versatile threat offensively is his ability to take smaller defenders in the post and showcase his Kobe-like footwork, while also being able to take bigger defenders off the dribble when the Celtics go small and play him at power forward.

The Celtics are going to be too much for the Sixers to handle without Embiid.

Free NBA Pick: Celtics -9Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3264497, "sportsbooksIds":[19,169,139,180,1096], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Bucks vs Trail Blazers

The Bucks are a team that has shown much improvement since the arrival of Eric Bledsoe form the Suns. Bledsoe’s arrival has taken a lot of the pressure off of Giannis in terms of ball-handling and running the team. Giannis has been able to focus much more on being the dominant off-ball slasher that he is.

The Blazers are coming back home after a week away and finished with a 4-1 record on their East Coast road trip. Milwaukee will be looking to sweep the Blazers this season as they have already beaten them 113-110 on October 21st. The key to this game will be the Blazers new and improved defense against the Bucks no look offense. Portland improved their defensive rating from 105.8 (ranked 18th) last year to 99.3 (ranked number 2).

The catalyst to the Blazers defense has to be the emergence of Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic has a legitimate 7”0’ frame, but has the foot speed to keep up with smaller defenders on the perimeter. The versatility that comes from having a big man who can switch on pick-and-rolls and still defend the rim is a luxury in today’s NBA, and the Blazers must take advantage of the Bucks lack of size down low. John Henson is simply not big enough to keep Nurkic off of the glass and any attempt to slow him down will only result in overcompensation from Milwaukee. Look for Portland to take advantage of this mismatch and cruise easily to victory.

Free NBA Pick: Blazers -3Best Line Offered: at Heritage

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3264501, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,19,180,1275], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

comment here