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Best bets today from around the NBA.
Best bets today from around the NBA.

We're breaking down our favorite NBA player props and the best bets for Thursday based on the best NBA odds, with NBA MVP favorite Joel Embiid set for a potential letdown spot.

After going off for 70 points earlier this week, NBA MVP odds favorite Joel Embiid could face a tougher time when his Philadelphia 76ers travel to face the Indiana Pacers - one of seven NBA games on the docket for Thursday.

Elsewhere, Collin Sexton aims to maintain his scoring streak as the Utah Jazz visit the nation's capital to take on the struggling Washington Wizards, known for their subpar defense.

Meanwhile, Derrick White and the Boston Celtics travel to South Beach to face the Miami Heat in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, and Alex Caruso will face his former team on the road, as the Chicago Bulls square off against the Los Angeles Lakers.

To go along with our Celtics vs. Heat player props and Kings vs. Warriors player props, here are our NBA player props and best bets for Thursday (odds via our best NBA betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Thursday’s NBA best bets

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Thursday’s NBA schedule and odds

(Odds via DraftKings)

  • Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers | Spread: 76ers -5 | Total: 236
  • Utah Jazz vs. Washington Wizards | Spread: Jazz -7.5 | Total: 245
  • Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn Nets | Spread: Timberwolves -4.5 | Total: 218
  • Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat | Spread: Celtics -6.5 | Total: 224
  • Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks | Spread: Nuggets -2 | Total: 223
  • Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors | Spread: Kings -2 | Total: 242
  • Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers | Spread: Lakers -4.5 | Total: 228

Thursday’s NBA player props

Joel Embiid Under 36.5 points vs. Pacers (-115 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

This total seems easy for Embiid to clear, right? Embiid scored 70 points in his last game out, setting the 76ers’ franchise record against the San Antonio Spurs. He’s averaging 36.1 points per game this season, which would tie James Harden’s 2018-19 season for the second-most in a single season since the merger.

The Pacers allow the second most points per game to opponents, and Embiid scored 39 and 37 in two home games against Indiana this season. He posted 31 and 42 points against the Pacers a season ago, so he’s hit this mark in three of his last four against the team.

However, we’re taking the Under here as Embiid’s points prop has crept too high.

The Pacers are 11-25 without Tyrese Haliburton over the last two seasons, and the team is minus-70 through 10 games with him out of the lineup this season. Embiid’s monster scoring tear includes just 12 games with at least 37 points through 32 appearances in 2023-24.

Philadelphia is favored on the road against a struggling Pacers team without its star point guard, which means Embiid may not be needed to reach such a lofty scoring total. Bettors should be wary of reaching for the Over here after a career-best performance on Tuesday.

Collin Sexton Over 22.5 points vs. Wizards (-120 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sexton’s points prop continues to be a profitable wager, so we’ll go back to the well tonight in a favorable matchup. The Wizards allow the most points per game to opponents, and Washington is playing the second night of a back-to-back set after losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

Sexton has scored at least 20 points in seven straight, averaging 25.7 points per game in that span. He’s racked up at least 22 points in six of those and at least 23 in four.

During his last two on the road, he’s scored 22 and 28 points. Sexton’s scoring isn’t just a recent trend. He’s averaged 22.6 points over his last 22 since joining the starting five. This isn’t a lofty total to hit, and we’ll gladly take the Over against the Association’s most generous defense.

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Derrick White Over 14.5 points vs. Heat (-110 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

White had a rough night with six points on 2-of-12 shooting against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, and as a result, his scoring line is set far too low.

Before his poor performance, White scored at least 21 points in three straight games. On the season, he’s averaging a career-best 16 points per game, and he’s scored at least 15 in 22 of 40 appearances.

White scored 28 against the Heat earlier in the season, and he averaged 15.3 points in four games against them last season, scoring at least 15 in two of them. The Heat have been a stingy defense this season, but the team has been generous to opposing 3-point shooters. Miami allows the seventh-most 3-pointers per game at home, which benefits White, who’s hitting 2.7 threes at a 40.4% clip - both career highs.

Alex Caruso Over 17.5 points + rebounds + assists vs. Lakers (-105 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

With Zach LaVine out of action, Caruso has taken on more responsibilities as a scorer as of late. He’s scored in double figures in four of his last five, including 15 points against the Phoenix Suns on Monday. In that span, he’s posted at least 18 PRA twice and 17 PRA in one, averaging exactly 18 PRA along the way. Caruso has found success over the last month, averaging 17.6 PRA across his last 17 appearances and posting at least 18 in nine of them.

Caruso should have some extra juice against his former team on the road. He’s played the Lakers five times since joining the Bulls and averaged 17 PRA, posting at least 18 in two of them. He went for 15 points, six rebounds, and two assists against the Lakers on Dec. 20, and he can get to 18 PRA against his former team again on Thursday.

NBA best bets made Thursday at 8:00 a.m. ET

Here are our best NBA betting sites:

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