Highlighting NBA Betting Opportunities for Thursday Night

David Lawrence

Thursday, November 13, 2014 2:45 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 2:45 PM GMT

The game on Thursday between Chicago and Toronto is a headline news event but another game in the Thursday lineup has become a much bigger and better matchup than you might have thought when the season started a few weeks ago. Read on for the details as well as our NBA picks.

Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors
Odds:  Toronto -2.5
The Raptors average 107 points per game, while the Bulls average just over 104. The Western Conference was the conference which had most of the high-scoring teams in the NBA last season, but so far in the new season, the East has had plenty of its own high-octane offenses, with Toronto leading the way. The Raptors’ offense has been so potent because the two highest scorers on the team, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, are averaging just under 40 points per game as a combo. When two players are both throwing in roughly 20 points apiece per game, that’s the kind of reliable production a team needs in order to be a contender. Maybe one of those players won’t be great every night, but as long as one of them is, the offense can play around it. The Bulls will have a hard time stopping Toronto, but their offense has been very good as well. Jimmy Butler is averaging 19.5 points per game to lead the Bulls’ attack. If he can continue to hit the medium-range jump shot, he’s very hard to guard, because he’s willing to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. With Pau Gasol rebounding at a high rate (over 11 rebounds per game), Chicago has a much better low-post threat than it did with Carlos Boozer last season. You know you’ll get good interior defense from Joakim Noah, but Gasol on the glass gives the Bulls another, better dimension. Expect Chicago, with its paint presence, to be able to outlast Toronto in the fourth quarter. Take the Bulls to cover NBA odds.

NBA Pick: Chicago +2.5 at Bet365

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Sacramento Kings vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Odds: Memphis -6.5
This is the game which figured to be a non-event before the season, but has become a very interesting game in just two short weeks’ time. The Sacramento Kings might be a very good team this season. No one predicted as much, but the Kings have been a revelation through eight games, going 5-3 with players who look reborn on the basketball court. Rudy Gay is averaging 22.8 points per game this season. He’s playing in the post with his back to the basket and is drawing fouls on his defenders. DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 22.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. His offense has always been there, but this season, Cousins’ defense has been much improved, and he’s making contributions as a passer as well, feeding the ball to Gay when the defense focuses on stopping him. Cousins’ maturation makes Sacramento so much harder to deal with. For your NBA picks I think not only will the Kings cover, they’ll win outright in Memphis.

NBA Pick: Sacramento +6.5 at The Greek

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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Dallas Mavericks
Odds: Dallas -13
This is the game without drama on Thursday. The 76ers are 25th in the NBA in offense, 29th in the NBA in rebounding, and 28th in scoring defense. There’s very little the Sixers do well, as shown by their 0-7 record. Dallas has not been great so far, but the Mavericks have been good, at 5-3. They’re playing at home. You can figure this one out. Dallas should win in a blowout.

NBA Pick: Dallas -13 at 5Dimes

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