With the start of the NCAA Tournament (sorry, First Four just doesn't count) taking all the attention, there are just four games on the NBA schedule on Thursday night. Here are some player (and one team) prop recommendations from those games.
James Harden 'Over/Under' 39.5 Points+Rebounds+Assists
Houston enters Thursday's home game against Denver on a two-game winning streak. Harden had 34 points, seven rebounds and seven assists on Sunday in a two-point win at the Clippers but had one of his worst offensive games of the season Tuesday against Orlando by shooting just 4-for-14 from the field for 17 points. He did have eight rebounds and four assists. On the season, Harden, an MVP candidate, averages 26.7 points (second to Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook), 7.0 assists and 5.8 rebounds. The Rockets are 3-0 against the Nuggets this season. On March 7 in the Mile High City, Harden had 28 points, seven assists and four rebounds. On Dec. 17 in Denver, Harden had 41 points, 10 assists and four rebounds. Four days earlier in Houston, he had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his third career triple-double at the time. Denver is playing much better under interim coach Melvin Hunt as the team is going more up tempo. That should mean more points for Harden as well. You can also get Harden at 'over/under' 8.5 free throws made. He leads the NBA by far in free throws made at 558 (8.5 per game) and 646 attempted (9.8 per game). Harden is averaging 12.0 made vs. Denver this season and 13.7 attempted.
NBA Free Pick: 'Over' on both. He might top 39.5 points alone.
Anthony Davis 'Over/Under' 24 Points And/Or 11 Rebounds
Big game for the Pelicans on Thursday, as they battle the suns now without Serge Ibaka perhaps the rest of the regular season -- for the final playoff spot in the West. New Orleans visits Phoenix, which is 10th in the West, with a loss being a crusher for the Suns. Davis is having an MVP-caliber season in averaging 24.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. In seven games this month, the former No. 1 overall pick (he could be a senior on that Kentucky team right now) is averaging 29.3 points and 11.3 rebounds. Phoenix doesn't have a lot of size with center Alex Len expected to miss the game, so Davis could have his way down low. Davis has faced Phoenix just once this season and had 19 points and 13 rebounds.
NBA Free Pick: 'Over' on both.
Eric Bledsoe 'Over/Under' 18.5 points & 11.5 Rebounds+Assists
I expect a monster night from Bledsoe as he's going to have to carry the scoring load because fellow guard Brandon Knight is not expected to play due to an ankle injury. Knight has missed the past three games, in which Phoenix beat the Knicks and Timberwolves but lost to Atlanta. Bledsoe is averaging 20.0 points in those three games as well as 8.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds. On the season, Bledsoe averages 17.2 points, 6.1 assists and 5.4 rebounds.
NBA Free Pick: 'Over' on both for your NBA picks. Not that I'm feeling overly optimistic today on these props going 'over' on all, but Bledsoe is going to have to do it all in this game for the Suns to win a matchup they must have.
'Over/Under' 14 Points As Largest Lead In Timberwolves-Knicks
You would have to be a diehard Minnesota or New York fan to care about this game -- we'll call it the Toilet Bowl. Actually, it's in a way the most important game Thursday as the loser could earn a big tiebreaker to get the most ping-pong balls in the NBA Draft lottery and the right to select Duke's Jahlil Okafor this summer. The Wolves and Knicks are tied for the NBA's worst record at 14-53. Minnesota could be without center Nikola Pekovic, forward Kevin Garnett and guard Gary Neal for this one, while the Knicks probably won't have guard Tim Hardaway Jr., or rookie forward Cleanthony Early. So other than Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Martin and Ricky Rubio, it will be a bunch of stiffs on the court. The Wolves are 5-28 on the road and the Knicks 9-23 at home.
NBA Free Pick: Is one of these teams good enough to lead by 14 over the other? I think not. Go 'under.'