NBA Picks of the Day: Best Of Thursday's Winning Hoop Selections

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, February 18, 2016 2:43 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 2:43 PM GMT

Welcome back from the All Star Break! While there are only three games on the slate for some NBA action this evening, so let's jump start on our best NBA picks for today.

Jazz vs. Wizards
The two national TV games are both going to be excellent contests tonight, and both should be very fun to watch. However, what about the appetizer of the Wizards and Jazz? The NBA Odds are almost dead even for this one with the Wizards actually coming in as -1 favorites in some instances, and while fading the Wizards here at home could be a way to go, instead the total seems like a better wager where it sits now at 197½.

The total has dropped for this one from 199 to 197½, but while the Jazz may come out and stifle the Wizards defensively, I think it’s actually going to go a little differently. Utah plays at the slowest pace of any team in the league, while Washington plays at one of the fastest. If Washington can come off the break and get the Jazz to speed up their offense some, this total has a chance to go over.

Not only could the Wizards speed up the Jazz, but the over has traditionally been a really good wager for whatever reason recently when teams are playing their first game after the break. While I didn’t go as far as to record every team’s first game back from the All Star Break over the last three years, in the day the NBA resumed over the last three seasons, teams are 13-6-1 cashing the over on the first day of games back from the break. Combine that with the Jazz having cashed the over in five of their last six road games heading into the break, and we could see them continue that slightly tonight against Washington.

The Jazz are averaging just over 100 points per game against the East this season, while the Wizards are scoring about 105 points per game against Western Conference teams this season, all while giving up 111 points per game in those 18 games, and 112 points per game in their last ten games headed into the break. Don’t be surprised if these two teams follow the post-All Star Break trend of cashing the over on the first night back.

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NBA Pick: OVER 197
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

Spurs vs. Clippers
The final game of the evening will feature a hopeful playoff rematch between the Clippers and Spurs, and right now the NBA Odds have the Spurs as -4½ favorites coming off the break, with a total of 205 ½. Both the spread and total have been moving from where they opened last night, as the spread has gone up a full point and a half, and the total has dropped from 207 ½ to 205 ½ overnight.

While the line movement suggests laying the points and taking the under, I am once again breaking with the movement and going with a play on the over for this one. As mentioned above, in the last three seasons, the over is 13-6-1 in the 20 games that take place the first day of games after the All Star Break. This can be for several reasons, but considering the trends for both teams going into the break, it’s not that hard to believe.

These two teams have cashed the over in four of their last five meetings heading into tonight, including one this season and four in last season’s playoffs. On top of that, the over is 6-2 in the Spurs’ last eight road games, and with the Clippers’ giving up almost 104 points per game to conference opponents this season, don’t be surprised if the Spurs jump on the Clippers’ offensively and don’t look back.

LA has also has had some success against the Spurs. In their last five games against them, they are averaging over 108 points per game. If the Clippers can get anywhere close to that number tonight, the over is going to be a sneaky good play. Take Over as the NBA pick tonight.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2883264, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,93,19,92,238,169], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
NBA Pick: OVER 205
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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