The Association offers a limited betting slate for Thursday, but there's a winner in every game, right? After careful consideration, here's our offering of NBA Plays of the Day for Thursday.
Bucks -4 vs. Magic
Coach Kidd's Milwaukee team, one of the most pleasant surprises in the league so far this season, gets a chance at a road victory when it visits Orlando Thursday night.
The Bucks went 15-67 last season, began this season with a new head coach, lost their top draft pick for the season to injury and still have battled to a game over .500 at 23-22. If the playoffs started today Milwaukee would be the six seed in the East. And playing with such low expectations the Bucks have been one of the best bets in the league, going 30-15 ATS so far. However, there's always the chance the lines will begin catching up to this upstart outfit.
Milwaukee just won at Miami Tuesday night 109-102, coming back from a 10-point second-half deficit, winning straight-up as a two-point dog. Orlando, meanwhile, has lost six games in a row, most recently falling at Memphis Monday night 103-94. The Magic held on for the cover as 12-point underdogs, but that was the first spread they'd covered in six games. Orlando has also allowed at least 101 points in each of its last ten games.
The Bucks are 19-6 ATS on the road this season, while the Magic are just 7-13 ATS at home.
Orlando took the first meeting between these teams this season, but that came back in mid-November; Milwaukee is a much more confident team now. The Magic have beaten the Bucks 17 times in a row at home, but that streak should come to an end tonight. This is a game Milwaukee should win, if it thinks it's a good team. We think they are, and we like them to win and cover NBA odds tonight.
Free NBA Pick: Milwaukee -4 at 5Dimes
Nuggets vs. Grizzlies -11
Memphis, with the third best record in the league, is a double-digit favorite at home against Denver. The Grizzlies have won four in a row and eight of their last nine after dumping Dallas Tuesday night 109-90. Memphis shot 53 percent from the field, and won outright as a six-point underdog. If the playoffs started today the Grizz would be the two seed in the West.
Denver just snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 93-85 victory at New Orleans Wednesday night. But during that losing streak the Nuggets lost a tough game at Dallas, a tough game against San Antonio, by one point to Boston, in overtime against Washington and by four points at the Clippers. So Denver has been playing in a little tough luck as of late.
Just before that losing streak the Nuggets had pulled to within two games of .500 with a five-game winning streak. That included a 114-85 victory over Memphis, although Zach Randolph missed that game for the Grizz. The Grizzlies might be shorthanded tonight, because guards Mike Conley (wrist) and Tony Allen (ankle), who have both missed recent action, are both questionable for this game.
Denver is only 9-12 ATS on the road this season, but Memphis, while 19-5 SU at home, is only 11-11 ATS, which tells us the oddsmakers may be overrating the Grizzlies a notch or two when they play on their home court.
The Nuggets have been playing some decent ball as of late, and playing on the road they're probably getting an extra bucket or two on the betting line. Memphis may very well win this game, but we like the dog and the points in this spot as our NBA pick.
Free NBA Pick: Denver +11 at BetOnline