We’ve got three games coming up on Thursday’s NBA betting calendar. Which three NBA betting lines should you be jumping on?
Jason’s record on his final NBA picks for 2013, up to December 3 inclusive:
The fine folks at Turner Network Television probably had this day circled on their calendar. But the way things have gone in the Eastern Conference this year, their latest TNT doubleheader looks more like a B-movie double feature. The millions (and millions~!) of people watching at home are about be treated to an NBA twinbill of Escape from New York and Diminished Capacity. Let’s see if the basketball lines can rescue our evening.
It’s the tragic story of two basketball teams gone wrong. The Knicks (3-13 SU, 4-12 ATS) have lost nine games in a row at 1-8 ATS; they’re missing center Tyson Chandler (20.1 PER) to a broken leg, and have fallen all the way to No. 27 in the league in defensive efficiency as a result. The Nets (5-13 SU, 6-12 ATS) have lost eight of 10 at 3-7 ATS, and are without a slew of players, including Deron Williams (12.9 PER) and Paul Pierce (12.0 PER).
Given the choice between dysentery and bubonic plague, I’ll take dysentery every time. The Nets have at least gotten promising results from Mason Plumlee (17.4 PER) and Shaun Livingston (13.6 PER). The Knicks, according to Carmelo Anthony (21.5 PER), are “the laughingstock of the league right now.” Hey, no snitching.
NBA Pick: Take the Nets PK (–103) at Marathon
If you have access to either Fox Sports West or TSOH, you might want to switch over and watch some professional-level basketball. As we go to press, the Clippers (12-6 SU, 10-8 ATS) have won four of their last five at 3-2 ATS to take over first place in the Pacific Division. The Grizzlies (9-8 SU, 6-10-1 ATS) have hit a speed bump, though, losing center Marc Gasol (20.4 PER) until at least the All-Star break.
Zach Randolph (17.1 PER) is also day-to-day thanks to an ingrown toenail, although he expects to play Thursday. This is a very bad situation for the Grizz, who are just 2-7 ATS at home this year and recently lost to – gulp – the Nets. The overnight basketball odds from Vegas have opened very tentatively with this matchup, calling it a pick ‘em. That should suit the Clippers just fine, provided they’ve come out of Wednesday’s game with the Hawks intact.
NBA Pick: Take the Clippers PK
Miami vs. Chicago (9:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
I’ve already made the Heat (14-4 SU, 9-9 ATS) my pick in this game at –4 (–103), and it’s a fairly solid pick IMHO, given the way the Bulls (7-9 SU, 6-10 ATS) have fallen apart without Derrick Rose. But I feel even more strongly about taking the UNDER in this matchup. Both teams have players who are either absent or coming to work hurt, and you’re looking at two of the best defenses in the league – Chicago is No. 3 in defensive efficiency (97.3 points allowed per 100 possessions), and Miami is No. 6 (98.3).
The Bulls also happen to be one of the slowest teams in the league at No. 26 in pace (94.7 possessions per game), and they could grind to a halt after having to go into triple-overtime on Monday against the New Orleans Pelicans. Chicago is practically invisible at point guard behind Kirk Hinrich (10.5 PER), who played 53 minutes in that contest. I don’t expect Miami (No. 14 in pace at 97.0 possessions per game) to push the tempo much with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade both feeling sore. Let the molasses flow.
NBA Pick: Take UNDER 189 at William Hill