Picks for TNT Doubleheader & Lone Thursday NBA Action

thunder clippers

Troy Haliburton

Thursday, January 4, 2018 5:31 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 5:31 PM GMT

After a jam-packed schedule of 12 games Wednesday, the Association comes back with a pair of national TV “showcase” games Thursday. Read on for a pair of free picks.

Warriors at Rockets

Steph Curry is officially back in the Warriors' lineup, and Wednesday he made his presence known as one of the cornerstone pieces of the franchise when he hit a game-winning three-point shot to beat the Dallas Mavericks. Curry has been magnificent in his two games since returning from an ankle injury, scoring 70 points and shooting 16-for-26 from beyond the arc.

The Warriors continued to win games while Curry was out, but there is no doubt in his place within the hierarchy of the Golden State team. While Durant may be the Warriors' best player, Curry may prove to be the team’s most important.

Houston knows a little something about dealing with superstar player injuries this season. Chris Paul has already missed 15 games and now the Rockets will be without their MVP candidate James Harden for at least the next two weeks due to a hamstring injury. The Rockets had lost five games in a row prior to Wednesday's win in Orlando, where Houston got a boost from a newcomer to the team.

Gerald Green was signed last week to give the team added depth, but ended up being heavily relied on to produce offensively for the Rockets vs. the Magic. Green scored 27 points off the was an offensive catalyst for a team that scored 116 points.

In this particular matchup, the Rockets will be at a severe disadvantage without Harden, but it is not an impossible battle. Rockets center Clint Capela has returned from injury and will certainly give the Warriors fits on the glass. The Warriors are coming into tonight’s game as 5.5-point road favorites on the road but have only amassed an 8-10 ATS mark on the road. Look for Houston to keep the game close and cover.

Free NBA Pick: Rockets +5.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Thunder at Clippers

Oklahoma City is finally getting into a groove as a new team, and a lot of that has to do with its three superstar players finally figuring out how to play with one another. Russell Westbrook is realizing that he has to be the point guard and look to set up others before he seeks out his own shots. Paul George is establishing himself as the most efficient player among the group, and Carmelo Anthony is realizing that for the first time in his career he will have to take a backseat and play an ancillary role on the team. If the Thunder players can get comfortable in their new roles, this team will continue to grow as a unit and it will to continue to lead to winning basketball games.

The Clippers have also had a tumultuous start to their season, but largely due to injuries. Blake Griffin made his early return from a knee injury and has rejuvenated this Clippers team into believing it still has a shot at the Western Conference playoffs. At just 1.5 games back of the eighth seed, the Clippers are right in the mix with a group of underwhelming candidates to make the playoffs out West.

The key to the Clippers' success this season has to be the addition of Lou Williams. He is averaging a career-high 21.6 points per game in his 13th NBA season and has been the most consistent scoring threat for the team, with or without Griffin in the lineup.

The Thunder are coming off of a thrilling win against the Lakers in Staples Center on Wednesday, while the Clippers had the night off. Combine all of that with the fact that the Clippers are 20-15-1 ATS this season, ranking fifth in the NBA in ATS record, and the other team in Los Angeles has a great chance of covering against the Thunder.

Free NBA Pick: Clippers +1.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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