Top Picks For Thursday's NBA Odds Menu

Troy Haliburton

Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:14 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 5:14 PM UTC

Thursday night basketball is getting back into full swing with a national TV slate of games that will surely entertain hoop lovers around the world. Let’s take a look at some of these lines and try and see if we can pick out some winners.

Knicks vs Nets

The Nets are coming off a big win Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards in which they got big games from Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen. The Nets were able to overcome a 23% shooting from three point range to pull of the upset against Washington, and they did it largely with defense. During the season the Nets have the worst ranked defense in the NBA, allowing 110 points per game. Over the last eight games though, the Nets have figured out a way to slow teams down and have played much better on the defensive end. In that span the nets have gone 5-3 and have been able to hold teams to 100.9 points per game. That’s where the team is seeing the benefits of playing rookie center Jarrett Allen more minutes. Allen is a rookie center from the University of Texas and is bringing a certain level of toughness and skill to the Nets big man rotation.

Allen will certainly have his hands full in trying to stop Kristaps Porzingis from doing unicorn things on the court. The Knicks have amassed an 8-2 record when Porzingis scores 30 points or more, so it would certainly behoove the Nets to show Porzingis the proper attention on the defensive end. Porzingis is coming into this game hot, having scored 37 points in a big win against the Lakers on Tuesday night. Look for his dominance to continue.

Free NBA Pick: Knicks +2Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Lakers vs Cavaliers

Cleveland has finally reached the point of the season where they look like the team that is ready to go to their fourth straight trip to the NBA finals. The Cavaliers struggled mightily to start the season, but ever since they moved Dywane Wade to the bench and allowed him to run their second unit, the Cavs have flourished. Separating Wade and Lebron’s minutes has proven to be the smartest decision that Ty Lue could have made as a head coach. It allows Lebron the space to create on offense because Wade is not on the court clogging up the lane and when Wade plays with the bench he has the luxury of one of the best shooters to ever lace up sneakers to play by his side. Kyle Korver is completely dominating games with his shooting stroke and has elevated his game in his second season with the Cavaliers.

The Lakers will be hard pressed to try and stop the well-oiled machine that is the Cavaliers offense. Lonzo Ball is coming into his own as a player, but is still not on the level to stop Lebron James. The Lakers have figured out a way to get Lonzo Ball more active on the offensive end, by allowing him to have the ball in his hands and to create the offense on his own. This style of play actually highlights the strengths in Ball’s game, which are passing the ball and play-making for others. Lonzo has done a fantastic job of making sure to keep Brandon Ingram involved, and getting him the ball in advantageous spots. That’s exactly what happened last week when Lonzo fed Ingram an assist in the final seconds of the Lakers upset win over the Sixers.

The Lakers will continue to imrove, and tonight will be one of those hard lessons that they can use along the way,

Free NBA Pick: Cavaliers -9.5Best Line Offered: at Betonline

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Kings vs Timberwolves

The Timberwolves are coming off of a hard-fought loss to the Sixers on Tuesday in which they squandered a magnificent 38 point performance from Jimmy Butler. The Wolves will have an easy opportunity to bounce back when the 9-18 Sacramento Kings roll into town.

The Kings are having some internal issues of their own this week, after George Hill went public to the media about how he felt that he was lied to this offseason when he signed to the Kings. Hill is alleging that he was promised that the Kings would be interested in competing this season, and so far they definitely look to be in rebuilding mode. Some of that is on Hill because he had to know that it was a risk of the Kings losing this year when he signed his lucrative contract this offseason. If he wanted a sure thing of winning, then he certainly would not have signed up to play in Sacramento.

On the court, the Kings have been playing better in recent memory, and that has to do with Zach Randolph playing out of his mind. Z-Bo scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter of a Kings win against the Suns.

Another Kings player who is playing extremely well recently is Frank Mason. The rookie point guard of Kansas has taken a lot of minutes away from his fellow rookie D’Aaron Fox, and rightfully so. In his last 10 games, Mason is playing 22 minutes per game and scoring 9.8 points while averaging 3.8 assists and 3 rebounds. The undersized point guard is using his talents to get others involved and push the pace of the Kings offense.

The Wolves will have their hands full with Sacramento but should still pull out the victory behind Butler and Andrew Wiggins.

Free NBA Pick: Timberwolves -10Best Line Offered: at Wagerweb

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