Two Picks for the Pro Hoops Action on Thursday

NBA picks of the day image

Thursday, March 16, 2017 5:29 PM GMT

All looked well to start our two NBA picks Wednesday and then it all fell apart for us. It’s one of the unfortunate happenings of late-season games. However, we still have four weeks of the regular season left, and I am about to start the rage cashing tonight.

 

NBA Season Picks Record: 135-138-6

Grizzlies vs. Hawks

Philips Arena, Atlanta

7:30 p.m. ET

Tonight we get the pleasure (or displeasure, depending on how you look at it) of watching the Grizzlies and Hawks battle each other. One team’s slow and methodical offense is by design, the other is just disjointed and bad at times.

The Hawks and Grizzlies both rank inside the top eight teams in defensive rating this season, but while the Grizzlies’ defense has been faltering some as of late they seemed to find it in the second half Wednesday against the Bulls. The Hawks, on the other hand, are another team without a lot of shooting and which could be susceptible to some good defense if the Grizzlies have their legs.

Memphis is 5-5 this season in total betting against the five Eastern Conference teams that rank in the bottom 10 of the league in offensive efficiency, which includes the Bulls and Hawks. However, the Grizzlies have been more likely to cash the 'over' on no rest, so this one requires some finesse.

The last time these two teams played they had a very low-scoring first half of 47-35. That was just last week, and that game the Hawks were the ones coming off a back-to-back. I see a very similar outcome and score in the first half of this one.

NBA Free Pick: 'Under' 103 First Half

Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Clippers vs. Nuggets

Pepsi Center, Denver

9 p.m. ET

The Nuggets have been gifted a nice surprise party tonight by the Clippers. Yes, Denver will be without their top two wing players in Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler they reserve Darrell Arthur as well.

Denver is currently in the eighth seed of the West with 15 games to go, and while they don’t have a wide margin the Clippers are pretty firmly in the top four or five in the West standings and they will be sitting out Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in this one simply for rest. Thus the nice surprise for the Nugs.

The Nuggets went from -1 favorites to -4 very quickly with the news, and while I’m leaning towards the Nuggets ATS considering they also might be getting back Kenneth Faried, the better play might be on the total, which has dropped considerably since the news from LA.

This however, might give us an opening. The NBA odds for the total have dropped to 219½. Without Jordan and Griffin, the Clippers’ pace does slow some this season, but without them for the entire game may force them to actually play faster and try to beat the Nuggets at their own game. Playing Wednesday night is probably going to inhibit LA from playing much defense anyway.

The Nuggets do play faster without Galinari and Chandler, with a pace of almost exactly 100 possessions per 48 minutes. If you think about it, the Clippers shouldn’t have much trouble scoring against one of the league’s worst defenses, even missing two of their three best players.

However, Jordan’s absence is the biggest reason here for the 'over.' Jordan’s defense not being there against Nikola Jokic is huge. Without those two Clippers players, he is going to have a triple-double with about 35 points. Consider this and the potential quickening pace as reason to take advantage of the number dropping and bet the 'over.'

NBA Free Pick: 'Over' 219

Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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