Handicapping the NBA: Thursday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Alex Barutha

Timberwolves +4 (-110) at Grizzlies – PointsBet (1:00 PM CT)

I think we have to start fading the Grizzlies at this point. They've won 10 straight, and while I believe they are a good team, they aren't quite this good. This number is tight enough to assume that everyone else will be taking Grizzlies -4, which makes me think the sportsbooks know something we don't or are banking on a loss sooner than later, trying to catch everyone riding the wave on this seemingly low number. It's a bit contrarian, but the Wolves have been playing well, too, and they play good enough defense to slow down the Grizz.

Nick Whalen

Denver Nuggets -11.0 (-110) vs. Portland Trail Blazers – DraftKings Sportsbook, 1:30 PM CT

This is simply a major bet against the banged-up Blazers, who were dealt another blow when Anfernee Simons (personal) was ruled out of his game along with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. That means we're probably looking at a starting backcourt of Dennis Smith Jr. and Ben McLemore. Portland is already the worst defense in the league over the last 10 games, and while those three guards aren't exactly Gary Payton clones, the Blazers simply don't have the personnel available to change that anytime soon.

Milwaukee Bucks -1.5 (-105) vs. Golden State Warriors – DraftKings Sportsbook, 1:30 PM CT

This is a really interesting showdown between two good teams that don't really have much to prove in the regular season but would still very much like to get a win tonight. Milwaukee dropped two straight to Charlotte, while Golden State lost in Memphis on Tuesday night. Both teams are missing a key piece – Draymond Green and Jrue Holiday – but I like the Bucks to use their depth to band together and get a home victory. Stephen Curry has quietly struggled for the last month-plus, shooting just 39.1 percent from the field over his last 22 games. Even dating back to the early days of the Giannis era, the Bucks always seem to play the Warriors well – especially at home.

Kirien Sprecher

Golden State @ Milwaukee OVER 223.5 (-110) – DraftKings Sportsbook 1:30 PM

Draymond Green (thigh) and Jrue Holiday (ankle) are both out for this one, so it appears like the offenses will thrive as each team is without a core piece of their defense. However, neither offense has been spectacular of late. The Warriors have scored 100-plus points just once over their last four games and have just one win during that span. On the other side, the Bucks are coming off back-to-back losses to the Hornets and averaged just 102.5 points during those matchups. Both squads need to bounce back, and I anticipate them to lean on their offenses to make that happen. I expect both teams' stars to show out during the primetime showdown, but this will likely still come down to the wire. A closely contested game should result in some late free throws that'll hopefully put this one just over the 223.5 total. I also like Klay Thompson OVER 18.5 Pts, Reb & Ast and Khris Middleton OVER 33.5 Pts, Reb & Ast.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's NBA Assistant Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, DraftKings Live and other platforms. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.
Kirien Sprecher
Kirien Sprecher is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate who dreams of being a beat reporter in the MLB.
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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