Thursdays don’t usually bring a ton of action in the NBA, but this one will be different with six games on the schedule. However, all but one of the games has a spread of at least eight points, which can make things a little tricky. Keeping that in mind, here are some wagers that stand out as potentially profitable opportunities.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS AT ORLANDO MAGIC
CAVALIERS (+8)The Magic are only two games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but with the way they are playing right now, they are going to need some help to get in. They’ve lost six of their last 10 games, which included defeats at the hands of the Bulls, Knicks, Grizzlies, Wizards and these same Cavaliers. In fact, the Cavaliers beat them by 14 points in Cleveland. The Magic weren’t missing any of their key players in that game, making the loss even more embarrassing. They have a better chance of righting the ship with this game being in Orlando, where the Magic are 18-16. However, they are just 6-9-1 against the spread as home favorites and for how poorly the Cavaliers have played, they are 16-16-1 against the spread on the road. Even if the Magic pull off the win, I think the Cavaliers keep it fairly close, so take them and the points.
LEBRON JAMES: 7.5 REBOUNDS
OVER (-148)James is in the rare position where he likely won’t make the playoffs this season. The Lakers haven’t officially been eliminated, but they enter the night seven games behind the eighth seed in the West. James has experienced a slight decline in playing time over his last three games, but that didn’t stop him from averaging nine rebounds during that stretch. He’s grabbed at least eight boards in four of his last five games, overall, and should continue to get plenty of rebounding opportunities based on the Lakers uninspiring centers.
Related Bet: Kawhi Leonard – 27.5 PointsUNDER (-125)
The Raptors have been involved in some lopsided affairs lately with six of their last eight games being decided by at least 12 points. Leonard sat out a few of those contests and scored 26 points or fewer in three of the four blowouts that he did play in. If the Raptors race out to an early lead, it’s going to be hard for him to the hit over if he spends significant time on the bench in the second half.
AARON GORDON: 7.5 REBOUNDS
OVER (+110)While the Cavaliers will get Kevin Love back Thursday, they are still missing one of their best rebounders with Tristan Thompson (foot) ruled out. Things could be even worse for them up front if Larry Nance Jr. (ribs), who is listed as questionable, is also unable to take the floor. Gordon has pulled down at least eight rebounds in five of his last seven games, one off which was against the Cavaliers. With these odds, taking the over could be a risk that pays off.
DONOVAN MITCHELL: 25.5 POINTS
OVER (-110)This is a juicy matchup for Utah’s offense. The Timberwolves have crumbled defensively down the stretch, allowing an average of 121.2 points across their last 15 games. They are going to have their hands full with Mitchell, who has the fourth-highest usage rate (32 percent) in the league. Mitchell has not only averaged 26.3 points across three previous meetings with the Timberwolves this season, but he’s also averaging 29.5 points across his last 10 games, overall.
Related Bet: Rudy Gobert – 15.5 PointsOVER (-115)
Sticking with Utah’s offense brings us to Gobert. This should be one of the more fun center matchups to watch with him facing Karl-Anthony Towns, who missed only one game after suffering what some feared was a significant knee injury. Towns is far and away the better offensive player of the two, but he’s also not a good defender. That’s helped enable Gobert to average 19 points across their three previous meetings this season. Even though there is some blowout potential here, I also like Gobert to hit the over in points scored.
PARLAY OF THE DAY
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER AT INDIANA PACERS: UNDER 218.5; JAYSON TATUM: UNDER 16.5 POINTS – (+251)After a brief rough patch, the Thunder have won three of their last four games. That included key wins on the road against the Jazz and Blazers. However, they haven’t exactly had a ton of high-scoring matchups, leaving them to hit the under in eight of their last 10 games. They don’t exactly have a great chance of hitting the over against the Pacers, who have hit the under in four straight games. Three of those lines were set at 218 points or fewer. The Pacers play at the sixth-slowest pace (98.6 possessions per game) and allow the fewest points per game (103.9) in the league, so I’ll take my chances with the under.
Tatum (shoulder) was a full participant in practice Wednesday after sitting out Monday’s game against the Clippers. Look for him to return to the floor versus the Kings, which is certainly a favorable matchup considering they allow the fifth-most points per game (114.8). When these two teams met last week, Tatum thrived with 24 points in 33 minutes. So, why exactly am I advising to take the under? Well, it’s important to note that Kyrie Irving didn’t play in that game. That helped keep things close while providing added shots for Tatum. The Kings are a bad team on the road and Irving is set to play in their rematch, so this contest has far more blowout potential. Tatum has scored 14 points or fewer in six of his last eight games, so I’ll take the under for the second leg of this parlay.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.