Basketball is back. After nearly a week off due to the All-Star game, the Thursday night slate will feature seven games. Oddly, in six of those games, the road team is the favorite, and in four of those games, the away team is -6.5 or higher in the latest NBA odds. We are looking at three of those games for Thursday night where the road team might be superior but the line is just too high, for a variety of reasons.
The Celtics have only lost 2 of their previous 13 games. The Nets have only won 2 of their last 14 games. At one point this season, Brooklyn was atop the Eastern conference standings and Boston was hanging out in the play-in tournament spots, but their fortunes have flipped as the Celtics are now 34-26 and in contention for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, while Brooklyn is 31-28 and would be the 8th seed in the play-in tournament if the playoffs started today.
These teams have faced off twice this season with wildly different results. The Nets went to Boston on November 24 and won 123-104 as a +1.5 underdog. Boston then repaid the favor on February 8, going to Brooklyn and routing the Nets 126-91.
The Celtics have only covered in one of their previous ten games in Brooklyn, but this season the Nets have only covered 3 of their last 20 home games. Brooklyn did manage a pair of wins before the break, over the Kings and Knicks, before losing their most recent game to Washington. This line is just a little too high, so grab the Nets at +6.5.
Both of these teams picked in the top three of the 2021 NBA Draft, but they have gone in wildly different directions since. Cleveland is just 2.5 games out of the top spot in the Eastern conference at 35-23 while Detroit is just one game out of the Eastern conference cellar, having won just 13 games all season.
These teams have played twice this season with Cleveland winning 98-78 in November and Detroit winning 115-105 in January as a +7.5 home underdog.
The Pistons snapped an eight game losing streak in their final game before the break, when they stunned the red-hot Boston Celtics.
Cleveland dropped their final two games before the All-Star break and while they should beat Detroit, this line is a little high.
If you needed one word to describe the Phoenix Suns over the past two seasons it would likely be “stability”, but that will be tested now that Chris Paul may miss the rest of the regular season with a thumb injury. Paul won’t play against a Thunder team that traded him to Phoenix, while the Thunder will be getting their star guard back, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is set to return after missing a month due to an ankle injury.
The Suns have, incredibly, only won one of their last 17 games in Oklahoma City. On the other hand, the Suns have won seven straight overall and 11 of their previous 12 road games.
The Suns are several classes above Oklahoma City in terms of talent, but they are missing their star and this line feels a little inflated at 10.5, while several books are offering 9.5.