The Bet: Raptors +2 (-110, FanDuel)
The Raptors will face an incredibly depleted 76ers team on Thursday night. Joel Embiid is missing due to COVID-19 protocols, and Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, and Matisse Thybulle are all questionable. The Raptors don’t have any significant injuries ahead of Thursday’s game.
The Raptors have played far better on the road than at home this season, going 2-5 in Canada and 4-1 on the road. Toronto had a recent stretch where they won at Indiana, New York, and Washington then lost at home to Cleveland and Brooklyn. The Raptors have covered in five of their last six road games.
The Sixers have won all six games they’ve played as a favorite this season but are 2-4 outright as an underdog.
The 76ers just don’t have any firepower left without their missing players. This is basically a placeholder line that will increase in Toronto’s direction when the specific absences are announced.
The Bet: Pacers +9.5 (-110, Sugar House)
This line opened at Utah -8.5 but is already -9 in most places. All three of Utah’s losses this season have actually come against Eastern conference teams, as they’ve lost, as favorites, to the Bulls, Heat, and Magic. Utah did beat Atlanta 110-98 on Tuesday as a -8.5 favorite.
Utah has won three games in a row against Indiana, including a 119-111 win in April as a -10 home favorite last year and a 103-95 victory as a -5 road favorite in February.
The Jazz have not been an underdog once this season and are 8-3 outright as a favorite. The Pacers are 1-6 on the road this season, though they have covered in three of those games.
Indiana has actually played very well against Western conference opponents this season, beating the Spurs and Kings and losing to the Nuggets by 3 points and Blazers by 4. This line is just too high, the Pacers are the pick here.
The Bet: Clippers -2.5 (-110, Caesar)
The Clippers opened as a -1 favorite but are already -2.5, likely because Jimmy Butler is questionable for Thursday’s game after sustaining an ankle injury,
The Clippers have defeated the Heat five straight times, with Miami last beat L.A. in december 2018. Last season, Los Angeles won 109-105 in Miami in January as a +2 underdog and then won 125-118 at home in February as a +6.5 underdog.
The Clippers are 6-2 outright as a favorite this season versus just 0-2 as an underdog. Miami is 3-0 outright as an underdog this season, upsetting Utah, Memphis, and Brooklyn.
The Heat are playing a back-to-back at Staples Center after losing to the Lakers by 3 points as a -5.5 favorite on Wednesday, while the Clippers had the night off. The Clippers will be much fresher and significantly healthier, plus the line points to Jimmy Butler not playing, so the Clippers are the play here.