It’s light on the NBA betting front tonight with only two games to choose from, but they’re both very enticing.
First, LeBron and the Lakers head to Philly to meet Joel Embiid and the Sixers. It’s a matchup between the second- and third-leading scorers in the league and two teams that could really use a win to bolster their playoff positioning.
Then, the second seed in the West, Golden State, hosts the upstart Minnesota Timberwolves and its dynamic duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.
Are the road dogs worth backing in these contests? Or should bettors ride the home favorites? Here are our preferred lines for Thursday’s NBA action:
Anthony Davis is back! Well, he’s on the court, but he wasn’t exactly “back” on Tuesday against the Nets. In 25 minutes of action, he put up eight points and two rebounds. His assignments on defense were, at various points, Lamarcus Aldridge and Dayron Sharpe.
Tonight, he’ll have the distinction of guarding Joel Embiid, who is playing arguably the most unstoppable basketball of anyone in the NBA at any point this season. He’s averaging 35 points and 11 rebounds over his last ten games, and it’s hard to imagine this version of Davis (and whatever else the Lakers want to throw at him) slowing the big man down.
Add to that the fact that the Lakers have been overvalued against the spread all season, and you have a recipe for a not very close game in Philly’s favor. LA is just 20-28 ATS this year. It has covered only three of its last eight games. It’s underwater ATS on the season on the road and in games after a straight up win. Right now, the Sixers deserve a little more respect than what’s being offered by oddsmakers tonight. Lay the two points.
This is the second game in 11 days for these two Western Conference teams. On January 16, the T’Wolves trounced Golden State by the score of 119-99 in Minnesota. There’s no reason to expect the rematch in San Francisco to be so lopsided in the Wolves’ direction, but nor is there reason to think Steph Curry and the Dubs will flip the script so strongly in the other direction.
Both teams are playing excellently right now. Minnesota has won eight of its last 11, while Golden State is riding a three-game winning streak, including victories against Utah and Dallas. The Wolves are also great against the spread as road underdogs (10-7), while The Warriors sport a terrific ATS record at home (16-8-2).
This has a close contest written all over it, and that’s reason enough to just take the points with the trending-in-the-right-direction dog. Minnesota is the play.
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