The Bet: Knicks +1.5 (-110, Draftkings)
No team in the NBA is hotter than the Bulls. Chicago is now 4-0, covering in all four games, with wins over the Pistons, Pelicans, the Pistons a second time, and then the Raptors, winning the four games by a combined 40 points.
The Knicks are not far behind Chicago at 3-1, though their lone loss did come at home to arguably the worst team in the NBA, the Orlando Magic.
The Knicks have won six of their last eight games against the Bulls and have covered in all six wins. This will be the first time all season that the Knicks are an underdog. Their closest spread before this game was -1 against the 76ers, and the Knicks won 112-99.
With the possible exception of Toronto, none of Chicago’s four opponents are likely playoff teams and this will be the best team the Bulls have played so far. Zach LaVine did injure his thumb on Monday but even if he plays on Thursday the play is the Knicks.
The Bet: Utah -9 (-105, DraftKings)
Utah has run roughshod through a terrible team (the Thunder), a mediocre team (the Kings), a very good team (the Nuggets) and now their reward is another Western conference bottom sweller, in the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets do have one win this season over the aforementioned Thunder but their other three losses are by double digits. The Rockets will look to snap a three game losing streak against Utah. Last year the Rockets were double-digit underdogs against the Jazz twice and covered both times, beating a +19 spread with a 114-99 loss and covering a +16 line with a 124-116 loss.
The difference this time is how low the line is. Houston lost by more than 9 to Boston, Dallas, and Minnesota, so it’s fair to ask Utah to win by double digits.
The Bet: Hawks -2 (-110, DraftKings)
Both teams in this game will be playing back-to-back as the Hawks will first visit New Orleans on Wednesday night where they are a -5.5 favorite, while Washington is in Boston where they are +4 underdogs.
Atlanta swept the season series from the Wizards last season, winning the lone matchup in Washington 116-100 as -3.5 favorites. Washington will likely be missing several key players such as Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant while the Hawks could be down Danilo Galinari or Lou Williams.
Atlanta has already blown out two teams this season, the Mavericks and Pistons, while their lone loss was to the Cavs. Washington beat Toronto and Indiana before losing to Brooklyn. Ultimately, the Wizards will have a brutal time dealing with Atlanta’s excellent front line of Clint Capela and John Collins and that’s the difference in what could be a slow paced game.
The Bet: Warriors -5.5 (DraftKings, -110)
Memphis and Golden State fought for a spot in the playoffs in May during the play-in tournament final with the Grizzlies emerging victorious, 117-112 in Golden State. The Grizzlies were +4.5 underdogs in that game.
Golden State will try to get some measure of revenge on Thursday night as they look to open the season 5-0. This line might be pushed up a point or two higher because Memphis is playing a back-to-back, the Grizzlies will first visit Portland on Wednesday night before flying to the Bay Area.
Memphis split a back-to-back last week, though both games were in the same arena, as the games were against the Clippers and Lakers. The Grizzlies entered Wednesday 2-1, having beaten the Cavs and Clippers before giving the Lakers their first win.
The Warriors have been the better team in the early going and are fresher, this number also seems to be too low, so this is the best bet of the night.