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Thunder, Kings Among Best Bets For Thursday’s NBA Slate

Posted by on 12/10/2015 1:42:44 AM

The Oklahoma City Thunder have quietly won six of their last eight games and while nobody is talking about the teams in the shadow of the undefeated Golden State Warriors it is worth mentioning the group of teams right behind Dub City and the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference standings. The Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies are separated by no more than 1.5 games from third to sixth and with those four teams competing for home advantage in the opening round of the playoffs it will remain a driving storyline this season including on Thursday when two of those teams are in action. Here is a look at the best bets on the board for Thursday’s NBA schedule.

Philadelphia 76ers @ Brooklyn Nets

Thursday, 7:30 PM ET

There won’t be many people that tune in when the 76ers visit the Barclays Center in the first game on the schedule for Thursday night but the opportunity to make a little money will be there with the Nets in a desperate situation. Brooklyn is only four games up on Philadelphia for the worst record in the Eastern Conference and unlike the 76ers the Nets aren’t trying to be bad. Brooklyn should find a way to take care of business at home on Thursday and the good news for their fans is even if they stumble the 76ers should find a way to lose the way they have all season.

Pick: Brooklyn

Los Angeles Clippers @ Chicago Bulls

Thursday, 8:00 PM ET

Thursday night’s matchup between the Clippers and Bulls will feature the first meeting between Chris Paul and Derrick Rose in nearly four years but Paul is nursing a rib injury that has limited his production while Rose certainly isn’t the same player he was four years ago. Both players have done enough to help their respective teams maintain good position in their respective conferences but only one can win when they clash on Thursday night. The Bulls are a much better team at home than on the road and they have won each of their three games against San Antonio, Cleveland and Oklahoma City so look for them to step up again and find a way to beat the Clippers at home.

Pick: Chicago

Atlanta Hawks @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Thursday, 8:00 PM ET

Russell Westbrook has been absolutely dominant at times this season and with a healthy Kevin Durant back in the lineup as well the Thunder look like a legitimate contender in the Western Conference. However, Oklahoma City won’t catch Golden State for the top seed and they would certainly benefit from a greater sense of urgency if they are going to have any shot at beating out the Spurs for the second seed. The Hawks are a well balanced team that has talent throughout its lineup and while they should keep this game close it’s on Oklahoma City to take care of business at home.

Pick: Oklahoma City

New York Knicks @ Sacramento Kings

Thursday, 10:30 PM ET

Kristaps Porzingis is a big reason why the Knicks are relevant again this season and they have posted a .500 record on the road so it’s important not to completely overlook them in this matchup with Sacramento, especially when you consider how terrible the Kings have been defensively this season. Rudy Gay and company can put up some decent point totals when they heat up but they have been far too streaky behind DeMarcus Cousins and while they might not be a lock the way the Nets and Thunder will be look for the Knicks to be a sneaky upset play on Thursday night in Sacramento.

Pick: New York


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