The NBA season carries on Thursday night with a modest six-game slate of games for bettors to enjoy. The central matchup to watch is undoubtedly the sole game on NBA TV: Clippers vs. Celtics (7:30 p.m. ET).
Along with a pick in that game, we’ve got another best bet for Thursday. Read on for our expert picks and predictions for tonight’s games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Los Angeles Clippers vs. Boston Celtics||7:30 p.m. ET|
|New York Knicks vs. San Antonio Spurs||8 p.m. ET|
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Boston Celtics
|Pick||Clippers +7 | ML|
|Tipoff||7:30 p.m. ET|
Joe Dellera: The Clippers take on the Celtics today and have a relatively clean bill of health which has been a bit of a rarity this season.
This team has been dramatically different with both Kawhi and Paul George on the floor. When both play, this team’s defense, which was already strong, becomes transcendent. In the 561 possessions they have shared the floor, the Clippers’ allow just 100.5 points per 100 possessions (99th percentile), and they have an overall point differential of +15.5, per Cleaning the Glass.
This far outpaces the Celtics’ duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. When they share the floor, the Celtics’ offense has been incredible, but in about three times the sample size, they are +5.6 points per 100 possessions. There has been some more of the variance played out, but I think the combo of Paul George and Kawhi is a touch better than Tatum and Brown.
This Clippers’ defense should be able to hold down the Celtics’ offense as they did on December 12th and Boston scored just 88 points across 90 possessions. While Boston may improve from 3 point range (they shot 23.5% from 3), even if we applied their season long average of 38.1% to their prior matchup, the Clippers still would have won 109-100.
At +7, we are seeing a spread over two possessions, and I’ll be grabbing those points and sprinkling the moneyline.
New York Knicks vs. San Antonio Spurs
|Tipoff||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Matt Moore: The market clearly agrees with this as the line is up three points in some spots overnight from the open of 223.
The Knicks have been a good road team this season and have gone over on their team total on the road in nine of 17. The Knicks are the third best team this season vs. teams who are bottom-10 in both offense and defensive rating at Cleaning The Glass, averaging a 126 Offensive Rating.
The Knicks, meanwhile, are only 19th in transition defense, and the Spurs are actually 12th. It’s the one thing the Spurs do well. San Antonio is eighth in fastbreak points per game when at home.