Our Staff's Best NBA Bets for Thursday

The Action Network's NBA betting experts break down their best bets for Thursday, March 2, including picks for Clippers vs. Warriors.

Thursday night features just four NBA games, but our NBA betting experts have a pair of best bets ready for the late game on TNT when the Los Angeles Clippers face the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco. Joe Dellera has a player prop ready for the game while Chris Baker has an angle on the spread. Find their picks and analysis below.

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NBA Odds & Picks

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Clippers vs. Warriors Player Prop 10 p.m. ET
Clippers vs. Warriors Spread 10 p.m. ET

Clippers vs. Warriors Player Prop

Pick Kawhi Leonard Over 3.5 assists
Book FanDuel
Tipoff 10 p.m. ET

Joe Dellera: The Clippers take on the Warriors in what is a Pace-Up spot for them against the Golden State Warriors. This means more possessions and more opportunities on offense.

While the acquisition of Russell Westbrook has not necessarily translated to on-court success for the Clippers during those minutes, it has meant playing faster and a significant uptick in Pace. In the three games with Westbrook, the Clippers are playing at a Pace of 104.3 – which would be nearly two possessions faster than the Warriors, the fastest team in the league. Compared to the Clippers’ full-season mark of 98.55, it’s like they are sprinting holding R2 the entire game.

Kawhi Leonard is one player who should greatly benefit from this uptick in Pace. His assists line is set at 3.5, and he’s exceeded that in 8/10 games and 65% on the season. Plus, even though Westbrook has pushed the Pace, he has not negatively affected Kawhi’s potential or actual assists.

The Klaw should have plenty of opportunities to rack up assists tonight.

Pick: Kawhi Leonard Over 3.5 Assists

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Clippers vs. Warriors Spread

Pick Clippers -2.5
Book FanDuel
Tipoff 10 p.m. ET

Chris Baker: The Warriors have been surviving without Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins over this past week, but they haven’t played the strongest competition. The Timberwolves, Rockets and Trail Blazers all rank among the bottom eight in the NBA in Net Rating. The Warriors also needed improbable second-half comebacks in their two most recent wins over the Wolves and Blazers. This team has overachieved over these past three games but they match up less favorably against the Clippers.

The Warriors played the Clippers prior to the All-Star Break on February 14th. In that game, the Warriors had a 62.3% Effective Field Goal percentage (85th percentile) and still got blown out. The Clippers were dominant as they posted an Offensive Rating of 143.3 (99th percentile). Golden State just doesn’t match up well with this team given that they are completely devoid of long wing defenders without Wiggins.

Right now, their wing defender rotation is essentially Donte Divincenzo, Klay Thompson, Jonathan Kuminga and Anthony Lamb. None of these guys are capable of matching up with the wing trio of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Norman Powell. The Clippers should continue to have their way on offense while I could see the Warriors regressing offensively.

This line is deflated due to a disappointing Clippers loss to the Timberwolves on Tuesday ,but think about just how different that Wolves team is from the Warriors. The Wolves start three players with wingspans longer than seven feet and Anthony Edwards, who has a 6’9” wingspan. That is an ideal starting lineup when facing this wing-heavy Clippers team, and it showed as the Clippers shot just 60% at the rim and 32.4% from midrange.

The Warriors just don’t have the ability to put the same defensive length and pressure on the floor, so I expect the Clippers to dominate on the offensive end tonight. Trust the Clippers to come out with urgency and climb to fifth in the Western Conference standings.

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