Just four days remain in the 2021-22 NBA regular season as teams continue to jockey for position in the middle of both conferences’ playoff races. In the final TNT Thursday of the regular season, the Celtics and Bucks own the early spot, while the Lakers and Warriors own the late one.
Let’s take a closer look at three games I’m keyed in on.
1. Magic +13.5 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
The Hornets are picking a bad time to get cold. Coming off consecutive performances of allowing 144 points, the Hornets will look to get it together and quick tonight at home as they cling to the final spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.
In their way is the Orlando Magic, who are rank dead last in the East and have nothing more than spoiler to play for the past few months. But that they have, as they knocked off the Cavaliers as 8-point dogs on Sunday on the back of Mo Bamba and his 21 points. Look for a similar effort for a young magic team playing for their jobs next season.
2. Bucks -6 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Two days removed from knocking off one playoff team (Chicago) on the road, the Bucks will look to knock off another. This one is a Celtics team with whom they are tied in the #2 spot in the East. The win vs. the Bulls was a much-needed one for a Bucks team that had dropped two straight to watch their chances at the #1 seed evaporate.
For the Celtics, winners of three straight and seven of 10 (8-2 ATS), tonight will mark their third game in five nights and second of a back to back. Covering six straight against this Bucks team, I expect some regression from the Celtics and for them to fade late as the Bucks pull away in the 4th.
3. Warriors -12.5 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Things are in a bizarrely lousy place for this Lakers team to end the season, with the future more uncertain than ever. With LeBron done for the season and the Lakers officially out of the playoff conversation, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook are listed as questionable and likely don’t see the court tonight.
On the other hand, the Warriors are Steph Curry away from a fully healthy roster for the first time in years, as they come into tonight winners of two straight. Having covered their past three straight, I like for the same result tonight from a Warriors team amping up for what they believe will be a deep postseason run.
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