The 2021-22 NBA season is more than 10 games old as teams jockey for position early on and try to avoid injuries that will torpedo their season. While there are many familiar faces at the top and bottom, the middle is still looking for its footing and these November games will help do just that; or otherwise.
Let’s take a look at the Thursday slate and see where we can find the value.
1. Raptors +2 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
A pair of former Eastern Conference contenders will go at it tonight in Philly as the Raptors take on the 76ers as both look to stop losing streaks. For the 76ers, their second straight game Tuesday to the defending champion Bucks, as injuries (and other reasons) continue to catch up with them as Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, and Ben Simmons all remain sidelined.
For the visiting Raptors, three straight losses with no major injuries to blame come with them into this one, as Pascal Siakam has struggled following an offseason shoulder injury and Fred VanVleet has yet to get going as well.
In this one, I like for both to have confidence-building performances against a weakened and young 76ers roster without the depth it once had.
2. Jazz -9 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
The Pacers head to Salt Lake City tonight for the second of a back-to-back and the 4th of a four-game road trip. Wednesday night in Denver they fell 101-98 to a Joker-less Nuggets team, as they allowed Will Barton to drop 30 and looked gassed for much of the night.
The test gets even tougher tonight, as Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are starting to cook for the Jazz, as their team is off to an 8-3 start including 4-0 (3-1 ATS) in front of their home fans. I expect a route tonight as the tired legs of the Pacers might start hot but fade quickly late.
3. Clippers -2.5| -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Paul George and Reggie Jackson continue to lead the charge for a Clippers team still without Kawhi Leonard who has no timetable to return following offseason knee surgery. Following a rocky start, the Clippers have battled back to a record of 7-4 as their leadership and depth have them on track once again to be a contender in the West.
For the visiting Heat, the second game in two nights at the Staples Center is on tap for this evening; though they’ll likely have to do it without star Jimmy Butler who left last night’s loss with the Lakers with an ankle injury. Without Butler, I like for the Heat’s slide to continue and for them to pick up their fourth loss in five games.
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