NBA

NBA Best Bets for Thursday

NBA Best Bets Thur

Today’s NBA slate of action includes 12 games. Right now, the Nuggets are the largest favorite of the day as -15 point favorites over the Wizards. On the other end, the closest point spread belongs to a matchup between the Knicks and 76ers, with the 76ers coming in as -1 point favorites. Out of today’s games, 11 of the 12 games have the home team as the favorite.

Best Bets

Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls

Celtics: -7.5 | Over/Under: 225.5

In this Eastern conference matchup, the Celtics are favored by 7.5 points on the road against the Bulls. The game will get started at 8:00 ET at Chicago’s United Center.

According to the BAKER predictive model, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are both expected to score 20 points or more against the Bulls today. Tatum is projected to lead the Celtics with 26 points, while Brown is predicted to finish with 23. When playing at home this season, DeMar DeRozan has averaged 21.9 points on 47.2% shooting. The model has him hitting 47.1% and scoring 23 points today against the Celtics.

According to our BAKER game projections, the Celtics are predicted to finish with a field goal percentage of 48.3% and go 37/65 on their two-point field goal attempts. We also have the Celtics finishing with 10 steals compared to the Bulls with 7. On the other side, the Bulls are expected to shoot 48.0% from the field and go 36/75. They are also projected to go 14/18 from the free-throw line.

Celtics Injury Report

  • Jaden Springer (Questionable) Ankle

Bulls Injury Report

  • Zach LaVine (Out) Ankle
  • Lonzo Ball (Out) Knee
  • Torrey Craig (Out) Knee
  • Patrick Williams (Out) Foot

BAKER Prediction: Celtics 152 – Bulls 95


Charlotte Hornets vs. Utah Jazz

Jazz: -10 | Over/Under: 230.5

The Jazz head into today’s matchup with a record of 26-30 and have played three straight games at home. The Hornets are 13-41 this season and are 10-point underdogs. The game can be watched on KJZZ.

Miles Bridges, who is averaging 21.5 points per game, is projected to score 21 points against the Jazz. The BAKER model also has Brandon Miller finishing with 15 points. On the other side, Lauri Markkanen is averaging 23.4 points and is projected to finish with 25 points. He has a season-long field goal percentage of 49.1% and a true shooting percentage of 64.0%.

The BAKER prediction model has the Hornets finishing with 10 made threes on a 35.7% shooting clip. They are also projected to go 12/16 from the free-throw line. As for the Jazz, we have them outrebounding the Hornets 52 to 36 and finishing with a field goal percentage of 46.3%.

Hornets Injury Report

  • LaMelo Ball (Out) Ankle
  • Mark Williams (Out) Back

Jazz Injury Report

  • Otto Porter Jr. (Out) Not With Team

BAKER Prediction: Jazz 136 – Hornets 85


Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

Warriors: -6 | Over/Under: 243

The Warriors will be looking to secure a win against the Warriors in a matchup between Pacific Division rivals. The Warriors are currently favored by 6. This game is set to start at 10:00 ET and can be watched on TNT.

The Lakers’ Anthony Davis is averaging 24.9 points per game and is expected to lead the team with 24 points today. He has a field goal percentage of 52.9%. On the Warriors’ side, Stephen Curry is averaging 28 points per game and is projected to finish with 28 points today. He has a field goal percentage of 46.2% and a true shooting percentage of 63.6%.

In terms of shooting, our BAKER model has the Lakers at 47.0% from the field and 11/31 from beyond the arc. As for the Warriors, they are projected to finish with 17 made threes on a shooting percentage of 38.6%. In terms of assists, they are expected to finish with 30 against the Lakers.

Lakers Injury Report

  • Anthony Davis (Probable) Achilles/Hip
  • LeBron James (Out) Ankle
  • Christian Wood (Out) Knee
  • Jarred Vanderbilt (Out) Foot
  • Gabe Vincent (Out) Knee
  • Cam Reddish (Questionable) Ankle
  • Max Christie (Questionable) Ankle

Warriors Injury Report

  • Chris Paul (Out) Hand
  • Gary Payton II (Questionable) Illness

BAKER Prediction: Warriors 137 – Lakers 108


Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder: -2 | Over/Under: 236.5

The Clippers are set to face off with the Thunder at Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, with the Thunder coming in as 2 point favorites. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 8:00 ET.

The Clippers’ top scorer, Kawhi Leonard, is projected to lead the team with 24 points on a 52.9% shooting rate, according to our BAKER model. On the other side, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 31.1 points this season and is predicted to finish with 31 points against the Clippers. Gilgeous-Alexander’s field goal percentage for the year stands at 54.6%, while his true shooting percentage is 64.7%.

According to the BAKER engine, the Clippers are expected to shoot 49.0% from the field compared to the Thunder’s three-point percentage of 38.9%. The Clippers are projected to hit 23 free throws on 28 attempts compared to the Thunder’s 33 assists.

Clippers Injury Report

None

Thunder Injury Report

NoneBAKER Prediction: Thunder 146 – Clippers 132


Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks: -2.5 | Over/Under: 244.5

In their last three games, the Mavericks have played at home and have a record of 32-23. The Suns are 2.5 point underdogs and have a record of 33-22. This game can be seen on TNT.

Kevin Durant is putting up 28.2 points per game for the Suns and is projected to lead the team with 27 points on 50.0% shooting. Luka Doncic is expected to finish with 32 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists. Kyrie Irving is projected to finish second on the team with 25 points, which is slightly below his season average of 25.5 points per contest.

When comparing some of the projected defensive numbers for the Suns and Mavericks, the BAKER model has the Suns finishing with 24 free throws made on 30 attempts. Their overall field goal percentage for the game is projected to be 48.6. On the other side, the Mavericks’ BAKER model has them finishing with 8 blocks and 9 steals. Their projected field goal percentage for the game is 49.2%.

Suns Injury Report

  • Bradley Beal (Questionable) Hamstring
  • Damion Lee (Out) Knee

Mavericks Injury Report

  • Dante Exum (Out) Knee
  • Maxi Kleber (Probable) Nose
  • Luka Doncic (Probable) Nose
  • Dereck Lively II (Probable) Nose

BAKER Prediction: Mavericks 157 – Suns 145


Washington Wizards vs. Denver Nuggets

Nuggets: -15 | Over/Under: 231

This non-conference matchup between the Wizards and Nuggets is set for 9:00 ET in Denver. The Nuggets come into the game at 36-19 and are favored by 15. The Wizards are 9-45.

In today’s matchup against the Nuggets, the BAKER model is projecting Kyle Kuzma to finish with 24 points. This season, he is averaging 21.8 PPG. The model also has Jordan Poole finishing with 17 points. On the Nuggets side, Nikola Jokic is expected to finish with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. Jamal Murray is projected to finish second on the team with 22 points. He is averaging 20.5 PPG for the season.

In terms of shooting, the Wizards are expected to go 13/38 from three-point range and end the game with an overall field goal percentage of 44.8%. As for the Nuggets, they are projected to make 17 free throws and hit 12 shots from long range while shooting 36.4% from three.

Wizards Injury Report

  • Isaiah Livers (Out) Hip

Nuggets Injury Report

  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Probable) Hamstring
  • Jamal Murray (Probable) Leg
  • Vlatko Cancar (Out) Knee
  • Julian Strawther (Probable) Ankle
  • Hunter Tyson (Out) Finger

BAKER Prediction: Nuggets 121 – Wizards 114


San Antonio Spurs vs. Sacramento Kings

Kings: -9.5 | Over/Under: 241

The Spurs are entering this game with a 11-44 record and are playing their 6th consecutive game on the road. On the other side, the Kings are favored by 9.5 and have a record of 31-23 and are 8th in the Western Conference. The game is set to start at 10:00 ET and will be broadcast on NBCS.

Devin Vassell is averaging 18.9 points per game this season. He is projected to score 19 points against the Kings. Victor Wembanyama is also projected to score 18 points. On the other side, De’Aaron Fox is projected to finish with 25 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Domantas Sabonis is also expected to score 20 points, which is slightly below his season average of 20.1 PPG.

On the defensive end, the BAKER model has the Spurs finishing with 7 steals and 46 rebounds. The BAKER model also has the Spurs shooting 44.9% from the field. The Kings, on the other hand, are expected to go 45/94 from the field for 47.9%. They are expected to take 24 free-throws and make 18.

Spurs Injury Report

  • Marcus Morris Sr. (Out) Not With Team
  • Charles Bassey (Out) Left Knee

Kings Injury Report

  • Domantas Sabonis (Doubtful) Illness
  • Sasha Vezenkov (Out) Ankle

BAKER Prediction: Kings 122 – Spurs 118


Bold Bets

Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors

Raptors: -2 | Over/Under: 231.5

In an Atlantic Division matchup, the Raptors will be looking to pick up a win against the Raptors. The Raptors are favored by 2 heading into the game. This matchup is set to start at 7:00 ET and will be televised on TSN.

Mikal Bridges is projected to lead the Nets in scoring today with 21 points. He is averaging 20.5 points on the road this season compared to his season average of 21.7. Scottie Barnes is averaging 20.1 points per game and is projected to finish with 19 points today. He has a field goal percentage of 47.3% and a true shooting percentage of 56.7%.

The BAKER model has the Nets hitting 47.6% of their field goal attempts, with a 54.0% success rate on two-point shots and a 38.5% clip from three. The Raptors are expected to shoot 34.3% from three and hit 53.4% of their two-point attempts against the Nets.

Nets Injury Report

  • Dariq Whitehead (Out) Shin

Raptors Injury Report

NoneBAKER Prediction: Nets 130 – Raptors 117


Bets To Avoid

Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers

Pacers: -11.5 | Over/Under: 247.5

Today’s matchup features the 8-46 Pistons, who are playing their 6th straight game on the road, against the 31-25 Pacers, who are 6th in the Eastern Conference and are favored by 11.5. The game will be on BSIN and is set to start at 7:00 ET.

In today’s game, the Pistons’ leading scorer is projected to be Cade Cunningham. He is averaging 21.9 points per game on 44.4% shooting. The Pacers’ top scorer, Tyrese Haliburton, is averaging 21.8 points per contest. He has a season field goal percentage of 49.2% and a true shooting percentage of 62.6%.

According to the BAKER prediction model, the Pistons are expected to shoot 36.1% from three and make 13 threes. They are also projected to go 16/22 from the free-throw line. On the other side, the Pacers are projected to make 12 threes and shoot 36.4% from deep. They are also expected to make 19 free throws.

Pistons Injury Report

  • Isaiah Stewart (Questionable) Ankle
  • Cade Cunningham (Probable) Injury Management
  • Quentin Grimes (Doubtful) Knee

Pacers Injury Report

  • Jalen Smith (Questionable) Back
  • Aaron Nesmith (Out) Ankle

BAKER Prediction: Pacers 126 – Pistons 113


Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Pelicans: -7 | Over/Under: 228

The Pelicans are favored by 7 as they get set to take on the Pelicans in a Southwest Division matchup. This game will tip off at 8:00 ET and can be watched on BSNO.

The top two scorers in today’s Rockets-Pelicans matchup are expected to be Alperen Sengün and Brandon Ingram. Sengün is averaging 21.2 points per game and is expected to finish with 19 points on 57.1% shooting. As for the Pelicans, Ingram is projected to lead the team with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Zion Williamson is second on the team in scoring at 22.4 points per game and is projected to finish with 21 points.

In terms of defense, the Rockets are anticipated to end this game with 9 steals and a total of 48 rebounds. The BAKER model has them finishing with an overall field goal percentage of 45.5%. The BAKER model also has the Pelicans taking 28 free-throw attempts and making 21. From the field, they are expected to go 49/100 for 49.0%.

Rockets Injury Report

  • Steven Adams (Out) Knee
  • Reggie Bullock (Questionable) Lower Back
  • Tari Eason (Out) Leg

Pelicans Injury Report

  • Cody Zeller (Questionable) Knee
  • Brandon Ingram (Questionable) Illness
  • Dyson Daniels (Out) Knee

BAKER Prediction: Pelicans 133 – Rockets 125


Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavaliers: -6.5 | Over/Under: 215.5

At 7:00 ET, two teams from the Eastern Conference will face off at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. The Cavaliers are favored by 6.5 points over the Magic.

The Magic’s Paolo Banchero is expected to lead the team with 22 points on 47.1% shooting. He’s averaging 23 points per game. The Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell is projected to finish with 28 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Darius Garland is expected to finish second on the team with 19 points, compared to his season average of 18.2 points per game.

According to the BAKER model, the Magic are expected to shoot 47.4% from the field. This includes hitting 55.2% of their two-point attempts and 35.9% from three. On the defensive end, the BAKER model has the Cavaliers finishing with 6 blocks and 9 steals. The BAKER model also has the Cavaliers shooting 48.1% from the field.

Magic Injury Report

  • Markelle Fultz (Out) Injury Management

Cavaliers Injury Report

  • Tristan Thompson (Out) Suspension
  • Donovan Mitchell (Questionable) Illness
  • Ty Jerome (Out) Ankle

BAKER Prediction: Cavaliers 133 – Magic 126


Other Bets For 2/22/2024

New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers

76ers: -1 | Over/Under: 226

The Knicks are 33-22 and will be playing their third consecutive road game. The 76ers are favored by 1 and are 32-22 and are 5th in the Eastern Conference. The game will be televised on NBCS and is set to start at 7:00 ET.

In today’s game against the 76ers, Jalen Brunson is projected to score 27 points. This season, he is averaging 27.6 PPG. The BAKER model also has Donte DiVincenzo finishing with 18 points. At home, Tyrese Maxey is averaging 24.5 points on 44.9% shooting. Today, we have him shooting 44.4% and scoring 24 points vs. the Knicks.

The BAKER engine has the Knicks going 16/20 at the free-throw line. In terms of field goal percentage, they are projected to shoot 46.9%. As for the 76ers, they are expected to hit 15 free throws on 19 attempts. Their field goal percentage is expected to be 47 on 41/86 shooting.

Knicks Injury Report

  • Bojan Bogdanovic (Probable) Calf
  • Julius Randle (Out) Shoulder
  • OG Anunoby (Out) Elbow
  • Isaiah Hartenstein (Probable) Achilles
  • Mitchell Robinson (Out) Ankle

76ers Injury Report

  • Nicolas Batum (Questionable) Hamstring
  • Joel Embiid (Out) Knee
  • Robert Covington (Out) Knee
  • De’Anthony Melton (Out) Back

BAKER Prediction: 76ers 110 – Knicks 105


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