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NBA Best Bets Tonight: Odds, Picks and Predictions for Thursday, February 2nd

Memphis Grizzlies vs Cleveland Cavaliers Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NBA Betting Lines 1/2

Moneyline: Memphis Grizzlies +160, Cleveland Cavaliers -190
Spread: Memphis Grizzlies +4.5, Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5
Total: Over/Under (226.5) points

Grizzlies vs Cavaliers Prediction and Pick

The Memphis Grizzlies, following a defeat against the Portland Trail Blazers, will play the Cleveland Cavaliers away on Thursday night. Poor shooting in the fourth quarter led to a 22-38 deficit and a crucial loss for the Grizzlies at home. This loss marks the sixth in their last seven games and they must quickly halt the downward trend.

Being without center Steven Adams has clearly had an impact on the Grizzlies around the basket. Adams leads the team averaging 11.5 rebounds per game but has now missed the last four with a PCL sprain that will keep him out for several weeks.

Ja Morant shot well, hitting 50 per cent from the floor and clearing 30 points for the first time in his last nine outings, but will now face a Cleveland Cavaliers team that ranks number one in the NBA defensively against opposition backcourts. Cleveland is allowing just 20.2 points per game against shooting guards and 21.1 PPG against point guards, while also giving up the league's third least number of points inside the paint.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are playing strong defense and have been successful at home, winning five out of seven home games in January. They now welcome the Memphis team, whose morale has been affected by recent poor performances.

The advantage in this game leans heavily towards the Cavaliers, who excel in perimeter defense and could potentially limit the scoring output of Ja Morant. The Grizzlies' star player may struggle to drive to the paint and find open shots from beyond the three-point line.

Memphis struggled in the fourth quarter against a Portland team that lost Jusuf Nurkic early in the game and has been ranked in the bottom three defensively over their last ten games. Cleveland is a different story defensively, so I’ll take the Cavs defense to show out and pull away, covering the 4.5-point spread.

The Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5 (-110)

Clippers vs Bucks Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NBA Betting Lines February 2nd

Moneyline: LA Clippers +160, Milwaukee Bucks -190
Spread: LA Clippers +4, Milwaukee Bucks -4
Total: Over/Under (231.5) points

Clippers vs Bucks Prediction and Pick

The East’s No. 2-ranked Milwaukee Bucks will host the LA Clippers on Thursday night with a current seven-game win streak and having won nine of their last ten. That said, the LA Clippers are just as hot, winning six on the bounce and eight of their last ten. This one is sure to be an entertaining game, but who’s going to come away with the win?

The Bucks have scored 135 points or more in three of their last five games but haven’t faced a top-10 opponent in that time, claiming wins against some of the league's poorest teams defensively in Indiana, Detroit, and the Charlotte Hornets.

The Clippers have wins against the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks in recent weeks, but the Bucks will present their toughest test since Paul George’s return against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 18th. The Clippers lost that game but have won all six since with their small forward back in the lineup.

LA now has two superstar shooters back in the starting lineup, with Kawhi Leonard averaging almost 55 per cent from the floor for the month of January, with 27.7 points per game, 6.2 rebounds and four assists. Paul George has then averaged 21.5 points per game in the seven he’s played since making a return, with the Clippers scoring an average 121.7 points per game in those games.

So, what happens when some of the league's best offense meets one of the league's best defenses? The Clippers are ranked fifth in field goal percentage in the last ten games, shooting 50.2 per cent from the floor. They also rank third in three-point percentage (41.3 per cent), but the Bucks are the second-best team in that category, hitting 41.5 per cent of their shots from behind the line, which is not a good matchup for the Clippers.

LA is allowing the league's highest three-point percentage in the last ten games, with opponents hitting 42.6 per cent of their shots from the three. The Bucks boast a roster full of strong three-point shooters, and that might be the edge in this game.

I would be backing the Bucks to win because of their edge from deep, but I expect this one to be close, so I’ll take the Clippers to cover in one of Thursdays most exciting games.

The Pick: LA Clippers +4 (-110)

Pelicans vs Mavericks Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NBA Betting Lines 1/2

Moneyline: New Orleans Pelicans +160, Dallas Mavericks -190
Spread: New Orleans Pelicans +4, Dallas Mavericks -4
Total: Over/Under (225.5) points

Pelicans vs Mavericks Prediction and Pick

The Dallas Mavericks will host the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night after a win against the Pistons in which Luka Doncic scored 53 points. It was the second time this season that Luka has put up 50, shooting 70 per cent from the floor on a 17-24 night for 53 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

While Luka’s big night deserves its props, it did come against the Detroit Pistons. They are nowhere near as strong defensively as the New Orleans Pelicans, their Thursday night opponent.

The Pels are the second-best team in the league this season in perimeter defense, allowing just 34.4 per cent from the three-point line, a number that’s only been topped by the 76ers. They’re a top-six team in forced turnovers and their record certainly doesn’t reflect the effort of their defense.

After starting the season with a 24-14 record, the Pelicans have dropped to 26-26, with a 3-12 record since Zion Williamson went down in early January with a hamstring injury.

Brandon Ingram is unfortunately suffering a shooting slump, having failed to hit more than one three in any of his last five games, and shooting only 29 per cent from the floor in the loss against the Nuggets on Tuesday night.

While I respect the Pelicans defense, I’m not sure their offense is up to the task of holding up against the Mavs for four straight quarters. They will need to quickly find some shooting form, after struggling for an identity offensively since the loss of Zion.

Spencer Dinwiddie has been on one of his finest runs this season for the Mavs, clearing 35 points in two of his last three games. He had a rough night against the Pistons earlier this week but has 11 threes in the previous two games. Dinwiddie might be a very important option from three if the Pelicans primary focus on defense is to take shots away from Luka Doncic.

The Mavs will have to be prepared for a difficult encounter here. Staying away from any Luka Doncic player props would be my advice, with so much defensive focus on him. Dinwiddie’s points total might be a great option instead, and I will back the Mavs to cover on their home court.

The Pick: Dallas Mavericks -4 (-110)