NBA betting: Best value bets for Thursday night
Chris Sheridan previews Thursday night's NBA action, including Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors' trip to Dallas to face the Mavericks.
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Today is the 60th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points, the record that many believe will never fall. But few know that Steph Curry actually went out last season and tried to break that record, which is not the Wilt record that will stand forever.
Chamberlain averaged more than 48 minutes per game during the 1961-62 season (he averaged 48.6) because he played every minute of every game, including overtime, with the exception of eight minutes and 33 seconds of a matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers in which he was ejected for his second technical foul.
We mention this because Curry is back in action tonight on the road against Dallas in a game that will not be televised by TNT, unless there is reason for them to cut in. And with the NBA now in its dog days as everyone looks ahead to the playoffs, the challenge for every coach of a contending team is to make things interesting so that their squads do not do what the Denver Nuggets did last night: Lose a game that they absolutely should have won.
The Nuggets’ starters missed 24 of 25 3-point attempts in a 119-107 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in which they were favored by 14. If you had the money line on this one, you are rolling in cash today. So congrats.
Will there be something similar happening tonight? Well, the crystal ball in New York says probably not, and the guy to go with tonight is Curry.
60 years ago today, Wilt Chamberlain did this to the Knicks— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 2, 2022
100 PTS (NBA record)
59 PTS in 1 half (NBA record)
36/63 FG (NBA records)
28 FT (NBA record)
During that week, he played 4 games in 5 nights & scored 67, 65, 61 & 100. He also had 78 & 73 earlier in the season. pic.twitter.com/PHmsIW4vIe
Curry tried to break Wilt’s record last season in Cleveland when the arena in Ohio was vacant except for the two teams. Curry missed his first eight shots that night, and the record of 100 points continued to stand, which it will likely do for a lot longer. But if there is anyone who can break it, Curry is likely the guy.
Steph has been slumping by his standards for the better part of three months, but he showed in the All-Star Game that he is still more than capable of doing something special and unprecedented, making 16 3-pointers. Tonight he goes up against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks with his team favored by 2 points, and his over/under has been set at an easily reachable 24.5 despite him coming off a 34-point outing in Golden State’s previous game at Minnesota on Tuesday. This is his fourth and final game against the Mavs, a team that has held him to 27, 18 and 14 this season. A year ago, Curry had 57 points in his final visit to Dallas, so keep that in mind tonight. The tout here is the over 24.5 (-115).
What else? Let’s have at it:
Chicago (- 1.5) at Atlanta: DeMar DeRozan’ MVP odds have dropped to +1200, but that looks like a bad bet unless Joel Embiid, now a -120 favorite, gets injured again. The Bulls are locked in a battle with the Miami Heat for first place in the East, while the Hawks are just one game in front of Washington for the final play-in spot. If not for the hapless Knicks, we would be retiring the Underachiever Award in honor of Nate McMillan’s squad. The Bulls are 3-0 vs. the Hawks with victory margins of 12, 14 and 4, with DeRozan going 15-for-21 in their most recent meeting a week ago. The Bulls have lost two in a row but should get back on track. Give the points (-110) despite the line dropping from 4.5 early today.
Memphis (+2.5) at Boston: Hard to find a team that is capturing the nation’s imagination more than the Grizzlies, who have been road favorites 13 times and have covered in 10 of those games. With Jaylen Brown out with a sprained right ankle, the Celtics are down one key component. Marcus Smart will get the assignment on Ja Morant, and since he is one of the league’s best defenders we counsel staying away from Morant’s point total over/under. The play here is taking the Grizz and points (-110).
Miami (-2.5) at Brooklyn: The Nets are a train wreck in their own right, having lost their last home game by 36 against Toronto as part of a stretch of six losses in their last seven home games. The difference tonight is that Kevin Durant is expected back from a left knee injury. That is a game-changer for Brooklyn, now just one game over .500 and sitting in eighth place in the East. What has happened to Brooklyn since Jan. 15 when Durant went down has no bearing on this game. What we can look at closely is how Miami has fared against the Nets, and we know that Bam Adebayo has performed well as the Heat has gone 2-0. But his numbers are too close to wager on, so the tout is giving the points (-110) because Durant needs more alongside him than he will have tonight.
Detroit (+8.5) at Toronto: Every now and then the Pistons do what the Thunder did last night, defeat a heavily favored opponent. It has happened three times in their last five games in victories over the Celtics, Hornets and Cavs. Detroit is 2-0 against the Raptors this season, and these things happen in threes, as the expression goes. But rather than try for the +280 money line, the safer play is taking the points (-110) as the game will be played before only the second full house of the season in Ontario now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted.
Golden State (-1.5) at Dallas: Aside from the over on Curry’s point total, in order to ascertain what the play is here we need to look at what happened when these two teams met just five days ago. Luka Doncic had 34 points and Spencer Dinwiddie added 24, and with Doncic’s point total set at 30.5 and Dinwiddie not on the board, there is nothing there. On the over under of 219, Dallas is just 2-7-0 on over/unders as a home underdog, and Golden State is just 6-11-0 as a road favorite. So the second play is under 219 points (-110).
Sacramento (+6.5) at San Antonio: Two teams going nowhere this season (unless the Lakers continue to lose) still have triple-double threats in Dejounte Murray and Domantas Sabonis. Murray’s triple-double prop line is +335 and Sabonis’ is +425 (take Murray if you choose one of the two. He has not had one in two prior games vs. Sacto and is due, but keep it off your parlay card). The Spurs are 10-3-0 on over/unders as a home favorite, so the way to go here is over the behemothian line of 241 (-115).
L.A. Lakers (+ 2.5) at L.A. Clippers: LeBron James is questionable, Ivica Zubac is not. And since Zubac has been putting up strong lines for the past two games (22 points and 12 rebounds and 14 points and 15 rebounds in a back-to-back against the Rockets), the play here is Zubac going over 9.5 boards (+105). With James' status up in the air, the best bet here is to sit back, root for Zubac and enjoy the game as your parlay hits.