Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday afternoon, so the odds on some games could change should a major deal be made ahead of that deadline and the start of the five-game schedule at 7:30 p.m. ET when the Orlando Magic visit the New York Knicks.
It’s possible the Magic make an addition as they are in the Eastern Conference playoffs as things stand despite a losing record. If New York does anything, it’s selling assets for futures as the Knicks are having another lousy season and are bound for the lottery. Orlando has won and covered seven of the past 10 in this series.
Per usual, TNT has the national television doubleheader on Thursday night. The first game is a potential Eastern Conference Finals preview as the Philadelphia 76ers visit the Milwaukee Bucks, who are 9-point betting favorites. Four All-Stars, barring something unforeseen, will be on the court in Philly’s Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
Giannis is the reigning NBA MVP and is somehow even better this season. The Greek Freak is on track to repeat for that award, and the Bucks are on pace to become the third team in NBA history to win at least 70 regular-season games. The Sixers won the only meeting between the teams so far, a 121-109 home upset on Christmas. Philadelphia has dominated at home this year but is terrible on the road, losing its past four away by double digits and covering only one of its previous 10.
The late game on TNT also has four All-Stars (maybe) as the Houston Rockets visit the Los Angeles Lakers. Houston’s James Harden and Russell Westbrook, and Los Angeles’ LeBron James and Anthony Davis all were selected for the February 16 game in Chicago. Harden, Westbrook and LeBron all have won at least one MVP Award and scoring title in their career. Harden is all but a lock to win a third straight scoring title as he’s lapping the field. Not a sure thing Westbrook plays, though, as he’s dealing with a thumb injury, which will affect the line.
It’s just the second meeting this year between the teams with the Lakers winning 124-115 in Houston on December 18. Davis was out injured, while LeBron had 31 points, 12 assists and five rebounds. Harden and Westbrook combined for 69 points but also combined for a minus-17 rating. No other starter had more than nine points. Los Angeles is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings.