For the second Thursday in a row the NBA schedule is just four games and the nightcap of the TNT doubleheader features the horrible Golden State Warriors at home in what looks like a huge mismatch.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Last week, the Dubs were drubbed 116-86 in that slot by the Los Angeles Lakers even though LeBron James sat out for Los Angeles. This Thursday at 10:30pm ET the Warriors host the Toronto Raptors in an NBA Finals rematch. The last time the Dinos visited Golden State was Game 6 of the 2019 Finals, but at Oracle Arena in Oakland – the Warriors now play at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Toronto won that game 114-110 to clinch its first-ever NBA title. It would be the last game that Kawhi Leonard would play for the Raptors as he left in free agency. Warriors All-Star guard Klay Thompson tore his ACL in it, which will sideline him all this season. The Raptors probably will miss Oracle as they were 4-0 there last season including the playoffs. Toronto is -10.5 this time and 6-1 ATS in its past seven games against Western Conference opponents.
The TNT opener at 8pm ET features the Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets – those two and the Denver Nuggets are all battling for the No. 2 seed in the West behind the Lakers. It’s vital to avoid finishing fourth because that would mean a second-round date with the Lakers, while the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds would avoid LeBron until the West Finals.
Houston would own a potentially big tiebreaker with the Clippers with the victory because the Rockets already lead the season series 2-1. NBA scoring leader James Harden is averaging 37.3 points against Los Angeles and Russell Westbrook 26.3. Kawhi Leonard is averaging 25.0 points and 9.0 rebounds against Houston. The Rockets are 1.5-point favorites and have won seven of the past 10 at home in the series.
The Philadelphia 76ers continue to be a horrible road team/bet and are 0-2 on their four-game West Coast trip. They bring a nine-game away losing streak into Sacramento at 10pm ET. Philadelphia will again be without injured All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and thus the Kings are -5. Sacramento lost the first meeting 97-91 on November 27 but has covered the past five in the series.