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Previewing Both Matchups From Thursdays Thin NBA Schedule

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/12/2014 8:43:11 PM

All-Star Weekend is approaching, and the first half of the NBA season is coming to a close. Wednesday saw a rise in action as 26 NBA teams will be taking the court, but Thursday is another story as just four teams are in action before the All-Star festivities begin on Friday evening. Sports bettors should take this break in action to evaluate teams mid-season, and predict where they will finish the year as we have now seen enough basketball to know how good each team really is.

Brooklyn Nets @ Chicago Bulls
Thursday February 13, 2014 – 8 PM ET
Odds: Bulls -4.5

The Chicago Bulls continue to lose players, yet they continue to win games. Heading into this matchup the Bulls will be looking to extend their two game winning streak, but it will be hard as Carlos Boozer is still day-to-day with a calf injury and the team is playing just eight guys per game. They do hold a key advantage however as the Brooklyn Nets are still without center Brook Lopez, meaning Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson will play key roles in deciding whether or not the Bulls emerge victorious. Shaun Livingston is the Nets’ x-factor, but because he’s totaled just 14 points in his last three games his minutes may begin to disappear. Now that he’s beginning to see more playing time Mason Plumlee has been able to put in some impressive performances, but he remains inconsistent when on the court and will be going up against Noah on Thursday night. Although shorthanded, the Bulls have risen to the occasion multiple times, and should be able to do it again come Thursday night.

Pick: Bulls

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Lakers
Thursday February 13, 2014 – 10:30 PM ET
Odds: Thunder -9.5

The only reason the Oklahoma City Thunder continue to win without Russell Westbrook is because of how dominant Kevin Durant has been on the offensive side of the ball. Durant has been the games high-scorer in every Thunder game this month, and as long as Westbrook is out that will likely be the trend. In his last ten games Durant is averaging a league leading 32 points per game along with seven rebounds and seven assists. He’s been forced to become more of an all-around threat because of the Westbrook injury, and it will not only help the Thunder win now, but even more so when the playoffs roll around. The Los Angeles Lakers don’t have a defensive player good enough to contain Durant, meaning this will likely be a high scoring game in which it would be smart to look at the over/under point total. The spread in this game is a huge factor, and with the Thunder routinely winning games in single digits I am going with the Lakers as my sports betting pick.

Pick: Lakers

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