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2015 NBA Betting – Picks For Games On Thursday, April 9

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/8/2015 9:33:57 PM

The two games on Thursday night in the NBA are very different sorts of situations. One is a game hugely needed by the home team. The other is a game the home team doesn’t really need at all.

Game 1: Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat – Thursday, April 9

In past years, this would have been a game in which the Miami Heat would have been torn between the desire to win and the need to rest for the playoffs. This year, Miami is scrambling, trying to get one of the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, and very likely the eighth spot since the Brooklyn Nets are taking charge in the race for the seventh spot. If the Heat can’t make the playoffs, it will mark a very rare event in the NBA: a four-time defending conference champion will fail to make the playoffs. The Heat just did beat the Charlotte Hornets to stay alive in the playoff hunt. A loss would have put them in huge trouble with only five games left in the season. Now, though, Miami has to win this game as well, and Chicago is going to be a tough opponent. Even when the Heat were winning Eastern Conference championships, the Bulls didn’t make it easy for them, and that’s without Derrick Rose.

Speaking of Derrick Rose, Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau has expressed optimism that Rose will be able to play in this game. He had already stated that Rose was going to play around 20 minutes the previous night. It’s true that Chicago playing a back-to-back (with this game against Miami being the back end) could limit the Bulls’ effectiveness, but Chicago is not in an incentive-free position here. The Bulls are not yet assured of any playoff seeding. They could still conceivably fall to fifth place if they wilt at the end of the season. They at least want to hang onto fourth place, and they could solidify their current position of third place in the East. Chicago’s defense, combined with the fact that Miami’s Dwyane Wade is less than 100 percent, should give the Bulls a boost here.

NBA Betting Pick: Chicago

Game 2: Portland Trail Blazers @ Golden State Warriors – Thursday, April 9

When the Golden State Warriors went through a slump just after the All-Star break, many people wondered if this team was losing its edge. Then, however, the Warriors went on a 12-game winning streak to silence doubts about their level of toughness and consistency. Now, it seems that the Warriors are coasting to the end of the regular season, since they have virtually assured themselves of home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs. Golden State leads Atlanta in that race by 4.5 games with only four games left; the Hawks have five games left. Basically, any single Golden State win or any single Atlanta loss over the next week clinches home-court for the Warriors. They are basically already home. They do not need to push themselves, suggesting that Portland might have a shot in this game. However, Golden State has just lost two games in a row, and the Warriors are 35-2 this season. You wouldn’t expect the Warriors to drop three games in a row. Take Golden State, then.

NBA Betting Pick: Golden State

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