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NBA Basketball Betting – Four Of The NBA’s Best Square Off On Thursday Night

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/6/2014 2:49:38 AM

If you take a look at online betting odds to win the NBA title, you will find these four teams near the top of the list of favorites: Boston, San Antonio, Dallas, and the defending champions from Los Angeles, in no particular order. The NBA on TNT will return on Thursday night after March Madness took over for a couple of weeks, and it returns with an explosive doubleheader as the Celtics head to San Antonio in a meeting of two beaten-up squads, while the Mavericks take on the Lakers in the nightcap. 

Celtics Spurs Betting – Thursday, 8:00 PM ET

The Celtics could actually end up being the NBA betting favorites in this matchup, as they’re 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in their last five trips to San Antonio. But neither team has been playing well as of late as the Celtics have been missing an inside presence without the traded Kendrick Perkins, while Shaquille and Jermaine O’Neal are still on the sidelines. Rajon Rondo played 40 minutes with a bad finger in a loss to Indiana on Monday, although he wasn’t the reason they lost. The reason they lost is their front line is pitiful and Roy Hibbert dropped 26 points on them.

The Spurs aren’t in much better shape, as they’ve lost four in a row after a loss to Portland on Monday with Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Antonio McDyess all in street clothes. Parker and McDyess should be back in the lineup on Thursday, but there is no timetable for Duncan and Ginobili. Simply put, if the Spurs have injuries like this, they’re not going to be a factor in the race for the NBA title because you’re not going to win with a frontcourt of Richard Jefferson, Matt Bonner and Tiago Splitter. Even a McDyess return would give a solid 20 minutes, because DeJuan Blair seems to have hit a wall.

The Celtics should get the edge in this contest as they still have Paul Pierce and Ray Allen on the perimeter, and the Spurs don’t have the players up front to take advantage of Boston in the post. If Duncan were playing, this may be a different story.

Betting Edge: Boston Celtics

Mavericks Lakers Betting – Thursday, 10:30 PM ET

The Lakers should be the NBA betting favorites at the Staples Center, but even though they’re 7-3 SU in their last 10 at home against the Mavericks, they’re also 4-6 ATS. Unlike the Spurs and Celtics, these two teams are coming into this showdown with a head of steam as the Lakers have won seven in a row and nine of their last 10 overall, while the Mavericks had won four straight games ahead of a Wednesday night meeting with the Clippers, which is also at the Staples Center. Playing the night before shouldn’t be too big of a problem for the Mavericks as they’re 13-4 SU in the second half of back-to-back games, while the Lakers have been off since a win over New Orleans on Sunday.

A lot of Los Angeles’ fortunes have been tied to Andrew Bynum, and he has averaged 12.2 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks during the month of March, and when he is on his game the Lakers are probably the favorites to win their third straight title. Where he is at his best is on the offensive glass, where Bynum is averaging 3.2 boards, and that gives an already explosive offensive team second chances to score more points. The Mavericks going to have to use Tyson Chandler and Brandon Haywood to keep him off the boards, while Dirk Nowitzki battles with Pau Gasol, and Shawn Marion has to deal with Lamar Odom off the bench.

Kobe Bryant has averaged 18.5 points on 42.1% in two games against the Mavericks this season, but he could be ready to break out after three straight games of 30 points or more, including 42 in a triple-overtime win over Phoenix, and he’s averaged 29.8 points in his last five games. It could be a big game for the Los Angeles star, and we think Bryant will be the difference in a win for the Lakers in your sports betting picks.

Betting Edge: Los Angeles Lakers

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