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NBA Picks – Rundown For Thursday April 8th

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/12/2010 11:33:12 AM

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Chicago Bulls

The Cleveland Cavaliers have clinched home court advantage throughout the playoffs, which makes an interesting online betting dynamic to Thursday’s game with the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls are in ninth-place in the Eastern Conference and a win could inch them closer to the eighth-place Toronto Raptors, who are just one game ahead.

It’s an interesting situation when you have this type of a matchup. If the Cavaliers rest their players and help the Bulls into the playoffs, the two teams would square off in the first round. As we have seen in the past – such as in the NFL when the Cincinnati Bengals laid down for the New York Jets in Week 17 and then lost to them in the first round of the playoffs – sometimes it is best to put away a team when you have the chance.

The Cavaliers are the far superior team in this matchup but motivation will be a big key. The Bulls season will be on the line while the Cavs will just be looking to keep momentum as they move towards the playoffs.

Look for the Bulls to find a way to squeak this one out. They have lost two of three to Cleveland this season but they’ll even the season series.

Pick: Chicago

Los Angeles Clippers @ Sacramento Kings

The Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings are two of the more irrelevant teams in the NBA, so their matchup on Thursday will only be of consequence to the sportsbook and the NBA Draft.

It’s hard to believe that the Kings are in fact worse than the Clippers. At one point in the season, the Kings were 14-16. Unfortunately for them, they have won only 10 games since that point and lost 38.

The Clippers haven’t been much better and overall, have lost five straight. This game is a sports betting nightmare as its unclear what type of motivation either team will have and its unclear who really cares about winning.

The Kings have lost eight straight, but will be at home in this matchup. The Clippers are 8-32 on the road, so that should count for something. The Kings are at least a somewhat reasonable 17-21 on their home court, which should be the main difference on Thursday.

Pick: Kings

Los Angeles Lakers @ Denver Nuggets

The Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets met up in the Western Conference Finals in 2009 but the chances of that happening again are growing slim.

Don’t blame the Lakers; NBA betting handicappers know they are atop the Western Conference and will have home court advantage throughout the West playoffs.

Rather it’s the Denver Nuggets who are slipping and sliding their way down the standings.

The Nugges are 50-27 but they have been a bit of a wreck lately. After sitting in second place in the West throughout most of the season, they have slipped to fifth and are in danger of not even having home court advantage in the first round.

The Nuggets are just 3-5 in their last eight games and with head coach George Karl sidelined along with some locker room turmoil with Kenyon Martin – thanks to an April Fools popcorn prank – the Nuggets are coming apart at the seams a little bit.

Regardless, expect them to get a big win on Thursday as they simply need it. With the Lakers in town, they are in need of a big spark to gain some momentum before the playoffs. If they want to go as far as they did last year, they’ll need a win like this to get their focus back.

Pick: Nuggets

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