Portland Trail Blazers 1.52, Washington Wizards 2.55 – BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 02.05 GMT
There’s a sense of urgency for the Portland Trail Blazers to recapture some of the sparkle they showed earlier in the NBA season. With seven of their next 12 games against sub-.500 opponents, there is still a chance to end up with homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
One of their games against teams with winning records arrives on Thursday when they host the Washington Wizards but although the Blazers are 20-4 against the East this term, the likely absence of LaMarcus Aldridge throws uncertainty into the mix.
Although a healthy 6-2 without their All Star this season, Portland has lost five of their last seven games and required overtime to see off the league’s whipping boys Milwaukee earlier this week. Even with Damian Lillard averaging 25.6 points over his last five outings, his team’s offense is not quite the machine it was.
It can still trouble Washington who notch 100.6 per game on the road while giving up 100.4, and come off an overtime reverse in Sacramento on the opening stop on their four-game swing out West.
Yet the Wizards have a dream run-in to the end of the regular season with Portland the last elite team they will face outside D.C., following by six trips to struggling sides.
And with Aldridge out, they look good value on the handicap of +4.5 at 1.90 or maybe even for the win at 2.55.
Cleveland Cavaliers 4.90 Oklahoma City Thunder 1.18 - BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 23.05 GMT
The rotation system of the Oklahoma City Thunder will likely keep Russell Westbrook on the sidelines for Thursday’s visit to the Cleveland Cavaliers, with one eye on Friday’s clash with Toronto.
Resting the playmaker is an ideal tactical move, given that the Cavs are set to be without both Kyrie Irving and Luol Deng. As the campaign winds down, expect more such moves as coaches look for recuperation or, instead, a shot in the arm for the draft odds.
Here, it should lead to another boost for Kevin Durant’s march to the scoring title with the MVP favourite already putting up 31.8 per night. But it’s worth going under the total points line of 103.5 as both coaches mend and make do.
Best bet: Take Washington to lead Portland at half-time at 2.33