Tipico Sportsbook Tips: 2/18/21 Thursday NBA Slate
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Everyone loves betting on NBA basketball, but many love it even more when the games are on national TV. The NBA only has three games on the schedule for Thursday, but two of them are back-to-back on TNT with some of the top teams in the league facing off. Here is a look at the numbers that are standing out for each matchup.
Toronto Raptors @ Milwaukee Bucks (Bucks -5.5, 234.5 total)
This is a rematch of the game played Tuesday night, also in Milwaukee. The Raptors were 6-point underdogs in that game and won 124-113. The Raptors came off a 4-2 road trip and lost a home game to the Timberwolves before bouncing back Tuesday. They catch a Milwaukee team in a deep tailspin at the moment with four straight losses. The Bucks defense allows 113 points per game on the season. Over these last four losses, they have given up an average of 123, 10 points more than average. The Bucks point differential on the season is down more than 2 points because of this dip in production last week. They had the second-highest point differential in the league at 9.9, but now they dropped to third at 7.7 behind the Lakers and the red-hot Jazz. Milwaukee is normally dominant at home with a 9-3 record on the season and a point differential of +13. The numbers point to the Bucks being the team that should win today, as evidenced by the fact they are favored by a robust -5.5 points. I am not going to try and catch a falling knife though. I would rather take a solid, scrappy Raptors team getting +5.5 points until I see the Bucks figure things out.
Brooklyn Nets @ Los Angeles Lakers (Lakers -2.5, 232.5 total)
This is your classic matchup of the unstoppable force against the immovable object. The Nets offense is the most efficient in the league, averaging 120 points per 100 possessions. The Lakers defense is also the most efficient in the NBA, allowing just 106 points per 100 possessions. That should be a fun chess match to watch, but it will probably not be the thing that decides the outcome. What decides the winner is likely what happens on the other side of the ball. Both teams are minus a major piece here, as Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis are both out for this game. Davis is more of a force on the offensive end of the floor, and the Nets defense has been better with KD. Both the Lakers offense and Nets defensive ratings need to be adjusted without those superstars active. The Lakers offense is far superior to the Brooklyn defense. LA ranks 11th with 113.9 points per 100 possessions when they have the ball. Brooklyn has the fifth-most points per 100 possessions allowed on the season. This will be the key to the game. The Nets will still find ways to score, even against a stingy Lakers defense. The problem is the Nets will be unable to stop the Lakers, even without Davis. Add in the home-court advantage on top of that and the Lakers look like the much better option to take for the nightcap game on TNT.
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