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Expert handicapper Dan Canova gives you the best picks for both of tonight's NBA games

PICK OF THE DAY: (2u) Pelicans -2 @ -105

Oklahoma City Thunder @ New Orleans Pelicans, 8:00 PM:

  •  The New Orleans Pelicans have a 31-22 against the spread record after a win when playing as a home team since the 2017-18 NBA season. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we’re backing the Pelicans.

The New Orleans Pelicans enter this matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night riding a three-game winning streak.

After victories over the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers, the Portland Trail Blazers came to town on Tuesday night, and the Pelicans didn’t disappoint. Rookie sensation Zion Williamson finished with a team-high 31 points and nine rebounds, six of which that came on the offensive end of the floor, for the Pelicans in an impressive 138-117 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.

The Pelicans found themselves in a 31-15 deficit early in the first half, but Williamson and company chipped away at the Blazers’ lead, which ultimately led to a comeback win. Williamson had 17 points in the first half and ended up nailing a free throw right before the end of the second quarter to cut Portland’s lead to 65-63 at the midway point of the game.

JJ Redick added 20 points, and Josh Hart contributed 17 points for the Pelicans.

New Orleans won despite missing All-Star Brandon Ingram, who missed his second straight game because of an ankle injury. The Pelicans have won 17 of their last 26 basketball games, and they only trail the Memphis Grizzlies by 4.5 games, who hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the loaded West.

Look for the Pelicans to head into the All-Star break on a high. Take New Orleans minus the 2 points at home in this pivotal Western Conference matchup.

(1u) Clippers +1.5 @ -105

Los Angeles Clippers @ Boston Celtics, 8:00 PM:

  •  Since the 2012-13 NBA season, the Los Angeles Clippers have a 73-57 against the spread record after a loss when playing as an away team. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we’re backing the Clippers.

Both the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics will look to rebound off losses in their head-to-head matchup on Thursday night at the TD Garden in Boston.

The Celtics travelled to Houston to take on the Rockets, and despite a solid performance from Gordon Hayward, who finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists, Boston couldn’t overcome 42 points from James Harden and a 36-point performance from Russell Westbrook as the Rockets cruised to a 116-105 win.

Jayson Tatum added 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals for the Celtics in the loss.

The Clippers, on the other hand, will look to bounce back after a tough road loss to the Sixers in Philadelphia. Kawhi Leonard finished with 30 points, nine assists and four rebounds, and Paul George had a solid game with 11 points, 12 boards and five assists, but the 76ers were powered by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, who finished with 26 points each in a 110-103 Sixers win.

This game between the Clippers and Celtics should be a competitive game, but I’m rolling with the road team. I believe George will have a better game, and Leonard and company will continue doing their thing. Roll with the Clippers plus the points here.

Article Author

Expert handicapper known for his deep knowledge of all things NBA and his ability to pick winners.


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