NBA Betting, DFS Angles for Every Thursday Game: Cavs-Raptors, Spurs-Lakers, More

NBA Betting, DFS Angles for Every Thursday Game: Cavs-Raptors, Spurs-Lakers, More

The NBA decided to take a page out of the NFL’s book and send some teams across the pond to play in London. If the NBA was truly copying the NFL, they would have had the Suns face the Bulls.

Instead, the fans in England will get to watch two teams that are actually good, exposing foreign fans to several of the most exciting young players from the league we know and love. Smart guy, that Adam Silver is.

Along with the matinee affair between the Celtics and 76ers, we have a couple of nationally televised games on TNT and a fourth game that should be … uh … exhilarating. For the players’ parents, that is. — Mark Gallant

If there’s a specific matchup you want to jump to, click the quick links below. All info is as of Thursday afternoon. For live spreads and bet percentages, check out this page. Follow the latest injury info on our industry-leading news feed. To get access to our premium betting tools, subscribe here.




3:00 p.m. ET | NBATV | In London

The No. 1 thing I’m watching for: Tatum vs. Simmons. It’s an easy headline, but really, this is a fascinating matchup between two forwards who do extremely different things and are both battling for Rookie of the Year. Simmons got out to a healthy lead, but along with Donovan Mitchell, Tatum is making a push as the rookie with the biggest role on a contender. Instead of slowing down, Tatum has continued to be lights out. I’m hoping these two face each other a bit one-on-one to get a sense of how they match up, maybe even as a playoff preview. — Matt Moore

Betting market: On the neutral court, Boston opened as a 2-point favorite, suggesting they’d likely be around a 4-5 point favorite at home. The public jumped on that small spread, but some late 76ers money bumped the line down to -1.5.

The real line movement has been on the total, though, which has gone all the way from 205.5 to 211.5 at Bookmaker since opening. This can be attributed to the fact that the over is getting 64% of bets and 76% of dollars. — Mark Gallant

What the metrics say: It’s interesting to see the total move so much in a game that features two of the NBA’s best defensive units. The Celtics rank first in effective field goal percentage (eFG%) allowed, while Philly ranks third. A big part of that is they’re both top-five defenses in 3-point percentage allowed. With ridiculous length to switch across multiple positions, they also rank as two of the six best half-court defenses in the league. There is little room for error in this game, which is concerning for the 76ers, who have one major weakness: They’re dead last in turnover rate. In a game that could come down to a single possession, Philly’s penchant for turning the ball over could prove costly. – Bryan Mears

Injury watch: Al Horford will return to the lineup after a one-game absence due to a knee injury. Joel Embiid is still dealing with some pain and swelling in his right hand but said he’ll be good to go. The Sixers have ruled out Amir Johnson with an illness, which means Richaun Holmes will serve as the backup center with Trevor Booker reentering the rotation. — Justin Phan

Did you know? The Sixers are 0-7 SU and ATS this season against the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference: Boston, Toronto and Cleveland. Philadelphia has failed to cover the spread in those seven games by 10.9 PPG. — Evan Abrams



8 p.m. ET | TNT

Injury watch: The Raptors will more than likely be down two starters with Serge Ibaka serving a one-game suspension and Kyle Lowry doubtful according to team president Masai Ujiri. Delon Wright will continue to start at the point while Lowry is sidelined, and though his price has risen significantly, he’ll be a DFS cash game staple for the time being. It remains to be seen whether CJ Miles or Pascal Siakam will get the start for Ibaka, but either way the focus should be on Jonas Valanciunas up front. Val has averaged 13-14 with 2.5 blocks in the past two games Ibaka missed. — Justin Phan

DFS nugget: This could be an absolute smash spot for DeMar DeRozan. He’s posted a usage rate of 40.7 percent with Lowry off the floor this season and has a dream matchup against the Cavs. No team has allowed a higher average Plus/Minus to opposing wing players this season, giving DeRozan possibly one of the best combinations of potential workload and opponent that we’ve seen all season. — Matt LaMarca

The No. 1 thing I’m watching for: TRAPPITY-TRAP-TRAP. Even with Lowry and Ibaka both likely out, I’d tread lightly here with the Cavs. They tend to slack off in these situations. Don’t be surprised if the Raptors’ terrific bench takes it to Cleveland. — Matt Moore

Prop we’re eyeing: Kevin Love under 9.0 rebounds. Kevin Love hasn’t gotten more than 30 minutes of action in six straight games, going for just 20 in two of his past three. Several of those were blowouts, but it does show his volatility on a night-to-night basis. Over his past 10 games, he’s averaged 7.8 rebounds, and over his past five he’s been at just 5.8 per game. Tristan Thompson getting a bit more playing time recently hasn’t helped in that regard either. Check out more players in our props tool— Bryan Mears

What the metrics say: It’s hard to rely on any team-wide metric in this game given the statuses of Lowry and Ibaka – two of their three best players and perhaps their two most important defensive pieces. The Raptors’ top lineup this season – a combination of Lowry-DeRozan-Anunoby-Ibaka-Valanciunas – has played 360 minutes together. The top lineup with DeRozan but without Lowry and Ibaka has played a total of 20 minutes. The Raps have largely been fine without those guys on the court this season, posting an offensive rating of 112.6 and a defensive rating of 105.8, but that sample is mostly bench vs. bench units. Toronto has some of the best depth in the league, but how will they look against the Cavs’ starters? – Bryan Mears



10 p.m. ET

The No. 1 thing I’m watching for: Lou Williams magic. Sweet Lou went off for 50 points for the Clippers in their win over the Warriors Wednesday. What will he do for an encore vs. the Kings? There’s also a great bench battle in this game, with Montrezl Harrell, who has been quietly great for the Clippers, vs. those talented young Kings bigs in Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere. — Matt Moore

Injury watch: There’s uncertainty on both sides here as neither team has released an official update on a pair of players — Blake Griffin and Milos Teodosic for the Clippers, and George Hill and Frank Mason III for the Kings. Given it’s the second leg of a back-to-back, it’s more likely that Griffin and Teodosic remain sidelined. We do know that CJ Williams (ankle) will sit out and his absence will mean big minutes for Jawun Evans, Lou Williams, and Tyrone Wallace. Sweet Lou will garner the attention after dropping a 50 piece on the Warriors, but Wallace makes for the best DFS value of the group. — Justin Phan

What the metrics say: The Clippers must have angered the basketball gods because this amount of injuries is unfair. They could be without five of their top seven players to start the year. But even with Milos Teodosic, Blake Griffin, Austin Rivers, Danilo Gallinari, and Patrick Beverley out of the game, they’ve held opponents to 106.1 points per 100 possessions. They’re scoring at a rate of 110.9 with those guys off and Lou Williams and DeAndre Jordan on together. The Clippers don’t make sense, but they keep winning and sit just one game out of the eighth seed in the West. They’ll have a nice chance to keep climbing against the Kings and their league-worst defense. – Bryan Mears

Trend No. 1 to know: Over the past 10 seasons, no head coach has lost more money for bettors on the second leg of a back-to-back than Doc Rivers. His 79-97-1 ATS record equates to a $2,114 loss for a $100 bettor. — Evan Abrams

DFS nugget: DeAndre Jordan ranks second in the league with a rebound percentage of 25.3 percent, and that number has jumped to a massive 28.4 percent with Griffin off the court. He could have a field day on the glass against a Kings team that ranks just 26th in rebound rate this season. — Matt LaMarca

Trend No. 2 to know: LA played Golden State on Wednesday. Since 2005, teams that played one of the league’s best teams (opponent win percentage of .800+) in the first leg of a back-to-back have gone 103-123-2 (45.6%) ATS when facing an opponent with a losing record the next night. The Kings are 13-27 on the season. — John Ewing



10:30 p.m. ET | TNT

The No. 1 thing I’m watching for: Point guard youngsters. Lonzo Ball, the “somehow he has all these stats even though very little stands out when you watch” star, vs. Dejounte Murray should be a nice one-on-one matchup. Both of these guys are top-20 point guards in defensive Real Plus-Minus via ESPN. Murray is a quick guard who can attack downhill and is still learning to manage the Spurs offense. Ball, unsurprisingly, continues to be a lightning rod for discussion with every dribble he takes. — Matt Moore

Injury watch: It’s been more than two weeks since the Spurs have been at full health. It’ll be no different Thursday with Kawhi Leonard (shoulder) out and Tony Parker (ankle) doubtful. Danny Green has missed the past four games with a groin injury and is listed as questionable. The onus will continue to be on LaMarcus Aldridge to carry the offense while Leonard is sidelined and he’s responded in a big way. Aldridge has gone for at least 40 DraftKings points in each of the past five games Leonard has missed, averaging 47.7 in that span. Don’t sleep on Davis Bertans either. — Justin Phan

Prop we’re eyeing: Kyle Kuzma under 5.5 rebounds. Kuzma has been dealing with a left quad contusion and hasn’t played more than 28 minutes in 2018. We have him projected right under 25 tonight against the Spurs, who play at the second-slowest pace in the league. Further, San Antonio ranks sixth in the league in rebound rate this year. He’s finished with fewer than 5.5 rebounds in six of his past seven games. Check out more players in our props tool— Bryan Mears

DFS nugget: Davis Bertans has been a significant part of the Spurs’ rotation recently, playing at least 27 minutes in four straight games. He’s been effective on a limited basis all season, averaging 0.87 fantasy points per minute, thanks mostly to excellent shooting ability for a big man. He’s made over 40 percent of his 3-pointers at the NBA level and looks to be a solid value option tonight, given all of the Spurs’ injuries. — Matt LaMarca

What the metrics say: Even with a ton of injuries and moving parts, the Spurs still rank third this season defensively. Both of these teams rely on that side of the ball to win, ranking in the top 10 in field goal percentage allowed at the rim and 3-point percentage allowed. The Lakers could really struggle to score in this one, as they currently rank just 29th in offensive efficiency and dead last offensively in the half court. That said, things could be a little easier than usual with Leonard out and Green questionable. The Spurs have allowed 108.8 points/100 with those guys off the floor this season, which would be a bottom-five mark. If Lonzo, Ingram & Co. can be efficient, they can steal one at home. – Bryan Mears

Trend to know: Since 2005, Gregg Popovich is the most profitable coach in our database when facing teams under .500. His ATS record in his spot is 264-214-14, good for a 55.2% cover rate and a profit of $3,898 for a $100 bettor. — John Ewing

Photo via Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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