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The NBA's Thursday night schedule is limited, but it's also showcasing some exciting matchups from across the league!
The Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards open the night as they fight for position in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. In a star-studded matchup, James Harden leads his Philadelphia 76ers against Kyrie Irving's Dallas Mavericks. And in a matchup between two of the league's upstart young teams, the Indiana Pacers take on the San Antonio Spurs.
Let's check out the bets!
When: 7:00 PM EST
|Toronto Raptors||-1.0 (-110)|
|Washington Wizards||+1.0 (-110)|
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Sitting ninth and tenth respectively in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards are desperate to win every game. The Toronto Raptors are currently ninth in the East with a 31-32 overall record and an 11-19 road record. The Washington Wizards are right behind them in tenth, owning a 29-32 overall record and a 14-13 home record.
The Toronto Raptors are excellent at controlling the offensive pace of the game, holding teams to just 111.9 points per game (8th in the NBA) on 82.8 field goal attempts per game (1st in the NBA), while forcing 16.6 turnovers per game (2nd in the NBA). They'll look to build on a win in their last game, despite allowing their opponents to shoot 52.1% from the field and 40.0% from three-point range. The Washington Wizards are a capable team on the interior of both ends of the court, shooting a very efficient 48.4% from the field (7th in the NBA) while commanding the glass to the tune of 34.5 defensive rebounds per game (5th in the NBA). Despite winning their last game, the Wizards will want to improve on their 28.6% three-point shooting.
Given their improved form and newfound depth, we're taking the Toronto Raptors in this matchup. While the Wizards have a number of weapons of their own, they can be let down by their lack of defensive aggression and inability to create additional opportunities. The Raptors should continue their climb up the Eastern Conference table.
When: 7:30 PM EST
|Philadelphia 76ers||+3.0 (-110)|
|Dallas Mavericks||-3.0 (-110)|
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Both the Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks are looking to establish themselves as contenders in their respective conferences. The Philadelphia 76ers are currently third in the Eastern Conference with a 40-21 overall record and a 15-11 road record. The Dallas Mavericks are currently seventh in the Western Conference, owning a 32-31 overall record and a 20-12 home record.
The Sixers remain one of the league's best three-and-D teams, allowing just 110.2 points per game (3rd in the NBA) while hitting 12.6 threes (11th in the NBA) on 38.3% efficiency (4th in the NBA) from deep. The Sixers got revenge against the Miami Heat in their last game, scoring 119 points on 49.4% from the field and 38.5% from three, even without Joel Embiid in the lineup. The Dallas Mavericks will look to pit their own dangerous three-point shooting against the Sixers, as they convert 14.9 three-point field goals per game (3rd in the NBA) at 36.7% efficiency (10th in the NBA). The Dallas Mavericks have lost back-to-back games due to their surprising inability to convert in the clutch, despite shooting 46.2% from the field and 37.2% from three on 16 made threes.
We're taking the Sixers in this matchup against the Mavericks. Philadelphia is a strong defensive team on the perimeter, and the Mavericks don't project to pose much of a threat on that side of the ball. Expect the Sixers to continue their strong play and establish themselves over the Mavericks.
When: 8:30 PM EST
|Indiana Pacers||-4.0 (-110)|
|O 239.5 (-110)|
|San Antonio Spurs||+4.0 (-110)|
|U 239.5 (-110)|
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Both the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs are on the outside looking in within their respective conferences. The Indiana Pacers are currently 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 28-35 overall record and a 10-20 road record. The San Antonio Spurs are currently 14th in the Western Conference, owning a 15-47 overall record and a 9-21 home record.
The Indiana Pacers are great at creating open looks from three-point range, averaging 115.1 points per game (11th in the NBA) off the back of 26.6 assists per game (6th in the NBA) and 13.9 three-point field goals per game. The Pacers' offense has been locked in through their back-to-back wins, as they've averaged 122.5 points per game on 50.3% shooting from the field and 38.2% from three-point range. The San Antonio Spurs will look to challenge Indiana with their hard-nosed interior game, which converts on 32.5 two-point field goals per game (3rd in the NBA). The Spurs finally ended their 16-game losing streak, as they were able to limit the high-scoring Jazz to just 94 points on 35.3% shooting from the field and 29.4% from three-point range.
We're expecting the Indiana Pacers to push their winning streak to three games in a row. While the San Antonio Spurs are a spirited team, they're one of the worst teams in the league at defending the three-point line while also ranking 29th in assists allowed per game. The Pacers' offense should be mostly undeterred when they take on the Spurs.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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