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On NBA Thursday night, we'll be getting to see some of the league's most exciting players face off!
When the LA Clippers and the Miami Heat face-off, Paul George will be looking to sort out his scoring issues after returning from injury. Keldon Johnson will be trying to lead the San Antonio Spurs out of their recent losing streak when they take on the Houston Rockets. And when the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers square off, Jamal Murray will be trying to find his shooting touch against his Western Conference rivals.
Let's check out the bets!
Paul George returned after seven games off and has put in two poor games to open the Clippers' current road trip. At PointsBet, George is a -105 to clear 22.5 points when he faces the Miami Heat.
On the season, George is averaging 23.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists on 46.2% from the field and 37.6% from three-point range. Unfortunately for the Clippers, over George's last two games he's averaged just 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists on 40.7% shooting from the field and 40.0% shooting from three. Considering both games were losses, George will need to score efficiently in order to get back on the winning track.
We're expecting a bounce-back game from George when he takes on the Miami Heat. Given Miami's current injuries, their perimeter defense has taken a hit, allowing 47.4% shooting from the field and 37.2% from three-point range. George is sure to take advantage and get back on the scoring track.
Keldon Johnson is one of the sole bright spots for the San Antonio Spurs this season, with his step into the role of secondary scorer has been quite the career jump. At DraftKings, Johnson is a -110 to score fewer than 24.5 points when he faces the Houston Rockets.
On the season, Johnson is averaging 20.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists on 39.3% shooting from the field and 34.6% from three-point range. Over the Spurs' 11-game losing streak though, in which he played just ten games, Johnson has averaged 16.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.4 assists on 31.8% from the field and 23.8% from three-point range.
Johnson has slowed down in his scoring production since mid-November, and his efficiency has only gotten worse over that time. The Rockets aren't the strongest defensive team in the NBA and the pace of play should let Johnson find his numbers, but it looks as if Johnson's high production numbers were an early season blip.
Jamal Murray has looked solid for the Denver Nuggets after returning from a serious injury, now having to up his game after a down night in his last game. At Caesars Sportsbook, Murray is a +114 to hit more than 2.5 three-pointers when he faces the Portland Trail Blazers.
On the season, Jamal Murray is averaging 17.6 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.7 rebounds on 43.3% shooting from the field and 36.2% shooting from three-point range. He has struggled over his last two games though, averaging just 14.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.0 rebounds on 28.6% shooting from the field and 23.1% shooting from range.
It's unlikely that Murray is going to have three poor performances in a row. Usually succeeding off the back of his slashing and three-point shooting, the Trail Blazers' middling three-point defense should help him in this encounter.
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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