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Top NBA picks and predictions today (Clippers Can Cover, Value on Total in Nuggets-Blazers) – FanSided

Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13). Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
With just three games on the docket in the NBA on Thursday night, the focus turns to the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat in the early games, and the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers later in the night.
Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard’s statuses for tonight’s game are in question, which could make things tricky when deciding how to wager on the game.
Out West, the Nuggets are looking to snap a three-game skid when they travel to take on Damian Lillard and company. It won’t be easy, as Portland has moved just a game back of Denver with Dame returning last week.
I’m putting my focus into these two games to help deliver the best spread, moneyline or total bet for each matchup.
Let’s dive in:
These two teams are both in the top seven in the NBA in offensive rating this season, and they are also bottom eight teams in defensive rating.
Despite playing at a slow pace this season, both the Nuggets and Blazers have been able to put up points in a hurry, clearing or landing right on 227 points in four of their last six games.
The similarities between these two teams right now are uncanny, even though the rosters are constructed in very different ways.
Michael Porter Jr. is out for Denver in this game, which will hurt the team’s offense, but I still think the OVER is the play here.
Lillard and Anfernee Simons should keep Portland in this game from beyond the arc, and the Blazers average seven more points per game at home than they do on the road this season.
Why not root for points in this divisional matchup?
This is a tough matchup to decipher, as the Heat are coming off a terrible blowout loss to the Detroit Pistons, while the Clippers lost to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
Both of these teams have playoff expectations, but haven’t exactly performed to where they would have liked so far this season.
Miami and Los Angeles are both bottom-5 in the NBA in offensive rating this season, but they hang their hat on the defensive end. Instead of taking the UNDER, I’m going to roll with the Clippers and the points, as I don’t trust either team to pick up a blowout in this spot.
As long as Paul George suits up for the Clippers, they should have enough offense to at least keep things close against Miami.
The Heat are just 3-8-1 against the spread as home favorites this season, so I’ll fade them on Thursday.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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