Small slate after a busy Wednesday night in the NBA — which means some teams are in a less than ideal spot on Thursday. Here’s how to best navigate Thursday’s NBA action via DraftKings Sportsbook.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
The Rockets are one of a few teams on the second leg of a back-to-back Thursday, and it’s hard to imagine they’ll have a much worse night than they did on Wednesday vs. Cleveland. The Cavaliers have been great, but losing to anyone by 35 is rough — especially when the winning side was without one of its best players (as was the case with Cleveland and Evan Mobley). But, the Rockets were without Christian Wood and Eric Gordon on Wednesday, on top of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green. Gordon is expected to play vs. the Knicks, but it doesn’t look like that’ll be the case for Wood — of course, the latter is more important to Houston’s success.
So, Houston — one of the least efficient teams on either end of the floor (24th on defense and 27th on offense) — is playing its second game in as many days without its top three players. Yeah, not ideal. That is, not ideal for Houston. But for the Knicks, this is a prime bounce-back spot after they had to endure Steph Curry’s record-breaking performance on Tuesday.
Now, the Knicks struggled to cover this season (11-17), unlike the Rockets (15-12-1). But, the Knicks have been better ATS as favorite than as underdogs, and they’re 7-6 ATS on the road in 2021-22 — 3-2 as road favorites.
Like the Rockets, Washington is a sizable underdog on the second leg of a back-to-back. The Wizards have covered in two of the three games they’ve been on the second leg of a back-to-back in 2021-22, but they face a very tall task vs. the Suns in Phoenix.
The Wizards have not been good ATS this season (12-15-1), but they’re even worse on the road (4-11-1). The Suns are far from a cover machine (14-13), but they’ve managed to stay a tick over .500 ATS (12-11) when favored. Combine the ATS records with the fact Phoenix is fresh while Washington isn’t and the Suns are one of the most efficient teams in the NBA (second in defensive efficiency and tied-fifth in offensive efficiency), and there’s zero reason for hesitation with this pick.
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