This Thursday’s NBA betting action on TNT starts things off with a showdown between two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference. Later that night, a Western Conference power will try and make up some ground in those standings with a win on the road.
Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors (8 p.m.)
The Cavaliers have slid to third in the East and 5.5 games off the pace with a straight-up 4-6 record over their last 10 games. They have already lost two of their first three games on this five-game road trip after closing out the month of December with three-straight road losses out west. Cleveland (26-14) is 11-10 SU on the road this season with a 9-12 record against the spread.
LeBron James was held to 10 points in Monday’s lopsided 127-99 road loss to Minnesota with Cleveland closing as a one-point favorite. This was after he posted a game-high 33 points against Orlando in the Cavaliers’ tight four-point victory on Saturday as nine-point favorites on the road. They are now just 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games.
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Toronto has matched Boston’s SU 7-3 record over each team’s last 10 outings to remain three games behind the Celtics for the top spot in the conference. The Raptors are 28-11 SU overall with a 22-17 record ATS. They have gone 14-2 at home this season while covering in nine of the 16 games. The total has gone OVER in five of their last seven games.
The total actually stayed UNDER 205 points in Tuesday’s 90-89 loss to Miami as a four-point home favorite to snap a SU five-game winning streak. This loss also snapped Toronto’s SU 12-game winning streak at home. DeMar DeRozan led all scorers in that game with 25 points and he continues to be the Raptors’ top scorer with 25.3 points per game.
Head-to-head in the conference clash, Cleveland has won the last four meetings SU with a 3-0-1 edge ATS. The total has gone OVER in three of those four games.
San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 p.m.)
The Spurs have played five of their last six games on the road with mixed results. They are an even 3-3 SU in this same span with a 3-2-1 record ATS. Overall, they are holding down third place in the West at 28-14 SU while going 21-18-3 ATS. They come into this game with a losing record on the road at 10-12 SU and 8-13-1 ATS. The total has gone OVER in three of their last four games overall.
San Antonio is coming off a 107-100 road victory against Sacramento on Monday as a five-point favorite. LeMarcus Aldridge scored 31 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to help erase a 13-point second-half deficit. He leads the team in both categories (22.6 points, 8.7 rebounds) as part of the Spurs’ 101.6 points and 44.4 rebounds a game. They still have the second-best defense in the NBA when it comes to points allowed (98.4).
Los Angeles is mired near the bottom of the standings in the West at 13-27 SU (19-21 ATS) on the year, but it brings a modest two-game winning streak both SU and ATS into Thursday’s contest after beating Atlanta at home on Sunday followed by Tuesday’s 99-86 win against Sacramento on Tuesday night. The Lakers closed as favorites in both wins and the total has stayed UNDER in three of their last five games.
Julius Randle led all scorers on Tuesday night with 22 points while going 8-for-13 from the field. The Lakers connected on 48.1 percent of their 77 shots including a 12-for-35 effort from three-point range. Los Angeles is ranked 10th in the NBA in scoring with 106.8 points a game, but it falls all the way to 29th in the rankings when it comes to points allowed (111.1).
The Spurs hold a SU 8-1 edge in the last nine meetings and they are 3-1 ATS in the last four games between the two. The total has gone OVER in seven of the last eight games.
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