Free NBA Picks: Thursday, March 29, 2018, Opening Line Report and Handicapping
I've heard whispers that Isaiah Thomas isn't the best teammate, often looking to pad his own stats and shedding blame for whenever something goes wrong. But IT was a spectacular player last season with the Celtics. It looked around this time one year ago that Thomas appeared to be a near lock to get max deal as a free agent after the 2017-18 campaign. However, not much has gone right for him since, suffering a serious hip injury during the playoffs, being dealt to Cleveland (but not debuting until January because of the hip) and then being shipped off again to the Los Angeles Lakers when his Cavaliers stint was a bust. Now it appears that Thomas' season is over. He has missed the past couple of games with soreness in his hip and has left the team to see specialists in New York for a course of treatment. Surgery could be potentially career-threatening and would certainly put next year in jeopardy. Thomas did not want surgery before this season, choosing rest and rehab. He had played a little better with the Lakers, but no team is going to give him big bucks next season. Tough not to root for a guy who is maybe 5-foot-9 with shoes on and was the last pick of the 2011 draft. But it sure seems as if the Thomas we saw last season could be gone for good. This is what's dangerous about not taking a long-term contract when you had the chance.
Wizards at Pistons (TBA)
The Wizards avoided their first four-game losing streak of the season with a 116-106 win over San Antonio on Tuesday - no doubt helped by LaMarcus Aldridge leaving the game in the second quarter injured. No Wizard scored more than 15 points, but seven had at least 10. We are also at the point with the Wizards that John Wall could return at any time. The Pistons basically have to win out for any playoff shot -- and even that likely won't do it. They won for the fourth time in five games Monday, 112-106 over the Lakers. Reggie Jackson had 20 points in his best game since returning from a lengthy ankle injury absence. The Pistons are well over .500 with him in the lineup this season. Washington goes for the four-game season sweep. They teams haven't played since the Pistons landed Blake Griffin.
Key trends: The underdog is 6-0 against the spread in the past six meetings. The "over/under" is 5-2 in the previous seven.
Early lean: Must be TBA in case Wall plays. I like Pistons regardless as they've covered five straight at home.
Bulls at Heat (-13, 209.5)
The Bulls lost their sixth game in a row Tuesday, 118-86 in Houston, and they aren't even competitive at this point. Lauri Markkanen was back from injury and had 22 points, but that was about the extent of the positives. The Heat ended a two-game skid with an impressive 98-79 home win over Cleveland on Tuesday. Miami held the Cavs to a season-low point total. Hassan Whiteside (left hip) remains out, and Bam Adebayo missed the game with an ankle injury. Miami leads the season series with Chicago 2-1, with all three decided by eight points or fewer.
Key trends: The Bulls are 0-8 ATS in their past eight road games vs. teams with a winning home record. The under is 6-1 in the past seven meetings in Miami.
Early lean: Bulls (bit of letdown game for Miami) and under.
Thunder at Spurs (TBA)
First of a TNT doubleheader. The Thunder lost 108-105 at home to Portland on Sunday so will be well-rested. For some reason, Carmelo Anthony took the Thunder's last two shots with a chance to tie over Russell Westbrook, who did struggle on the night. But still, Westbrook led the Thunder with 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. The Spurs are holding their breath on LaMarcus Aldridge's injury as he left Tuesday's loss in Washington with a knee issue. They will miss the playoffs, in my opinion, if he's done, as San Antonio is 2-5 without him this year. Oklahoma City leads the season series 2-1. San Antonio has taken the past five at home.
Key trends: The home team is 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 5-1 in the previous six.
Early lean: Wait on Aldridge.
Pacers at Kings (+7, 203)
The Pacers won their third in a row Tuesday, 92-81 at Golden State. Victor Oladipo had 24 points as Indiana won in Oakland for the first time since January 2014. The Kings fell to 1-4 on a long homestand with a 103-97 loss to Dallas on Tuesday. There were maybe a few thousand people in attendance in the wake of more protests outside the arena. Skal Labissiere had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the Kings. Indiana has won the past three in the series, including 101-83 on Halloween. The Kings shot a season-low 14.3 percent from deep.
Key trends: The Kings are 6-2 ATS in their past eight after a loss. The under is 8-1 in the Pacers' previous nine following a win.
Early lean: Kings and under.
Bucks at Warriors (TBA)
Second TNT game. The Bucks started a four-game West Coast trip with a 105-98 loss at the Clippers on Tuesday. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 26 points and Khris Middleton added 22 for the Bucks, who rallied from 16 down to lead by five in the fourth quarter. The Warriors again were without their four All-Stars in Tuesday's 92-81 home loss to Indiana but do believe that Draymond Green and Kevin Durant will play here - then again, that was the thought Tuesday. Golden State won in Milwaukee on Jan. 12, 108-94 and has taken four straight in the series overall and the past four at home.
Key trends: The Bucks are 2-8 ATS in their past 10 vs. the West. The under is 7-1 in the Warriors' previous eight at home.
Early lean: Wait on Green & Durant.
Doc's Sports is offering $60 worth of member's picks absolutely free - no obligation, no sales people - you don't even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please on any of our top NBA handicappers. Get $60 worth of premium members' picks free . Also, for a limited time only get three top NBA handicappers for the price of one! Click Here . Get free NBA picks today at Doc's Sports basketball predictions page.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent NBA Handicapping
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/15/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/13/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/8/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/6/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 1/1/2021 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 12/30/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 12/25/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 12/23/2020 and Opening Line Report
- 2021 NBA Championship Odds and Expert Predictions
- NBA Basketball Picks Season Special 3 Handicappers for the Price of 1