Free NBA Picks Thursday, December 19 and Opening Line Report
Thursday's slate includes four games featuring potential NBA Championship teams and a huge western conference showdown. The Lakers will travel to Milwaukee to face the Bucks with both records at 24-4. NBA fans across the world are hoping Anthony Davis will be healthy in time for this one. The Clippers and Rockets will face off against each other as well. The Rockets have been forgotten in the west coast with the Lakers and the Clippers taking over the division. Russell Westbrook and James Harden will need to put on a show against the Clippers and prove that Houston belongs in title talks. Here are my picks for Thursday's small slate.
Jazz @ Hawks (+6, 223.5)
The Hawks just took an absolute beating from the Knicks. They allowed 143
points to the Knicks. Atlanta is now 2-8 in their last 10 games and shows
no signs of improving. Meanwhile, Utah has won four of their last five
games and are starting to come around. The Hawks can't catch a break. Now
they're playing a Western Conference opponent that is way better. Take the
Jazz in this one.
Key trends: Jazz are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
Early lean: Jazz, Over
Lakers @ Bucks (TBD,TBD)
This might potentially be the game of the year. As long as Anthony Davis is healthy and ready to play in this one, you have to tune into TNT, even if you don't bet the game! Both teams are 24-4 on the year. This game might possibly have the championship teams. The Bucks took a loss to the Mavericks without Luka Doncic, while the Lakers took a loss to the Pacers without Anthony Davis. In this type of match-up, the value is always with the road team. I'll stick with the Lakers as long as Davis is healthy and playing.
Key trends: Lakers are 13-11 (54.2%) ATS after a win this season.
Early lean: Lakers, Under
Nets @ Spurs (-1.5, 218.5)
The Nets almost lost to the Pelicans on the road but pulled out a win in overtime. The Pelicans haven't won a game in quite a while. Meanwhile, the Spurs are coming off a loss that didn't include overtime against the Rockets. You wouldn't believe me, but the Spurs, before the Rockets game, played four consecutive overtime games in a row and won three of them. After the four overtime games at home, they looked mentally drained against the Rockets on the road in Houston. Now they're coming back home to play the Nets. I expected the Spurs to come out sluggish and asleep. Give me the Nets.
Key trends: Nets are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
Early lean: Nets, Under
Rockets @ Clippers (-5, 232.5)
The Bucks vs Lakers is the game of the night, but this game is an easy
second. Both teams have won seven of their last 10 games and are coming off
wins at home. The Rockets, as mentioned, defeated the Spurs, while the
Clippers beat the Suns by 21. These are the types of games where the
Rockets need to prove they belong in the Western Conference conversation. I
expect a close game and an outburst from James Harden, who's had many this
season. Give me the points in a close, high-scoring affair.
Key trends: Rockets are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games playing on 2 days' rest.
Early lean: Rockets, Over
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