Handicapping the NBA: Thursday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Alex Barutha: Kyrie Irving under 27.5 points (-104) vs. LAL – FanDuel, 1:07 PM CT

I don't feel like I have a firm grasp on any of the games in today's light three-game slate. But when looking at the contests, I gravitated towards the Lakers-Nets matchup, where I thought about the LeBron vs. Kyrie matchup. Since Irving demanded a trade from the Cavaliers and away from LeBron, he's struggled against his former teammate. LeBron is up 10-2 in the matchups, and Irving is scoring just 18.9 points per game on 41.5 percent shooting. His prop is at a relatively high 27.5 points today, and Irving has only crossed that mark once while facing LeBron, scoring 30 points in March of 2019. Other than that, Irving has failed to reach 25 points.

Nick Whalen: LeBron James to record a triple-double (+375) vs. Brooklyn – DraftKings Sportsbook

Obviously, Brooklyn is down Kevin Durant, but I actually still like the Nets to win this game. The Lakers have been able to squeak out narrow wins over some bad teams lately, but they won't be able to get away with sluggish starts/quarters against this Nets offense. To me, this game sets up as a classic LeBron plays well but doesn't get much help from the Lakers' role players scenario. We've seen this play out time and time again over the last decade. When it comes to salvaging a triple-double in a loss, no one in NBA history is better than LeBron James. Plus, it doesn't hurt that he's averaging 27.6 points, 9.6 boards and 9.1 assists over his last seven games. 

Jeff Edgerton: RAPTORS (+6) vs. Bucks (FD Sportsbook, 1:20 p.m. ET)

The Bucks could pull themselves out of their four-game skid, but six points is a bit too generous. If the first game of this tilt is any indication, the Raptors could make the spread a moot point and win this one outright.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's NBA Assistant Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, DraftKings Live and other platforms. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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