This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
Nuggets to win (-125) at LAC – BetMGM (2:16 PM CT)
I'm surprised the Nuggets are such short favorites with the Clippers missing Paul George, Serge Ibaka and Patrick Beverley, while Marcus Morris is questionable. Kawhi Leonard is surrounded by subpar players in Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard and Ivica Zubac. Meanwhile, the Nuggets have plenty of firepower, with Monte Morris the only player on the injury report. This a matchup of two MVP candidates going up against each other, but Nikola Jokic clearly has an advantage from a supporting-cast perspective.
76ers -9.5 (-113) at CLE – DraftKings (11:27 AM CT)
The Cavs haven't cracked 100 points in three straight games, and they just put up 75 points – seventy-five – against Utah earlier in the week. With Jarrett Allen and Larry Nance set to miss this game, I like the Sixers' chances – even without Joel Embiid – to dismantle the league's worst offense since the break.
Nikola Jokic to post a double-double AND the Nuggets defeat LAC (+145) – DraftKings (11:27 AM CT)
It's been impossible to get an accurate read on the Clippers, but with three starters absent again Thursday, I like the Nuggets to take advantage and win outright. Nikola Jokic has a double-double in 14 of his last 16 games, so tacking that prop on here makes this a more appealing number at +145
Magic (+8.5) at NOP – FanDuel (1:18 PM CT)
Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball may be out tonight, and Brandon Ingram can't do all the heavy lifting on his own. Orlando may have lost three of their big playmakers, but this star-free rag-tag group still has some firepower. They may not win, but they're a good candidate to cover.