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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:54 PM

NBA Betting Essentials, Odds and Angles for Thursday, March 5

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(SU - Straight-up Record, ATS - Against the Spread Record, O/U - Over/Under Record)

Top Game: L.A. Clippers at Houston Rockets (-1, 237)
Toyota Center – 8:05 p.m. ET, TNT

LAC: 42-19 SU, 32-28-1 ATS, 28-32-1 O/U
HOU: 39-21 SU, 29-30-1 ATS, 27-33 O/U

Last 10 games:
LAC: 6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS, 4-6 O/U
HOU: 7-3 SU, 5-4-1 ATS, 4-6 O/U

Head-to-Head:

This is the fourth and final meeting between these Western Conference powers, who haven’t seen one another since Houston’s 122-117 win at Staples Center back on Dec. 19. Russell Westbrook scored 40 points to help overcome a 34-point night from Paul George, who missed the first meeting between the teams in L.A. The Rockets and Clips each won November games on their home floor, but Houston led L.A. by five points in the final minute in its lone loss, squandering the advantage. The last two contests have each surpassed the posted total.

Essentials to Know:

-- Houston has ranked 10th in the NBA in defensive efficiency over the past 15 games since trading for Robert Covington and adopting a “microball” approach without a traditional center.

-- The Clippers own the NBA’s longest winning streak at five games, winning four by double-digits and scoring at least 124 points in three of the wins. They’ve posted an average margin of victory of 17.4 points and own a 16.4 net rating.

-- L.A. is looking for its third consecutive road win. It has won more than two road game in succession only once all season, putting together a four-game streak from Dec. 8-13. Houston has won seven of its last eight home games, including the last three they’ve hosted.

-- The Clippers are a perfect 8-0 when working with a completely healthy roster and dodged a bullet with reserve center Montrezl Harrell avoiding the injury report despite suffering an ankle sprain in Tuesday’s 109-94 win at Oklahoma City. The Rockets also enter this game with a clean bill of health.

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Odds Subject to Change (T&C's Apply, 21+)

Denver Nuggets at Charlotte Hornets
Spectrum Center – 7:05 p.m. ET

DEN: 41-20 SU, 29-29-3 ATS, 29-31-1 O/U
CHA: 21-40 SU, 30-29-2 ATS, 28-33 O/U

Last 10 games:
DEN: 6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS, 6-4 O/U
CHA: 5-5 SU, 7-3 ATS, 2-8 O/U

Head-to-Head:

The Nuggets handled business at home against the Hornets on Jan. 15, posting a 100-86 win despite being outrebounded. Charlotte, which ranks last in the league in scoring, got 20 points and nine assists from guard Terry Rozier but barely shot 40 percent. Rookie Michael Porter, Jr. led Denver with 19 points but hasn’t been playing as much of late. The Nuggets have won three of the last four meetings between these teams but haven’t won in the Queen City since 2016, losing in their last three visits.

Essentials to Know:

-- Charlotte has been held under 90 points in four of its last nine games, riding with a youth movement that has slowed down the pace and locked in defensively. The ‘under’ is on 8-1 run in games involving the Hornets.

-- This is the first in a stretch of nine roadies over 11 games that Denver must play between now and March 25. The Nuggets are 17-12 away from home but have lost their last two by a combined 41 points at the Thunder and Clippers. Their last five visits to Eastern Conference cities have resulted in a 5-0 run for the ‘over.’

-- Nikola Jokic was held to just 12 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists by Charlotte in the season’s only meeting. Charlotte guard Devonte’ Graham missed Tuesday’s 104-103 loss to the Spurs after twisting his ankle over the weekend. He’s not expected to play if not 100 percent, which would leave second-year guard Joe Chealey, just signed to a second 10-day contract, in line for backup minutes running the show behind Rozier.

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Odds Subject to Change (T&C's Apply, 21+)

Philadelphia 76ers at Sacramento Kings (-4.5, 222)
Golden 1 Center – 10:05 p.m. ET

PHI: 37-25 SU, 28-33-1 ATS, 31-30-1 O/U
SAC: 27-34 SU, 32-28-1 ATS, 31-30 O/U

Last 10 games:
PHI: 6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS, 7-3 O/U
SAC: 7-3 SU, 7-3 ATS, 5-4-1 O/U

Head-to-Head:

Philadelphia held off the Kings 97-91 when these teams played on Nov. 27 and can count Sacramento as one of its victims in compiling the NBA’s top home record (28-2). The Sixers are a putrid 9-23 on the road and have come up empty in their last three visits to California’s capital city, last winning on Dec. 30, 2015. Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox missed the only meeting this season and Buddy Hield shot 9-for-24 in the loss. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons combined for 43 points and 29 rebounds. Neither will suit up tonight.

Essentials to Know:

-- The Kings have matched a season-best three-game winning streak but are 0-3 in attempts to pick up a fourth straight win. Their 6-1 record over the last seven games is by far their most prosperous run of the season and has pulled them within 3.5 games of Memphis for the West’s final playoff spot. Sacramento has won nine of 12 since Feb. 3 and carries a six-game home winning streak into this one, last losing on its home floor against the Lakers on Feb. 1. They’ve covered in five of those six wins.

-- Philly is attempting to avoid dropping a 10th straight road game, last winning in Brooklyn on Jan. 18. The Sixers have only one ATS win during that stretch, playing the Clippers tough to open this four-game swing through California that ends with Friday’s visit to San Francisco. They were in position to cover a 12-point spread against the Lakers on Tuesday before a rough final minute.

-- While Simmons (back) and Embiid (shoulder) remain sidelined, there’s a chance that starting shooting guard Josh Richardson could clear concussion protocol in order to return here. Fox has been playing through a number of ailments and scored 31 points in Tuesday’s win over Washington. Power forwards Marvin Bagley III (foot) and Richaun Holmes (shoulder) remain out, leaving Nemanja Bjelica, Harry Giles and the newly acquired Alex Len as Sacramento’s primary bigs.

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Odds Subject to Change (T&C's Apply, 21+)

Toronto Raptors (-7.5) at Golden State Warriors
Chase Center – 10:35 p.m. ET, TNT

TOR: 43-18 SU, 33-26-2 ATS, 32-28-1 O/U
GSW: 14-48 SU, 29-32-1 ATS, 27-35 O/U

Last 10 games:
TOR: 6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS, 5-5 O/U
GSW: 2-8 SU, 4-6 ATS, 3-7 O/U

Head-to-Head:

These teams haven’t played since June 13, when Toronto made history by winning its first championship, wrapping up the 2019 NBA Finals with a 114-110 win that clinched the series 4-2. Kawhi Leonard was named MVP, the injured Kevin Durant signed with Brooklyn and Klay Thompson began his own rehabilitation after suffering a torn ACL against the Raptors, so this “rematch” won’t be much of a reunion. Golden State will visit Toronto on March 16 to wrap up the season series.

Essentials to Know:

-- Stephen Curry will play in his first game since Oct. 30, returning from a broken hand that is now fully healed. He scrimmaged with Golden State’s G League affiliate earlier in the week. Expect him to be brought along slowly with no sense of urgency considering the Warriors’ record this season.

-- The Warriors come off an enormous upset in Denver as a 16-point underdog, riding a scrappy defensive effort led by Andrew Wiggins in 116-100 win. They’ve dropped nine straight home games but should have additional juice in the building given Curry’s return. Golden State is 1-8 ATS at Chase Center in that span and hasn’t returned to its home locker room to celebrate a win since beating Orlando on Jan. 18. Draymond Green (knee) and Kevon Looney (hip) are hoping to return alongside Curry after missing the past few games, but are listed as questionable. Marquese Chriss and rookie Eric Paschall would see increased minutes if they’re unable to return.

-- This is the third stop on Toronto’s five-game Western swing that continues in Sacramento and Utah over the weekend. The Raptors lost in Denver but rallied from a halftime deficit to win and cover in Phoenix on Tuesday. Centers Serge Ibaka (knee) and Marc Gasol (hamstring) are likely to miss another game, while starting guard Fred Van Vleet (shoulder) will probably also sit out. The ‘under’ is on a 5-1 run in games involving Golden State and is 5-2 over the last seven featuring the Raptors.

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Odds Subject to Change (T&C's Apply, 21+)

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