This is it, the final push before the All-Star break.  The NBA has managed to keep the season alive, despite a few bumps along the way, and the first half ends tonight with nine games on tap.  COVID-19 may still be a threat, but things are getting better.  With a little luck, it might be possible to have more fan attendance before the season ends.

Raptors Look To Bounce Back

The Toronto Raptors face the Boston Celtics tonight after losing to the Detroit Pistons last night.  That game saw them take a 24-point hit in an embarrassing loss, and they will come into tonight’s game against the Boston Celtics looking for blood.  However, odds aren’t good that they’ll find it.

The Raptors have several key players, as well as head coach Nick Nurse, off the court due to health protocols, which doesn’t bode well for any type of revenge.  The Celtics have been performing well, and the -335 they’re getting from Unibet against the Raptors’ +270 isn’t worth it.  Boston is expected to win by at least eight points, at -110, and the Over/Under is 218 (-112).  This game is only good for a little Thursday night entertainment.

A better option tonight is the game between the LA Clippers and the Washington Wizards.  Bradley Beal is averaging 32.9 points a game for the Wiz, which is also the current league best.  The last time these two teams met, on February 23, the Clippers won, as Kawhi Leonard put up 32 points.  More of the same is expected tonight.

The Clippers are -210 favorites, with a 5-point spread.  The Over/Under sits at 234.5 and, even though Washington has had some difficulty, this could be a close game.  It won’t be close enough to see the Wiz pull off an upset, but sports gamblers should expect the Over to hit.

Bucks Continue To Excel

The Milwaukee Bucks go into tonight’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies having one five of their last six.  They are averaging 119 points a game, shooting 48.6% overall.  Giannis Antetokounmpo is carrying a lot of that, averaging 29.1 points a game and the Grizzlies are in a bad spot.  They have only been able to hit about half of their games across the last 14 and continue to show uncertainty inside the paint.

The Bucks are at -230 tonight with a spread of 6 points (-110).  That is good for a little extra spending money, but the Over/Under of 234.5 (-109) doesn’t seem realistic.  This game is likely to fall short.

The Golden State Warriors will be in Phoenix to take on the Suns in what should be a relatively tight game, even if the odds don’t show it.  The Warriors have lost four of their last seven, but they still have a lot of strength.  Stephen Curry put up 35 points in last night’s lost to the Portland Trail Blazers, and will bring more action tonight.  The Suns have taken 12 of their last 14 and will look for their fourth straight tonight.

The Suns are rightfully getting -265 in tonight’s game with a spread of 6.5.  This is going to be a close game and could come down to the wire, and the Over/Under of 224 (-112) shouldn’t be a problem.  Put a little extra on the Over to add some excitement.

Thunder Wrap Up Texas Vacation

The Oklahoma City Thunder will play their second of a back-to-back in Texas tonight, this time taking on the San Antonio Spurs.  They just lost to the Dallas Mavericks last night, and there isn’t much reason to think tonight will be much different.  The Spurs have several players out due to COVID-19 protocols, but that won’t slow them down.  As the Thunder wrap up their Texas vacation ahead of the All-Star break, this will be an entertaining game.

The Spurs are -275 favorites, with 6.5 points on the line.  The Over/Under sits at 220 (-113), which seems high.  OKC has only put up 96 points or less in three of its last five games, and taking the Under is a smart move.

The Trail Blazers meet the Sacramento Kings tonight ready to dominate.  The Kings have lost ten of their last 12, but are coming off a win against the LA Lakers.  Normally, that would be cause to celebrate, but it came as both Anthony Davis and LeBron James didn’t suit up, so the win doesn’t carry as much weight as it might otherwise deserve.

The Trail Blazers dropped four in a row before turning things around and picking up three straight wins.  They’re getting -180 to the Kings’ +148 tonight, with a differential of just 4.5 points.  Portland will win, but the Over/Under of 236.5 (-112) seems to indicate a better game than many might expect.  Go for the Under, but expect a close match.