2023 NBA playoffs: Odds, picks, betting tips for Thursday

ESPN’s fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data, featuring ESPN’s proprietary Basketball Power Index (BPI) to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds for Thursday are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

What you need to know for Thursday’s games

The suspension of Draymond Green for tonight’s pivotal Game 3 matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings drives some significant statistical implications. For instance, Donte DiVincenzo sees sizable surges in usage, assist rate, and fantasy points per minute when he’s been off the floor this season. It’s also worth noting that Stephen Curry’s usage leaps by a team-high four percent when playing without Green.

As the Warriors face a must-win game at home, Andrew Wiggins stands out as a strong value for DFS competition given a modest price point ($6,300 on DraftKings). On the other side of the ball, Green’s absence could be a real boon to Domantas Sabonis, a player I’m projecting to produce around 52 DraftKings points this evening.

In the other two games of this three-game Thursday slate, I’m building lineups around Kevin Durant given his surge in playmaking (16 dimes through two games) for the Phoenix Suns. In Brooklyn, meanwhile, it appears Spencer Dinwiddie is due for a positive correction in terms of scoring and passing production. He’s led his team in drives for the series and sits only behind Nikola Jokic during the postseason in passes and touches per game. Even as the Nets appear overmatched by the 76ers in this series, Dinwiddie is in a quietly good spot to produce tonight.

— Jim McCormick

Breaking down the slate

Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets
Game 3: 7:30 p.m. ET, 76ers lead series 2-0

Records (Against the Spread)
76ers: 54-28 (46-35-1)
Nets: 45-37 (43-39-0)

Line: 76ers (-4.5) Total: 209.5
BPI Projection: 76ers by 8.7
Money Line: 76ers (-195), Nets (+162)

Injury Report:
76ers: Jalen McDaniels, (GTD – Illness)
Nets: Ben Simmons, (OUT – Back)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: 76ers (-4.5). Brooklyn has been up for the fight so far in this series, but the 76ers are too talented and dominant on offense. Philadelphia has also displayed a strong defensive profile so far in the series by giving up 101 or fewer points in Games 1 and 2. The Nets are expected to go all out especially on their home floor, and the spread suggests it. The 76ers are 8-3 against the spread in their last 11 road games. That trend should continue in Game 3. — Eric Moody

Best bet: Mikal Bridges over 34.5 points + assists + rebounds. Bridges has stepped up to close out the regular season for the Nets following Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s departures. Brooklyn needs Bridges to deliver an exceptional performance to win Game 3. Over the last two games, he averaged 25.5 points, 4.0 assists, and 5.0 rebounds. Bridges should meet or exceed these averages on Thursday night. — Moody

Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors
Game 3: 10 p.m. ET, Kings lead series 2-0

Records (Against the Spread)
Kings: 48-34 (45-37-0)
Warriors: 44-38 (39-42-1)

Line: Warriors (-6) Total: 240.5
BPI Projection: Kings by 3.2
Money Line: Kings (+205), Warriors (-250)

Injury Report:
Kings: Matthew Dellavedova, (OUT – Finger)
Warriors: Andrew Wiggins, (GTD – Shoulder); Gary Payton II, (GTD – Illness); Jordan Poole, (GTD – Ankle); Andre Iguodala, (OUT – Wrist); Draymond Green, (OUT – Suspension); Ryan Rollins, (OUT – Foot)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Domantas Sabonis over 39.5 points + assists + rebounds. Sabonis is crucial to the Kings’ offense, especially against a Warriors team that lacks interior size without Draymond Green. Sabonis can dominate in the paint and feed the plethora of shooters on the Kings on the perimeter. A Kings win on the road would be a knockout blow for the Warriors and Sabonis could be a key reason that happens. — Moody

Phoenix Suns at LA Clippers
Game 3: 10:30 p.m. ET, Series tied 1-1

Records (Against the Spread)
Suns: 45-37 (42-38-2)
Clippers: 44-38 (40-42-0)

Line: Suns (-3) Total: 226.5
BPI Projection: Clippers by 5
Money Line: Suns (-165), Clippers (+140)

Injury Report:
Suns: Cameron Payne, (GTD – Back)
Clippers: Paul George, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Clippers (+3). The Clippers demonstrated their depth and skill in Phoenix, stealing home-court advantage. Kawhi Leonard might be the best player this series and the infamous zig-zag theory supports the Clips in this spot off a loss. — Doug Kezirian

Best bet: Norman Powell over 14.5 points. Powell has averaged 10.5 FGA and 13.0 PPG so far during the postseason while shooting 42.9% from the field. He’s been an effective bench player for the Clippers this season and can easily surpass 14.5 points if his shot starts falling in Game 3. Powell averaged 22.8 points over the last four games of the regular season. — Moody

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