Thursday marks the return of the NBA after the All-Star break. If you need help making NBA game picks for Thursday, February 3, then read this right now. We have three expert picks on the night — all of which comes free of cost.
Seven games will be played Thursday so about half the league will be in action. However, only three of those games are really worth betting on. Allow us to explain below:
Moneyline: Denver Nuggets at Cleveland Cavaliers
This is a juicy matchup between two of the league’s best teams. With a record of 41-18, Denver leads the Western Conference. However, traveling to Cleveland won’t be an easy task. The Cavs own an impressive 25-6 mark on their home floor. Perhaps that’s why the most popular basketball betting sites have pegged Cleveland as 2.5-point favorites on Thursday:
We should mention these two sides squared off in early January, back in Denver. Nikola Jokic pulled off his usual triple-double with a 28-point, 15-rebound, and 10-assist outing. Those efforts propelled the Nuggets to a comfortable 13-point win on their home floor. The caveat, though? Donovan Mitchell did not play for Cleveland.
Mitchell, of course, has delivered since coming to the city. He’s averaging career-highs in points per game (27.3), field goal percentage (48), and three-point percentage (38.7). Those efforts led to him being named a starter for the All-Star game for the first time ever. But despite his presence on Thursday, we’re still picking the Nuggets to win straight up as underdogs.
It’s just been confirmed that Jamal Murray will indeed play. A knee injury sidelined him the six games before the All-Star break. He’s back, rested, and likely to be effective in this high-profile game. Murray is slowly returning to All-Star form after an ACL tear shut him down for a whole year. Jokic and Murray just have more firepower up top than Cleveland does.
Against the Spread: Memphis Grizzlies at Philadelphia 76ers
From one game featuring conference powers to another. The Grizzlies are 35-22, good enough for second in the West. Philly is even better at 38-19. Given those records, it’s no wonder why the Memphis-Philadelphia spread is so close:
|Philadelphia spread (-4)||-110||-110||-110|
|Memphis spread (+4)||-110||-110||-110|
But here’s the thing: the Grizzlies aren’t playing like their NBA Finals potential, and haven’t for over a month now. That coincides with the injury to big man Stevan Adams. Without him, Memphis has gone 4-7. Worse, during this stretch, the team ranks 24th in offensive efficiency, 11th in offensive rebounding, and 21st in field goal shooting.
Adams' absence carries extra significance against the 76ers because he would match up well with Joel Embiid. Without Adams, Embiid should feast. Embiid is averaging 33.1 points and 10.2 rebounds this season. He’s always been one of the best centers in the league when healthy, which he is right now coming off the All-Star break. We expect Embiid to key Philadelphia to a big win and cover the spread in the process.
Over/Under 226 Points: Detroit Pistons at a Orlando Magic
Alright, back to the bottom of the barrel for our third pick of the night. By that, we mean the bottom of the standings because Detroit and Orlando are god-awful once again. The Pistons are entrenched in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes with the worst record in the East (15-44). Orlando is marginally better at 24-35. Despite the low-quality play, we’re enticed by the Pistons-Magic over/under, which is set to 226 points:
|Over 226 points||-110||-110||-110|
|Under 226 points||-110||-110||-110|
Does anyone remember the last time these two teams met on the court? It was December 29 and Detroit won handily 121-101. What was most memorable, however, was a bench-clearing fight breaking out mid-game. Orlando’s Moritz Wagner took a punch to the back of the head, which led to chaos. It wasn’t “Malice in the Palace” bad but by modern standards, it was quite fierce. Eleven players ultimately served suspensions cause of it (mostly for leaving the bench).
That brawl looms large in this game. More than anything else, we think it’ll motivate the players. Neither team is playing for much coming out of All-Star so even a little bit of bragging rights is enough to get the juices flowing. And when motivation is up, so is defensive intensity usually. That’s why we’re predicting an under in this game as both sides bring their best for an otherwise meaningless matchup.
How To Bet On NBA Games Tonight?
If you want a complete list of NBA bets on the seven games Thursday, hit one of the bookmakers listed underneath. Any one of them will get the job done and get the job done right. Each site you see featured in the table is there because they are rated high in our latest sportsbook reviews.
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