Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith, right, reach for the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith, right, reach for the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, in Oklahoma City. |Sue Ogrocki | Associated Press
NBA

NBA Thursday: Greg Frank picks Raptors vs Heat and Thunder vs Spurs — Can Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Oklahoma City keep rolling?

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

0-1 Tuesday, 61-58-1 overall.

Raptors (+6) @ Heat (215)

Pick: Raptors +6

Toronto is being disrespected here. At 23-11 and 20-14 ATS, we’ve seen enough to believe the Raptors need to be taken seriously in the post-Kawhi Leonard era. Of course, repeating as NBA Champions is unlikely, but seriously enough to where they can keep this game within the six points they are getting? Absolutely. Miami comes into this one having won five out of six and six of its last eight games. However, we think the Heat are getting a little expensive. In those last eight games, Miami is 3-4-1 ATS. These are always teams that can be exploitable because the straight-up wins are what catch the eyes of most bettors and therefore the oddsmakers will slowly but surely inflate the lines against those teams until the public catches up to the lack of covering. Toronto and Miami are about even teams which means the Heat should be a shorter favorite than six points on its home floor. Pascal Siakam outshines Bam Adeybayo and this game goes down to the final possession.

Thunder (+2) @ Spurs (218.5)

Pick: Spurs -2

Can we finally begin to trust the Spurs? At 14-18, the Spurs are one game clear of the playoff cut line in the West and come into their first game in 2020 having won three out of four and covered the spread in five out of their last seven. With the second half of the NBA’s regular season right around the corner, the West appears to be a battle for two playoff spots. These are two of the teams in the hunt as Oklahoma City holds the 7th seed currently and is 3.5 games clear of San Antonio. The Thunder’s roster is an interesting mix of veterans like Danilo Gallinari, Chris Paul and Steven Adams to youngsters like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo and Terrence Ferguson. The Spurs are always a team that relies on its experience so it’s no surprise that San Antonio came into the season with the fourth-most experienced roster by average years of NBA service. We mentioned in our Nets-Timberwolves handicap on Monday that role players, particularly younger ones, are going to play better at home more often than not. This seems like a spot where the Spurs savvy veterans win out.

WANNA BET NBA BASKETBALL?

In New Jersey: PointsBet.com, Promo code: BETTORS (You can get two risk-free bets up to $1,000 if you qualify.) William Hill NJ (Deposit $50, get $50 cash) RIvers Casino NJ* (First deposit match up to $250)

In Pennsylvania: Rivers Casino PA* (First deposit match up to $250). Only 1x Wager Applies, Playable in PA Only

In most of Europe: William Hill UK; Pinnacle (No UK or Portugal); Asian Odds (No UK or Portugal)

In Asia: Pinnacle/Asian Odds

In parts of South America: Pinnacle/Asian Odds

In parts of Africa: Pinnacle/Asian Odds

*Note: First Deposit Bonus may only be claimed once per person across all Rivers websites

GAMBLING PROBLEM? CALL 1-800-GAMBLER

Bettors Insider
www.bettorsinsider.com