The Thursday night TNT doubleheader is less than 12 hours from tipping off. And NBA fans are in for a pair of marquee matchups as the Milwaukee Bucks meet the Philadelphia 76ers before the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers square off for Tinseltown supremacy.
Both games should be competitive, and every team has an honest chance at walking away victorious. With that in mind, let’s check out the DraftKings betting odds to figure out who you should put your money on tonight.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks (6:30 PM CT)
Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of maybe a handful of players you can call a legitimate championship cornerstone. But superstars still need a superb supporting cast to help push them past the finish line, and the Bucks have already lost Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton for multiple weeks.
Milwaukee went 0-5 during the preseason, which isn’t all that concerning, especially given the players Mike Budenholzer allocated minutes to as he configured lineups. Continuity across the roster should make up for some of the absences, though Philly probably has the upper hand at home.
The 76ers already got their dress rehearsal out of the way on Tuesday as they fell to Boston in a game they trailed most of the night. Despite losing to the reigning Eastern Conference champions, the three-headed monster that is Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey shined bright.
Fresh faces like Montrezl Harrell, Danuel House, De’Anthony Melton, and P.J. Tucker are still adjusting to new teammates and an unfamiliar system. Perhaps facing a shorthanded opponent is just what they need to uncover their rhythm. The odds favor the Sixers, and that seems like a safe bet.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers (9:00 PM CT)
LeBron James and the Lakers had a horrific implosion down the stretch of last season, and their dreadful opening act against Golden State felt more like a sign of things to come than a one-off mistake. Three-point shooting and defense were glaring issues. Depth is their greatest downfall.
Russell Westbrook has become a scapegoat for disgruntled fans, but they might focus their irritation on Anthony Davis if he continues to hit jumpers at a historically poor percentage. Regardless of who you point your finger at, there are several culprits behind this strange roster configuration.
While the Clippers had a similarly disappointing season a year ago, nearly all of their problems stemmed from Kawhi Leonard missing every game as he healed from a torn ACL. With the five-time All-Star at 100% and a clean bill of health for everyone else, this team has the makings of a contender.
Paul George also stands to benefit from the return of the Klaw. Ty Lue will no longer have to thrust career-high usage upon the All-NBA forward, and integrating Normal Powell and John Wall should also alleviate some of the scoring and playmaking load. Go with the odds and bet on the Clips.
Clippers: Spread: -5 (-110), O/U: 223.5 (-110)