NBA Betting: Race To Playoffs Starts Thursday

For basketball fans and bettors, Disney World will truly be the Happiest Place on Earth on Thursday night as the NBA returns with seeding games and the race to the playoffs begins.

There are two seeding games on tap Thursday night starting with the Utah Jazz vs the New Orleans Pelicans. At Bovada Sportsbook, the Pelicans are 2-point favorites.

Jazz have won 6 straight ATS as underdog

The Pelicans currently sit outside the playoff picture in the Western Conference and will need wins and some help to get in. New Orleans’ chances will likely rest on the status of star Zion Williamson. He had to leave the Florida bubble due to a family issue and was forced into a four-day quarantine upon his return. That ended Tuesday, but the Pelicans did not commit to him being ready to play on Thursday.

When the season was halted, New Orleans had won three straight against the spread. The Pellies were also 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games away from home.

Utah was 5-1 straight up in its last six before the break but only 2-4 ATS, and the team was 2-8 ATS in its last 10. However, as an underdog the Jazz had won six straight ATS.

In three games against the Pelicans this season, the Jazz were 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS. They last met up on January 16 in New Orleans and the Pelicans won 138-132 as a 5.5-point underdog.

Battle of LA resumes in Orlando

In Thursday night’s other game, the Los Angeles Lakers face the Los Angeles Clippers as 4.5-point favorites.

Other than the injured Rajon Rondo, the Lakers should be at full strength Thursday night. Anthony Davis left a scrimmage earlier this week after getting poked in the eye, but it was not believed to be serious and should not keep him out Thursday.

The Clippers will be missing Lou Williams, who will be stuck in quarantine until August 4 due to leaving the bubble.

The Lakers were 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games prior to the break. In their last seven road games, the Lakers were 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS.

The Clippers were 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games before the break. This includes winning four straight both SU and ATS on the road. As an underdog, the Clippers were 4-7 SU and 5-6 ATS in their last 11 games.

The Clippers were 2-1 SU and ATS in three matchups with the Lakers this season. They last clashed on March 8 and the Lakers won 112-103 as a 2.5-point underdog.