We continue our coverage of the 2021-22 NBA season on Thursday where there’s a huge 11-game slate on offer. Catch our best spread and player prop bets for the day right here and good luck to everyone following!
NBA Betting Tips: Thursday, 16th of December
Houston Rockets at Cleveland Cavaliers
Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, 11am AEDT
The Rockets looked on their way to their third consecutive loss when they trailed by as much as 17 points late in the third quarter, however the Rockets were able to generate some serious momentum in the fourth quarter to secure one of the most unlikely wins of the season. Impressively, the Rockets have now won eight of their last 10 games after losing 15 in a row.
The Cavaliers have arguably been the biggest surprise packet so far this season as they currently sit in fourth spot in the East with a 17-12 record. Most recently they made relatively light work of the talented Heat by 11 points, which made it four straight wins by double-figure margins. Whether or not the young Cavaliers can keep up this type of form for the remainder of the season is one of the big question marks.
No one could have imagined that a battle between the Cavaliers and the Rockets in December would be a juicy matchup, but that’s exactly the case here. Interestingly, despite coming in with eight wins from their last 10 games, the Rockets are as big as $5 in the H2H market, which is a touch disrespectful in our opinion. While the Cavs should be able to negotiate a win on their home deck, we expect it to be close than the bookies are letting on.
Houston Rockets +10.5
Charlotte Hornets at San Antonio Spurs
AT&T Center, 12:30pm AEDT
The Hornets are going through a rough patch in form and come into this slate having lost six of their last eight games. Reigning Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball has missed an extended period of time due to health and safety protocols, which has resulted in their offensive numbers taking a huge dip. He’s set to miss once again on Thursday but should be back in action in the not-so-distant future.
The Spurs got their campaign off to a horrible start but have found some really solid form over the last couple of weeks to help revive their season. They dominated the Pelicans in a 112-97 home victory last time out to make it six wins from their last nine games. The Spurs are now 10-16 on the season and still have plenty of work to do to get back in the playoff mix.
These teams split the two-game season series 1-1 last season but are yet to face off this campaign. The Spurs will have home court advantage on their side in their clash on Thursday and will also have the benefit of not having to come up against LaMelo Ball, who’s proven to be a very big loss. With those factors in mind, we’re happy to be with the Spurs to cover the small spread here.
San Antonio Spurs -3.5
Minnesota Timberwolves at Denver Nuggets
Ball Arena, 1pm AEDT
The Timberwolves have had a rollercoaster of a season and we’re only a third of the way through. Most recently they recorded a fantastic five-point road win against the Trail Blazers, but it was more than necessary as they were on a five-game losing run. That win over the Blazers coincided with the return of D’Angelo Russell from injury, although he’s listed as only questionable to play again on Thursday.
The Nuggets were well and truly in control of their most recent game against the Wizards where they led by as many as 33 points in the third quarter, only to finish up as just six-point winners. Nikola Jokic was absolutely dominant once again with a 28/19/9 stat-line, doing his work in just three quarters. The Nuggets have now won five of their last eight and are back above .500 for the season.
The Timberwolves are usually a tough team to beat when they’re engaged and have all of their key players healthy, however the Nuggets are notoriously hard to beat at altitude in Denver, especially with Nikola Jokic fit and firing. We expect the Nuggets to continue their good home form and to cover the small spread on Thursday.
Denver Nuggets -4.5
11am Hawks at Magic – Franz Wagner 16+ Points ($1.95 Sportsbet)
11am Rockets at Cavaliers – Isaac Okoro 11+ Points ($1.80 Sportsbet)
11:30am Lakers at Mavericks - Kristaps Porzingis 22+ Points ($1.87 TAB)
12pm Pelicans at Thunder – Josh Giddey 6+ Rebounds ($1.77 Sportsbet)
12pm Pacers at Bucks – Caris LeVert 18+ Points ($1.96 Sportsbet)
12pm Pacers at Bucks – Domantas Sabonis 19+ Points ($1.81 Sportsbet)
1pm Timberwolves at Nuggets – Aaron Gordon 15+ Points ($1.85 TAB)
2pm Wizards at Kings – De’Aaron Fox 22+ Points ($1.85 TAB)
2pm Clippers at Jazz – Donovan Mitchell 26+ Points ($1.90 TAB)