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Betting preview for Thursday's NBA games

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With their loss in Washington D.C., the Los Angeles Lakers officially clinched the under on their win total, but the story here is what this Lakers team is now that Anthony Davis is back.

Los Angeles is 1-3 SU/0-4 ATS in the four games with Davis back on the floor, and according to Cleaning The Glass they have allowed 1.145 points per possession in non-garbage time. That defensive rating might surprise some people reading this, but this is what this Lakers team has been this season when Davis is flying solo.

Before Wednesday’s loss, Los Angeles allowed 119.9 points per 100 possessions in the minutes that Davis was on the floor without LeBron James. Last night, the Wizards burned them for 1.149 points per possession, continuing the trend of subpar defensive play with only Davis on the floor. Yet, the market has priced them as a team much better than they really are.

When Davis was originally injured, there was a ridiculous notion that the Lakers would have been better without LeBron as opposed to Davis. That was wrong then, and these four games have shown us how just how wrong that idea was. Until the market corrects its perception of this version of Los Angeles, the Lakers will continue to be a regular team to play against.

It is NFL draft day so this will be a quick edition of game notes. I’ll be on our draft coverage tonight, so tune in!

Updated odds for every game can be found here.

Updated injury reports for every game can be found here.

*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back

The Main Event

Toronto Raptors at Denver Nuggets* (-4, 224.5)

Denver escaped with a win over New Orleans last night, and now the Nuggets find themselves in a tough scheduling spot -- playing their fifth game in seven nights. On top of that, this team is now 1-5 ATS in its last six games despite a 5-1 SU record. The market has overvalued them to a certain extent, and now they have to face a Toronto team that is relatively whole again. 

Gary Trent Jr. is going to miss this game tonight and Chris Boucher is still sidelined with a knee injury, but Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam have been making noise recently, leading the Raptors to a 5-2 ATS record over the last seven games. Toronto has been above average on both ends of the floor and outscored the opposition by 3.4 points every 100 possessions. Their defense has limited opponents to an offensive rating of just 109.9, which could help against a Denver team limited to 1.046 points per possession by the 27th-ranked defense in the league last night.

Nuggets bettors will also want to track the injury report today too. Michael Porter Jr. tweaked his ankle and was limping after the game. He told the media he would play, but it is something to monitor.

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