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Betting preview for Thursday's NBA games

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Last night was one of the best nights of this current NBA season. We had four games with single-digit final deficits, three of which came down to the final possession. There star performances -- like 47 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo or 46 points from Zach LaVine -- and there were bad beats (condolences to Clippers backers last night). But most important of all, there were lessons to be learned. 

The betting market had seen enough after the Brooklyn Nets loss to Detroit on Tuesday, and was all over Indiana at the window. The Pacers eventually closed as small favorites on the road, but never came close to covering. Brooklyn led by as much as 35 points, and slapped the hands of those with Indiana tickets.

In no universe should this Pacers team be rated higher than the Nets, and we saw that yesterday. Brooklyn has its flaws, but this is still a quality team, even without Kevin Durant.

Here are my NBA game notes for Thursday, Feb. 11:

Note: * indicates that team is on second leg of a back-to-back.

Updated injury reports can be found here.

Updated odds for every game can be found here.

Miami Heat (-3, 218) at Houston Rockets

Since Jimmy Butler has returned, the results have been there for the Heat, but the covers have not. Miami has won three straight and four of their last six games since Butler came back from dealing with COVID, but the team is just 1-1-4 ATS. In all six of those games Miami has been laying six points or more, showing the betting market’s respect for this team, but it is clear the Heat have needed time to work through the rust that comes with your team being ravaged by injury and disease.

Since Butler’s return the team has a + 4.6 net rating, and that is largely due to a solid defense that has allowed 1.073 points per possession. The positives are there for the Heat, but the market may have been too quick to improve the power rating on Miami without considering the time it takes for a team to work its way back to form.

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