There are two great games on Thursday night, and they will be showcased by TNT in their Thursday night doubleheader. The Golden State Warriors will head to Grind City to take on the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Sacramento Kings will welcome the New York Knicks to central California. It would be easy to focus on a parlay involving these two games (especially considering the other four games on the schedule aren’t great), but Memphis is a huge question mark right now. Instead, the first leg of our Thursday night NBA parlay will feature the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference.
NBA Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook
Charlotte Hornets at Detroit Pistons
The Charlotte Hornets have the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte is 20-46, and the only team with a worse record in the East is the Detroit Pistons. Detroit is sitting at 15-50, and that puts the Pistons a half-game “ahead” in the race to the bottom for Victor Wembanyama.
There is a feeling that Detroit will lose as much as possible in order to stay ahead of Houston and San Antonio in hopes of landing the No. 1 overall pick, but the NBA evened out the lottery odds this offseason. The three worst teams in the NBA all have the same chance of receiving the No. 1 overall pick (14%), and the fourth worst team has a 12.5% chance of picking first. If you look at the current standings, the bottom four is essentially set at this point in the season, so there isn’t as much of a mandate to lose.
That’s why there is good value in Detroit to win this game. The Pistons are just 8-24 at home this season, but one of those previous wins in the Motor City came against the Hornets last month. Detroit has shut down Cade Cunningham, and Jalen Duren might not play in this game, but Bojan Bogdanovic lit up the scoreboard with 34 points his last time out, and Jaden Ivey is getting a lot of run as a rookie.
Meanwhile, Charlotte just lost its star player for the rest of the season due to a fractured ankle. LaMelo Ball made the Hornets a little frisky, but they have lost three straight games by double digits since his injury, and they failed to cover the NBA betting line in all of those games. They have really struggled to score points as the Hornets can’t reliably hit threes without Ball, so the Pistons could potentially secure one of their largest wins of the season in this game.
New York Knicks at Sacramento Kings
These two teams have been two of the NBA’s best stories through this point of the season. The Sacramento Kings are closing in on the Memphis Grizzlies in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, and they look set to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign.
Meanwhile, the New York Knicks have won nine straight games ahead of their home game with the Hornets on Tuesday night. The Knicks have racked up some big wins over the last several weeks. They have beat Boston (three times), Brooklyn (twice), Miami (twice), and Philadelphia. That has led to people regarding them as a contender in the Eastern Conference even though the Knicks have only won a single playoff series since reaching the NBA Finals in 2000.
There were only 211 points scored in the first meeting between these two teams back on December 11. That game sailed under the total per the NBA betting odds, but this game is likely to finish with at least 230 points as the Kings have the NBA’s most proficient five-man lineup. De’Aaron Fox missed the first game between these teams, and his presence will lead to a lot more points considering he is the leading scorer on Sacramento and one of the best passing point guards in the league. That will really help Domantas Sabonis and rookie Keegan Murray get more good looks.
We’ll see the Knicks score more than usual too since the Kings rank 28th in the NBA in defense since December. This young team has really struggled to stop opponents at times, and that’s why they had a double overtime game finish with 351 points just a couple weeks ago.