NBA Thursday first basket best bets and parlay: Curry riding momentum of ASG MVP

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) lays up up the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022
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Ricky Dimon

NBA· 2 months ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The NBA is back, baby. All-star festivities were mostly fun (other than the slam dunk contest, of course) and finally, all-star break is over. Games resume on Thursday night with 14 teams taking the court. The schedule is headlined by a doubleheader on TNT, starting with the Nets hosting the Celtics before the Warriors visit the Trail Blazers.

Let’s start off the proverbial second half of the season (it’s really like the final quarter) by going big with some first basket best bets.

Hawks vs Bulls: DeMar DeRozan +650

DeRozan was absolutely on fire heading into the all-star break. He became the first player in NBA history to score at least 35 points and shoot at least 50 percent from the floor in 7 straight games. That broke Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 6, which he accomplished twice (in both 1960-61 and 1962-63). DeRozan also has a current streak of 8 contests with at least 30 points, the longest such run in the Bulls franchise since Michael Jordan did it 8 times consecutively in 1995-96. On Thursday, Chicago is playing at home and facing a porous defense in the form of Atlanta. I like the home team getting off to a hot start right away. It’s not ideal that Nikola Vucevic is subpar in the department of tipoffs, but the good news is that Hawks big man Clint Capela is the same. Both guys are winning fewer than 40 percent of their jumps.

Check out all of our NBA previews and picks for Thursday

Warriors vs Trail Blazers: Stephen Curry +700

Similar to the situation with DeRozan, when you can get the best player on the floor at this kind of number it’s a chance you have to take. DeRozan is the fourth favorite in the Hawks-Bulls game, while Curry is tied for the fourth favorite in Warriors-Blazers (Klay Thompson is a +460 top choice). Curry is coming off winning MVP of the All-Star Game, during which he drained 16 3-pointers. The former Davidson standout could not throw it in the ocean for Golden State in weeks leading up to the break, but could that performance finally get him going? It’s by no means out of the question. It is true that Curry forked up bricks once the two all-star teams started playing defense in the fourth quarter, but the Blazers’ defense may be rather lackadaisical—especially on the first possession.

Check out our +2188 Warriors vs Trail Blazers same game parlay

Grizzlies vs Timberwolves: Steven Adams +650

What you have to like most about this play is that Adams will almost certainly win the tipoff. He is the NBA master in that department this season, leading the league in jump balls won (53) and percentage (76.8). Karl-Anthony Towns is winning fewer than half of his jumps. Assuming Memphis gains possession first, Adams himself could be the immediate beneficiary. The 7-footer from New Zealand has scored at least 14 points in 3 of the last 4 outings. Over the past 3 games, the Timberwolves are giving up the 6th-most points in the paint (average of 54.0 per contest).

If you want to go really big, a DeRozan-Curry-Adams parlay pays out at +44900!

Pickswise is the home of free NBA picks and predictions. Make sure to also check out our NBA parlays and NBA prop bets tabs for more expert picks.

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