A rollercoaster of an NBA week schedule-wise continues Thursday with a modest five-game slate. As is customary almost every night this time of season, there are multiple games with some sort of postseason implications, including one marquee matchup apiece in each conference.
Thursday March 24 NBA odds
Here are Thursday March 24 NBA odds with point spreads, moneylines and totals.
NBA Player Props
Nuggets C Nikola Jokic
The Suns head to Denver on the second leg of a B2B set tonight and Nikola Jokic will still have to carry a heavy load for the Nuggets to pull out a win. Jokic is averaging 33.8 PPG, 14.2 RPG, and 9.2 APG with a 34.7% usage rate over five conference matchups since Denver dropped a stunner at home to the Thunder. He’s averaging 30 PPG over his last six outings at home and scoring 27 PPG with 14.7 RPG over his last three meetings with Phoenix. The Suns are playing at the fifth-fastest pace over their last eight games and have shot 45% or lower from the field in three of their last B2B games that didn’t come against the lowly Rockets. More misses means more available rebounds for Joker, who should top 26.5 points and has a good shot at 38.5 combined points and rebounds tonight.
Wizards C Kristaps Porzingis
The Wizards are 13-point underdogs in Milwaukee tonight, but Kristaps Porzingis has been averaging 24.5 PPG over just 29 MPG with a 36% usage rate over his last two outings, so he should be safe to top 20.5 points even if this game is a blowout down the stretch. Kyle Kuzma (knee) has been out in those last two games and Porzingis has stepped in as the main weapon for Washington. He averaged 23.3 PPG and 12.5 RPG over four meetings with Milwaukee when he was with the Mavericks and the Bucks are playing at the second-fastest pace while allowing 117.5 PPG over their last 12 outings. Porzingis should also go over 28.5 combined points and rebounds.
What to watch for today
Cavs and Raptors clash in key late-season battle: The Cavaliers and Raptors are currently next-door neighbors in the Eastern Conference standings, with No. 5-seeded Cleveland holding a one-game lead over No. 6-seeded Toronto. The two teams meet Thursday night at Scotiabank Arena coming off losses and with the Raps trying to avoid a four-game season sweep at the hands of Darius Garland and company. Two of the three defeats Nick Nurse’s squad has endured in the series have been close, however, and the one prior game in Toronto was decided by a single point.
Grizzlies look to add to Pacers’ misery, possibly without Morant: The Grizzlies have the luxury of not having to worry much about their seeding these days, as Memphis remains one of the hottest teams in the entire league and checks in as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Wednesday night, Taylor Jenkins’ squad pulled off a particularly impressive 132-120 victory over a Brooklyn Nets team that had Kyrie Irving available, as they accomplished it without Ja Morant. The star point guard has now missed two games with a knee injury, and even with the possibility that absence extends to Thursday’s visit from the Pacers, Memphis is still up to a 12.5-point home favorite.
Wizards in desperation mode for visit to short-handed defending champs: The Wizards do have plenty of concerns regarding their postseason possibilities at the moment, as Washington finds itself five games out of the play-in level with just 11 games remaining. Wes Unseld Jr.’s squad has naturally been hurt by the season-ending loss of Bradley Beal (wrist), and they weren’t set to exactly catch a break Thursday night in their last-ditch quest to play beyond the last day of the regular season. Washington visits the Bucks, which are 25-12 on their Fiserv Forum home floor; however, Milwaukee will be missing both Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) and Khris Middleton (wrist), which brightens the Wizards’ prospects a bit despite the fact they’ll also be missing Kyle Kuzma (knee).
Bulls look to rebound from latest concerning loss: The Bulls’ ineptitude against fellow contending teams from either conference has been well-documented, and Chicago only further sullied its resume in that regard Tuesday night by taking a 126-98 thumping from Milwaukee. Billy Donovan’s club would seem to be catching a bit of a breather on paper Thursday when they visit the 30-42 Pelicans, but New Orleans is fighting to maintain a hold of its No. 10 seed at minimum, and even their lackluster 16-20 home record is mirrored by Chicago’s 16-20 road mark.
Suns on quest to clinch top seed in visit to Nuggets: While multiple teams in each conference fret over their positioning or ability to deliver quality wins, the Suns are above the fray, coasting along with an NBA-best 59-14 record that’s good enough to afford them an expansive nine-game lead for the top spot in the Western Conference. One more victory is all that it will take for Phoenix to officially sew up the No. 1 seed, although that won’t come easy if to comes at all during a Thursday night visit to Ball Arena. The Nuggets will certainly have plenty of motivation to prevent any Suns celebration on their home floor, and they’ll also be looking to atone for a 29-point shellacking at the hands of Monty Williams’ club the last time the two teams clashed.