NBA Thursday trend plays: Take the Mavericks as road favorites
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Following a jam-packed, 12-game slate on Wednesday, the card gets a little lighter for Thursday with only three games on tap. Nonetheless, here are the prime betting nuggets you need to know before locking in your wagers tonight.

Washington Wizards at Cleveland Cavaliers (-1.5, 231)

The Wizards' scoring defense is the league's worst while allowing 120.1 points per game. But instead of rushing to lock in the full-game over here, recent history suggests the best bet is in the first half.

Washington's defense is also dead last in the first half, conceding 63 points per contest. In 35 games this season in which the Wizards were underdogs, 28 of those first halves have gone over the total. The Cavaliers might be able to contribute to this number too, as they rank No. 22 in the league in first-half points allowed at 56.8.

Trend play: first half over 119.5

Los Angeles Lakers at Brooklyn Nets (+5.5, 228)

The Lakers will finish the second half of back-to-back games on Thursday against Brooklyn after failing to cover as a 12.5-point favorite over the Knicks on Wednesday. This spot lines up well to buy low and back Los Angeles.

The Lakers have been one of the better teams in the league when playing without a rest day, going 3-1 against the spread and winning by an average of 15.7 points per game. They're also 4-1 ATS over their last five road games, 9-4-1 ATS during the club's last 14 matchups against teams with losing records, and 5-2 ATS over their last seven games overall.

Meanwhile, the Nets are reeling. They're 1-9 ATS following an outright loss, 0-4 ATS over their last four games as underdogs, and 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games.

Trend play: Lakers -5.5

Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers (+4, 229)

The Mavericks have been road warriors lately, going 10-2-1 ATS over their last 13 games when giving points, and 20-6-2 during their last 28 games overall away from home. They've gotten the better of the Trail Blazers, going 20-7 ATS during the last 27 meetings between the two teams, and 6-1 ATS the last seven in Portland.

The Blazers have been a terrible play as 'dogs, covering just two of their last 11 games when catching points. Additionally, they haven't covered in their last six games as home underdogs and are on a dreadful 0-6-1 skid ATS at home.

Trend play: Mavericks -4

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.

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NBA Thursday trend plays: Take the Mavericks as road favorites
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