NBA Thursday betting preview: Lakers, Heat in for low-scoring affair
Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Thursday's slate features seven games, including a rematch of last season's NBA Finals and a couple of Western Conference risers playing the second game of a back-to-back.

Here are the key betting angles to keep handy.

Lakers @ Heat (-8.5, 204.5)

The Lakers and Heat match up for just the second time since last year's title series. Miami won in a low-scoring affair back in February and now draws an L.A. offense on life support.

The defending champs went over their team total for just the second time in their last 10 tries in Tuesday's 110-101 win against the Raptors. L.A. is far and away the best "under" team in the NBA (34-17, 66.7%), hitting seven of the last nine as road underdogs and each of the last four when catching points.

The Heat have gone under the total in 19 of their last 26 contests versus winning teams, while four of the previous five in this series have cashed. This total's as low as it is for a reason.

Bulls @ Raptors (+4, 217)

If you're profitable against the spread and converting unders at a consistent rate, your defense is doing something right. Enter the Bulls, who head into tonight 28-21 ATS and 26-23 to the under this season.

Both Chicago and the under have both consistently cashed recently, and Thursday's tilt against the Raptors is another spot where the defense should hold its weight. The Bulls have held each of the last six opponents to their team total under when favored.

Opponent Result Team Total Team Total O/U
Pacers W 113-97 111.5 Under
Cavaliers L 103-94 103.5 Under
Pistons W 100-86 106.5 Under
Spurs L 106-97 111.5 Under
Thunder W 123-102 110.5 Under
Raptors W 118-95 113.5 Under

Chicago is 10-2 ATS the last 12 on the road versus Toronto, while the Raptors are riding an ugly 1-7 run ATS over the last eight overall.

Trail Blazers @ Jazz (-6, 232.5)

The Jazz are in a tricky spot Thursday, playing the second of a back-to-back following a grueling overtime loss over the Suns. The market's already taken a liking to the visitors, betting the Trail Blazers down from -7 to -6, but is it skewed toward the rest factor?

Utah's 9-1 ATS over the last 10 after its starting five collects more than 150 minutes in the previous game. With the Jazz also 6-1 ATS the last seven on no rest and 17-4 the previous 21 as home chalk, don't overlook the home side.

Suns @ Clippers (-6.5, 221)

Following a signature win over Utah, the Suns take the short trip to Staples Center for a second of a back-to-back against the Clippers. Phoenix covered Wednesday, pushing the franchise to a league-best 33-17 ATS, but will the tide turn Thursday?

The Suns are 0-4 ATS following a cover and haven't had much luck on the road against the Clippers recently, cashing just one of the last nine meetings.

L.A., meanwhile, is clicking on all cylinders, covering eight of the last 10 with seven of those wins by double digits.

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. 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 betting preview: Lakers, Heat in for low-scoring affair
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