Friday NBA Betting Portfolio
Betting Tips For NBA
By Dan Favale
Boston Celtics (+3) vs. San Antonio Spurs (-3)
The Boston Celtics play like the best team in the NBA whenever Al Horford is on the floor. That Jae Crowder didn’t need to take a game off on Wednesday also bodes well for them.
But, you know, the San Antonio Spurs are the San Antonio Spurs. Unless they sit two or more of their starters, you have to like them for this matchup.
The Pick: San Antonio Spurs: -3
Orlando Magic (+2) vs. Washington Wizards (-2)
Although the Washington Wizards have been terrible this year, the Orlando Magic haven’t been much better. It’s also easy to like Washington’s offense over Orlando’s defense.
But to pick the Wizards doesn’t do their struggles enough justice. The Magic are at home, and they have a defense good enough to gum up Washington’s dribble penetration.
The Pick: Orlando Magic (+2)
Sacramento Kings (+3.5) vs. Houston Rockets (-3.5)
The Sacramento Kings surprised us on Wednesday night by upending the Oklahoma City Thunder. That they’re playing at home once again is certainly noteworthy.
Only, the Houston Rockets, unlike the Thunder, are a better team than them on both ends of the floor. That should make all the difference.
The Pick: Houston Rockets (-3.5)
New York Knicks (+1) vs. Charlotte Hornets (-1)
Betting in favor of the New York Knicks hasn’t been a great decision this season. But they are riding a wave of momentum provided by Kristaps Porzingis. It seems like a safe bet that tonight’s the night they climb above .500.
As for whether they’ll stay there, well, that’s a different story.
The Pick: New York Knicks (+1)
Cleveland Cavaliers (-15) vs. Dallas Mavericks (+15)
The Dallas Mavericks are the worst team in the NBA right now, and the Cleveland Cavaliers made fools of us during Wednesday night’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
That being said, 15 points is a lot to ask for the day after Thanksgiving. Expect Cleveland to pump the brakes a bit…we think.
The Pick: Dallas Mavericks (+15)
Detroit Pistons (+6.5) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (-6.5)
With Reggie Jackson still watching from the sidelines, it’s tough to like the Detroit Pistons in this one. Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan should neutralize one another, but Detroit doesn’t have an answer for either of the Los Angeles Clippers’ other two stars, Chris Paul Blake Griffin.
The Pick: Los Angeles Clippers (-6.5)
Philadelphia 76ers (+8) vs. Chicago Bulls (-8)
Eight points seems like a lot to lay for the Chicago Bulls, but the Philadelphia 76ers have struggled to keep pace with strong offensive teams for the entire season. And for all the Bulls’ cosmetic warts, they still rank ninth in offensive efficiency.
The Pick: Chicago Bulls (-8)
Utah Jazz (-3.5) vs. Atlanta Hawks (+3.5)
The Utah Jazz finally have George Hill back, which is bad news for the rest of the league. He has been their offensive lifeline, and the defense is strong enough to hold serve on most nights.
The Atlanta Hawks, meanwhile, have lost three of their last four games and are struggling to generate consistent offense. That trend should continue in Utah.
The Pick: Utah Jazz (-3.5)
Milwaukee Bucks (+3.5) vs. Toronto Raptors (-3.5)
That the Milwaukee Bucks are getting only 3.5 points against the Toronto Raptors speaks to how scrappy they’ve been. Or maybe it’s just a nod to Toronto’s potential post-Thanksgiving hangover.
Whatever the case, the Bucks aren’t yet in the same league as the Raptors. This feels like a trap game for them more than it does for Toronto.
The Pick: Toronto Raptors (-3.5)
Memphis Grizzlies (-6.5) vs. Miami Heat (+6.5)
Faster-paced athletic teams have posed a problem for the Memphis Grizzlies all season. Even if they beat the slumping Miami Heat, who don’t play fast but can be explosive, it shouldn’t be by much.
The Pick: Miami Heat (+6.5)
Indiana Pacers (-8.5) vs. Brooklyn Nets (+8.5)
After starting the season strong, the Brooklyn Nets have plummeted back down to earth, losing each of their last five games, four of which came by 19 points or more.
Are the Indiana Pacers good enough to capitalize on Brooklyn’s slump, though? No. No, they are not—at least not to this extent.
The Pick: Brooklyn Nets (+8.5)
Phoenix Suns (+1.5) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (-1.5)
Hot damn the Minnesota Timberwolves have been disappointing. Their floor spacing is better, and their offense is good enough, but the defense remains a mess.
Luckily for them, the Phoenix Suns don’t pose a real threat.
The Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves (-1.5)
Denver Nuggets (+1.5) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (-1.5)
As someone who believes the Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t very good, picking them makes me feel uneasy. However, the Denver Nuggets have yet to show us they can close out games, even at home.
Bank on Russell Westbrook being the difference here.
The Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder (-1.5)
Portland Trail Blazers (-4.5) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (+4.5)
Typically we would roll with the Portland Trail Blazers here. They are traditionally beasts at home, and the New Orleans Pelicans aren’t very good.
But the Blazers have one of the five worst home-court net ratings this season, while the Pelicans have been statistical monsters since the return of Jrue Holiday. That makes our decision for us.
The Pick: New Orleans Pelicans (+4.5)
Los Angeles Lakers (+13) vs. Golden State Warriors (-13)
No, the Golden State Warriors probably won’t conjure up another 43-point victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, as they did on Wednesday night. But we’re kidding ourselves if we think the returns of Julius Randle—but not D’Angelo Russell—will make much of a difference against the scorching-hot Warriors.
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