Friday’s 11-game NBA slate is loaded with plenty of action that’ll take us into the weekend. The national-TV doubleheader will be handled by ESPN, which is featuring the Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks at Golden State Warriors. This is the last night before March Madness resumes play, so let’s get some house money to play with.
MIA: back-end b2b (vs POR yesterday), 3 games in 4 days, 4 in 6 CHA: normal rest
This is one of my favorite plays of the season, and that’s why I took the Hornets on the moneyline last night. I couldn’t believe it myself, but Charlotte currently has the No.4 seed in the East. Of course, not having LaMelo Ball glooms things a bit, but this is still a very talented team.
Against common opponents within the division, the Hornets are much better than the Heat- and it’s not even close. Against the Southeast division this season, Charlotte has a sparkling 5-1 ATS record while Miami is 2-7 ATS. Not to mention, the Hornets have won the last two meetings with the Heat- and those wins came when the Hornets were 7.5-point and 10.5-point underdogs. Jimmy Butler might not play tonight (stomach illness) and Goran Dragic has already been ruled out.
Betting Pick: Hornets (+2)
Atlanta Hawks (-7) at Golden State Warriors – Total: 221
ATL: normal rest GS: back-end b2b (@SAC tomorrow), 3 games in 4 days
If it looks too good to be true, it usually is. The Warriors find themselves on the back end of a B2B set and a string of three games in four days. It’s no wonder they’re +7 underdogs, but the reasoning could slip by a lot of the public.
I’ll take the Hawks in this matchup, considering their recent surge since making Nate MacMillan the new head coach. In fact, ATL has used that string of wins to propel itself to the No. 6 seed in the East. Look for them to dominate this matchup and cover the unusually high spread with ease. ATL is 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a favorite.
Betting Pick: Hawks (-7)
Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Lakers (-4) – Total: 209
CLE: 4 games in 6 days, front-end b2b (@SAC tomorrow) LAL: back-end b2b (vs PHI yesterday), 4 games in 6 days, 5 in 7
Let’s get even more wild here. The Lakers will be playing their second game in as many nights and this will conclude string of five games in seven days. The energetic Cavs just pulled a major upset and won outright in Chicago the other night. I’m going to ride the high on these guys and believe they can do it all over again.
In addition to the lengthy injuries of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers’ trade deadline activity wound up being uneventful after a ton of hype surrounded the team. I’m sure these guys are just exhausted physically, and mentally, making this the perfect opportunity to pick on them. If you’re feeling really frisky this evening, Cavs moneyline isn’t the worst play here either.
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