Friday night’s 11-game NBA schedule promises to be a good one with exciting matchups all over the place. Last night was my first 4-0 night in the three days I’ve been picking NBA games, giving me a 9-3 ATS record to start… let’s keep it going!
The primetime doubleheader will be handled by ESPN tonight: the New Orleans Pelicans face the Dallas Mavericks while the Memphis Grizzlies face the Los Angeles Lakers.
So here are my best NBA picks for tonight’s games.
Table of contents
New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks
Spread: Mavericks (-3)
-NO: 3 games in 4 days
-DAL: normal rest (3 games at home since Saturday, no travel)
While the Mavericks haven’t been necessarily crushing teams, we could certainly see them cover the spread tonight. Judging by the scheduling scenario for both teams (above), we can see that the Mavs have been comfortably on the ground here in Dallas all week. In a game with a three-point spread, that could make all the difference.
Early on today, the number of bets is slightly in favor of the Mavs, but they are getting 81% of the money on these bets.
Betting Pick: Mavericks -3
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Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics
Spread: Celtics (-8)
-DET: back-end b2b (vs. IND last night), 3 games in 4 days
-BOS: back-end b2b (vs. TOR last night), 3 games in 4 days, 4 games in 6 days
-DET: 2-5 SU/6-1 ATS in back-end b2b games
-BOS: 3-1 SU/ATS in back-end b2b games
-BOS: 5-1 ATS as home favorite (best in NBA)
Surprisingly, we’re probably going to see a close game in Boston tonight. Most people don’t expect the Pistons to hang with the Celtics on the road, but there’s plenty of reason to believe it’ll be competitive. Check out the scheduling scenario for both teams- yikes! It may not be pretty, but it should work in our favor.
What’s pretty amazing is that both teams have been strong on the back-end of back-to-back sets. While the Pistons have a 2-5 SU record in that scenario, they do have a 6-1 ATS record (2nd-best in NBA). It won’t be easy, though, as the Celtics come in at 3-1 SU/ATS on the back end and do have an NBA-best 5-1 ATS record as a home favorite.
At the end of the day, this is just too many points for the Celtics to cover while playing a grueling stretch of games. Look for the Pistons to stay close tonight.
Betting Pick: Pistons +8
Milwaukee Bucks at Utah Jazz
-MIL: normal rest (4 games on road since last Friday, long road trip)
-UTA: 2 days rest, front-end b2b (vs. MIA tomorrow)
-UTA: 9-2 SU/8-3 ATS as home favorite (most covers, 4th-best % in NBA)
For the first time this season the Bucks will enter a game as the underdog; last season they covered an NBA-worst 28.6% of their games in that scenario. Tonight, they’ll play a Jazz team that is coming in on a five-game winning streak (and winners in 16 of last 17) with a full two days of rest before this matchup.
The Jazz owns a 9-2 SU/8-3 ATS record as a home favorite this season. If all of that wasn’t enough, the line has actually dropped more into Utah’s favor while getting 75% of the money in these bets.
Betting Pick: Jazz -2.5
Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings
Spread: Kings (-8)
-ORL: back-end b2b (@ GS last night), 3 games in 4 days (all on road-POR, @GS)-SAC: 2 days rest
-ORL: 2-3 SU/3-2 ATS in back-end b2b games
-SAC: 3-1 ATS as home favorite
I think a lot of people will want to hop back on the Magic after they narrowly covered the spread at Golden State last night. However, it’s probably not the smartest move, considering the Kings find themselves as the highest favorite they’ve been all season; these are trends I like to be ahead of the curve on because most of them eventually show up to be true.
Orlando had a few key injuries last night and will probably still be without those guys. Now, they’ll have to play a talented Kings team desperate to make good on their last lost, with a tired bunch. I’m going with the Kings in a rout tonight.
Betting Pick: Kings -8