We emerge from the NBA black hole that is Thanksgiving Day (no games on the holiday) to embark on another mission for perfection on Friday night. We already had an early game to entertain us between the Bulls and Celtics, but the big NBA bets should be placed in tonight’s later games.
Let’s carry our solid 109-54 season mark into another heavy slate of NBA games:
Warriors @ Hornets
Charlotte continues its horrid slide, as they’ve now dropped a ridiculous seven straight games. Playing a tough Warriors team certainly won’t do them any favors.
Pick: Warriors 107, Hornets 99
Pelicans @ Hawks
Anthony Davis should be feeling much better after battling an illness earlier in the week, which is bad news for the Hawks. This one is in Atlanta, but the Hawks don’t play much defense so the Pellies might be the slight favorite on the road.
Pick: Pelicans 98, Hawks 95
Mavericks @ Raptors
Toronto doesn’t lose at home all that much, while they absolutely have the offense to run with the Mavs. Look for them to hold down the fort and stay hot with their seventh win in a row.
Pick: Raptors 105, Mavericks 103
Bucks @ Pistons
Detroit is stumbling as losers of six straight, while Brandon Jennings is still out with a thumb injury. Milwaukee looks better by the day and recently topped the Pistons, so they’re the easy pick.
Pick: Bucks 99, Pistons 96
Knicks @ Thunder
Russell Westbrook returns tonight, while Carmelo Anthony (back) remains out. OKC should be able to start to right the ship and shoot for a second straight win.
Pick: Thunder 104, Knicks 101
Magic @ Pacers
Indiana is without Roy Hibbert again, which should mean the Magic get anything they want inside and out against the Pacers. Indy could have David West back, but it may not be enough.
Pick: Magic 103, Pacers 100
Clippers @ Rockets
Dwight Howard is likely out again on Friday night, which should mean free reign for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Houston can be tough on defense, but they’re not the same team with Howard (knee) sidelined.
Pick: Clippers 109, Rockets 106
Kings @ Spurs
DeMarcus Cousins is expected to sit out tonight, leaving the Kings severely shorthanded down low against a tough Spurs front line. Look for San Antonio to take care of business on their home court.
Pick: Spurs 101, Kings 95
Suns @ Nuggets
Phoenix handled the Nuggets in their last meeting, but this is a fast-paced matchup with no defense. It can go either way, and since the Suns took the first one, it might make perfectly good sense for the Nuggets to take this meeting.
Pick: Nuggets 111, Suns 108
Grizzlies @ Blazers
Portland hosts a physical, defensive-minded Grizzlies team tonight as it attempts to hit on it’s 10th straight win. They’re tough at home, but there are few teams better to snap a winning streak against that Memphis, who are a stellar 5-2 on the road.
Pick: Grizzlies 99, Blazers 07
Timberwolves @ Lakers
The Lakers have been awful this year, but Minnesota hasn’t been a whole lot better. Playing without their star point guard, center or shooting guard, the Wolves have to be the underdogs in this one.
Pick: Lakers 104, T’Wolves 102