The Heat blew a huge half-time lead and Stephen Curry went “all MVP” on the Blazers in a would-be quiet Thursday night that actually ended up being quite entertaining. Most sports betting folk were probably paying attention to The Masters, but the NBA action on TNT ended up being more than worth the time to tune in. If you bet on the action using our picks (694-348 on the year now), you only went 1-1, but we blame a horrific second half Miami collapse for that one (they scored eight points in the third quarter. yikes).
It’s okay if you had a down night on Thursday, though, since there are a litany of NBA games on Friday to help cover any losses. Let’s get back into the fire as we break down the 12 games scheduled for Friday, 4/10/2015:
Raptors @ Magic
Orlando has played the Raptors close a couple of times this year, but Toronto clearly has them figured out as they come into the Amway Center tonight holding a 3-0 series lead. Toronto still has to wrap up the #3 overall seed in the East, so look for them to put the finishing touches on a sweep tonight.
Pick: Raps 106, Magic 100
Hornets @ Hawks
Charlotte is beat up and is probably hopeless when it comes to the playoffs, so their slow death should speed up in Atlanta tonight. The Hawks should rest or limit a few guys but no matter who takes the court, they should lock this one up to get their 60th win of the year.
Pick: Hawks 109, Hornets 88
Celtics @ Cavaliers
Boston is eyeing a playoff spot and will want to take down a big team like the Cavs, but LeBron James is playing and it doesn’t look like Cleveland is prepared to take their foot off the gas just yet. They’re at home and have a cool four-game winning streak going, too, so they won’t want to ruin that.
Pick: Cavs 108, Celtics 102
Pacers @ Pistons
Indiana and Detroit have played three fairly tight games already this season, oddly producing a good amount of points in two of those contests. Detroit has the 2-1 series edge and is at home tonight, but with Paul George back the Pacers should be a little spirited as they try to chase down a playoff spot.
Pick: Pacers 101, Pistons 99
Wizards @ Nets
John Wall is sitting out again tonight, which plays directly into the hands of the Nets. Deron Williams will probably go nuts, while Brooklyn has been fairly strong lately at home. The Barclays Center should be rocking tonight, too, as the Nets continue to work toward cementing a playoff spot.
Pick: Nets 103, Wiz 97
Bucks @ Knicks
Milwaukee has owned the Knicks this year (who hasn’t?) and they’ll come into the Garden with a commanding 3-0 series lead. They’ve had it a bit rough since the All-Star break, so taking down a crappy team should be nice, while also erasing a two-game skid.
Pick: Bucks 105, Knicks 90
Suns @ Pelicans
Eric Bledsoe has been awful lately and the Suns have seemingly quit on their season. The Pelicans probably have to win out to guarantee themselves a shot at the West’s final playoff spot, too, so them losing at home to the Suns just isn’t a possibility.
Pick: Pellies 109, Suns 96
Spurs @ Rockets
James Harden says he’s the MVP and if he’s going to win it he probably needs to drop an epic game at home in a win over the Spurs. He just might come close, but betting against the Spurs (9 wins in a row) right now just seems like crazy talk.
Pick: Spurs 106, Rockets 103
Kings @ Thunder
DeMarcus Cousins (foot) is out again and Rudy Gay is questionable, so picking the Kings is a dangerous game tonight. They’re also on the road and a possessed Russell Westbrook is still trying to will his Thunder into the playoffs.
Pick: Thunder 112, Kings 104
Mavericks @ Nuggets
Dallas has been shaky over their last 10 contests (4-6) but they have their sights set on 50 wins. They probably need to win in Denver tonight to get there, so if they’re as focused as they sound they should be able to get it done.
Pick: Mavs 108, Nuggets 101
Grizzlies @ Jazz
Two extremely defensive-minded teams wage war in Utah tonight, as the Grizz and Jazz square off. We can probably take the under in this one, but picking this game is a nightmare. It seems every time we pick the Grizz or Jazz, they lose. Now that they’re facing each other, we don’t know what the hell to do. The only that stands out in the least is that the Jazz have used a grind-it-out style to win two of the first three meetings. Utah keeps limiting the minutes of Gordon Hayward, though, so their upside is capped in this one. Memphis also has much more to play for with a Southwest division title still up for grabs.
Pick: Grizz 95, Jazz 92
Timberwolves @ Lakers
Two bad teams that play no defense take the court in L.A. tonight, but fans can expect a fast-paced game with a good amount of points. That makes picking the winner somewhat difficult and you should probably just chase the Total in this one. That being said, the T’Wolves have better talent on the floor and Jeremy Lin probably will sit this one out.
Pick: Wolves 107, Lakers 104