Three ugly blowouts got a light Thursday night started, but everything ended with a bang in Los Angeles, where the Lakers somehow took out the visiting Bulls in double overtime. We had the three blowouts figured out but didn’t see that coming out of the Lakers, which killed a run at a perfect night and sent us into Friday with a 3-1 mark.
That was still a solid showing that lifted us up to 389-199 on the year and got us ready for a fully loaded Friday night (nine games!). Let’s break down each game quickly and see if we can’t help NBA bettors win some cash tonight via our NBA picks:
Timberwolves @ 76ers
Two really bad teams butt heads tonight when the T’Wolves and Sixers square off. Both teams actually won their last game, which means one of these sorry squads is actually suddenly going to have a two-game winning streak. We’re betting on Minnesota, since they have way more talent and are getting healthy right now with Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic back in the lineup.
Pick: Timberwolves 104, Sixers 101
Blazers @ Hawks
Atlanta tries to make it 18 straight tonight at home, but that won’t be easy against a very good Blazers team that should be close to full strength. LaMarcus Aldridge (thumb) and Nicolas Batum (wrist) are both still battling through injuries and at some point they have to stop the bleeding (losers of four of their last 10). They could make it happen tonight, but we’re not betting against the Hawks, who are extremely tough on their home floor.
Pick: Hawks 103, Blazers 101
Rockets @ Celtics
Dwight Howard is out again, but James Harden should be more than enough for Houston when the Rockets take on the Celtics in Boston. Houston has won three straight and has looked solid enough without their big man in the middle, and they won’t miss him against an awful Celtics defense.
Pick: Rockets 106, Celtics 102
Kings @ Cavaliers
Kyrie Irving lost it the other night (55 points!) as the Cavs extended their winning streak to eight games. LeBron James or not (wrist) it’s silly to bet against this Cleveland team right now – especially in a winnable game at home.
Pick: Cavs 109, Kings 104
Raptors @ Nets
Toronto heads to Brooklyn for a nice divisional battle with the Nets. Of course, it’d be nice if Brooklyn was any good right now, but they’ve lost three straight and the Raptors seem to be back to normal with a solid four-game winning streak going.
Pick: Raptors 99, Nets 95
Clippers @ Pelicans
Anthony Davis could be on the shelf after getting hurt in his last game, and if he’s out a Pellies team already missing Jrue Holiday could be in serious trouble. In come the Clippers, who have won six straight and are playing pretty good ball. They’re a little more vulnerable on the road, but with the injuries in New Orleans, they’re the easy pick.
Pick: Clips 105, Pellies 102
Mavericks @ Heat
Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng are both out, so the slow-tempo Heat are in major trouble when they host a fast-paced Dallas offense. The Mavs badly need a win to erase a four-game skid, and this looks like a good game to get them going again.
Pick: Mavs 107, Heat 94
Warriors @ Jazz
Golden State lost their seventh game of the year in their last contest so they’ll look to get another streak going against the lowly Jazz. Utah’s defense has been decent lately but they probably don’t have enough firepower on offense to keep up with the Splash Brothers.
Pick: Warriors 114, Jazz 104
Bulls @ Suns
Chicago is dead tired after a marathon loss to L.A. and they might just be dead, in general. Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler both got nicked up last night and Chicago could be in trouble with the high-flying Suns in Phoenix.
Pick: Suns 108, Bulls 104