The Knicks went all Knicks on us, the Rockets smoked the Thunder and the Cavaliers got their groove back in L.A. as we handed our viewers a decent 2-1 Thursday night. Our aim continues to be perfection, and while we’ve only made it happen a handful of times this year, our 320-167 season mark should serve as a solid consolation.
There were just three NBA games last night and things get hot and heavy again on Friday as a ridiculous 13 games hit the schedule. That means only four NBA squads aren’t playing and you need to check your wallet twice as you get ready to conduct some serious NBA betting. Let’s run through each matchup and see who tonight’s safest plays are:
Grizzlies @ Magic
Orlando has won two in a row and plays host tonight, but so have the Grizz who happen to be a solid 12-7 on the road and boast a healthy Zach Randolph (as well as new trade piece, Jeff Green). If Memphis brings their defense, a Tobias Harris-less Magic team could be in trouble at home.
Pick: Grizzlies 106, Magic 101
Bulls @ Celtics
Chicago will be without Joakim Noah, so they could lose some defense on the road, but they’ve oddly been great away from home. The Celtics, meanwhile, have lost seven of their last 10 and play zero defense. We like Da Bulls.
Pick: Bulls 107, Celtics 103
Nuggets @ Mavericks
Denver took care of the Mavs in Colorado the other night, but the Mavs were resting key starters and this one is in Dallas. As long as Dirk Nowitzki, Rajon Rondo and Tyson Chandler are a full go, they’re the heavy favorites in a fast-paced marathon game.
Pick: Mavs 109, Nuggets 107
Timberwolves @ Suns
Minnesota just snapped a nasty 15-game losing streak, but they’re not likely to start up a winning streak on the road against a solid Suns team. We can expect offense from both sides, but Phoenix should pull it out in the end.
Pick: Suns 112, T’Wolves 104
Lakers @ Jazz
Kobe Bryant will rest on Friday night, hurting L.A.’s chances of getting a win in Utah. The Jazz need to take advantage anytime they have a shot at a win, so they should so so tonight at home.
Pick: Jazz 104, Lakers 102
Pistons @ Pacers
Detroit has been on quite a tear since they dropped Josh Smith and they took the Pacers down last time they faced. Even in Indy, they look like a solid bet to do so again.
Pick: Pistons 103, Pacers 99
Pelicans @ 76ers
Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis will both miss Friday’s night’s clash with the ‘Tankers, but Tyreke Evans and Ryan Anderson provide enough offense to get the Pellies the win over one of the worst teams in the league.
Pick: Pelicans 108, Sixers 102
Nets @ Wizards
Brook Lopez is in trade rumors and Deron Williams is out with an injury, so there is a lot of negativity surrounding the Nets these days. That won’t help them win they travel to D.C. to take on a very balanced Wizards squad that happens to be a blistering 17-4 on their home floor.
Pick: Wiz 104, Nets 101
Hawks @ Raptors
Toronto enjoys DeMar DeRozan in his second game back, but they’ve still been pretty sluggish over the last month or so. Until their defense picks back up and DeRozan gets comfortable again, they’ll be iffy bets. It doesn’t help that they host a red hot Hawks team that is riding a 10-game winning streak, either.
Pick: Hawks 106, Raptors 102
Warriors @ Thunder
OKC is 0-3 against Golden State this year, but they’ll try to avoid the season sweep at home tonight. They haven’t looked very good on either end lately and got whopped by Stephen Curry and co. last time, so picking the Thunder is a little risky.
Pick: Warriors 105, Thunder 102
Trail Blazers @ Spurs
Portland is a little more human on the road and the Spurs have both Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard at full strength finally. Portland is tough to pick against, but so is a healthy Spurs squad.
Pick: Spurs 107, Blazers 106
Heat @ Kings
Dwyane Wade could sit out again (hamstring), but his absence could be somewhat off-set by Rudy Gay also resting for the Kings. Miami will need to slow this one down to keep it close, but nothing can really prepare them for DeMarcus Cousins, who has been absolutely unstoppable lately.
Pick: Kings 110, Heat 100
Cavaliers @ Clippers
LeBron James is back in top form and has the Cavaliers back at .500, but dispatching the Clippers in L.A. is not an easy task. Los Angeles is a stout 17-6 at home this year and we’ll need to see a lot more out of the Cavs before we trust them in big games on the road. A Kevin Love back issue doesn’t help matters.
Pick: Clips 109, Cavs 106