Friday features a nine-game NBA slate with so high-profile matchups including a battle of the two hottest teams in the league with Memphis vs. New York and the Lakers looking to get back on track versus the Suns. Here is a quick look at each game and my picks on the spreads. Good luck betting today’s games!
Jazz 4-5 at 76ers 4-4- Utah’s dominance in the paint (43.1 points per game) should give them a solid edge against the Andrew Bynum-less 76ers, who have failed to get production out of any replacements. Take Utah to cover +1.5 and win outright.
Mavericks 5-4 at Pacers 3-6- Both teams will be missing their best players, but the Mavs seem to be the deeper club with O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman stepping up big recently. Look for the Mavs to snap their three-game road skid today by covering +2.5 and winning outright.
Magic 2-5 at Pistons 1-8- Both teams are off to terrible starts, but the Pistons finally picked up their first win in their last game. The Magic have yet to win a road game, but this should be their best chance, going up against a team that is only scoring 80 points per game. Take the Magic to cover +5 and possibly get the win outright as well.
Thunder 6-3 at Hornets 3-3- Anthony Davis will face a tough test in the middle against the NBA’s leading shot blocker (3.7 per game) Serge Ibaka and likewise the Hornets outer defenders will have trouble contending with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, however the new-look Hornets should be able to keep this one fairly close at home. Take New Orleans to cover +6.5 in a close loss.
Warriors 4-4 at Timberwolves 5-3- The T-Wolves have showed great depth, getting off to a winning start without their two best players, Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, but with Chase Budinger and Brandon Roy now also injured, it may be too much to overcome in the short term for the Wolves. Look for G State to take advantage by covering +2 and winning outright.
Knicks 6-0 at Grizzlies 6-1- Both teams enter tonight’s contest on six-game winning streaks, so something’s gotta give. Both squads are scoring more than 100 points per game and giving up around 90, so it should be very close. I’ll give the edge to the Grizzlies since they are at home, but look for the Knicks to at least cover +6 on the road in a close loss.
Hawks 3-4 at Kings 2-6- The Hawks are averaging more than 110 points in these teams’ last eight meetings and with the Kings on a recent three-game skid, expect that kind of production to continue. Look for the Hawks to soar, covering -2 on the road.
Rockets 4-4 at Trail Blazers 3-5- Portland has gotten by on outside shooting, but a lack of bench production and defensive woes will prove too much to overcome against a strong offensive team in Houston. Look for the Rockets to shoot past the Blazers by covering +2 on the road in a win.
Suns 4-5 at Lakers 3-5- The Lakers have started to pick up the pieces since starting 0-4, but a nine-point spread should be to large to cover for a team that is still learning to play together. At this point, I don’t think the Lakers could cover nine points consistently against any team, so there’s really no reason to even look at the Suns here. Take Phoenix to cover +9 in a close loss.