NBA Best Bets | Spread Picks, Player Prop Predictions, Odds (Friday, April 12)

NBA Best Bets | Spread Picks, Player Prop Predictions, Odds (Friday, April 12) article feature image

D’Angelo Russell #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles up the court against the Toronto Raptors in the first half of their NBA game at Scotiabank Arena. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

NBA Best Bets Today | Friday, April 12

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Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NBA Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

Nuggets vs. Spurs

Friday, April 12
8 p.m. ET
League Pass
Nikola Jokic over 27.5 Points

By Joe Dellera

The Nuggets control their path to the 1 seed and now face off against Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs tonight.

One player that has continued to excel in this spot is Nikola Jokic.

Jokic presents an interesting interior matchup for Wemby and he has scored 39, 31, and 42 points in their three prior matchups. Jokic can beat you with pure size and strength but he also can win the battle with soft floaters that are just outside of the reach of Wembanyama’s outstretched arms going for the block.

This is a really interesting counter to the Spurs and Victor Wembanyama.

Instead of posting Nikola Jokić up like normal, Denver puts Aaron Gordon there and spaces Jokić at the arc.

That gives Jokić some room to operate and toss a floater before Wemby can contest.

— Matt Brooks (@MattBrooksNBA) March 16, 2024

Wemby will still gets his blocks and he had 4 blocks on Jokic layups in their last meeting on 4/2 but the Spurs simply had no answer for him at all en route to 42 points. Murray missed that game along with his 39 point performance so Jokic saw an uptick in volume; however, he still was a tough matchup for the young star.

Jokic has exceeded this line in 7 of his last 10 games while averaging 30.5 ppg. This matchup is a strong one for him and a win here goes a long way to securing the Number 1 seed in the West.

Next best odds are ESPN (-120) and CZR (-121).

I expect Jokic to exceed 27.5 points.

Pick: Nikola Jokic over 27.5 Points

Lakers vs. Grizzlies

Friday, April 12
8 p.m. ET
League Pass
D'Angelo Russell over 16.5 pts (+100)

By Bryan Fonseca

LeBron James is questionable, though he's been questionable damn near every game this season and has generally played. He did miss two games ago, but regardless, D'Angelo Russell is poised to cook against the Grizzlies, who are closer to the Memphis Hustle at this point, all the way down to their hard play despite unrecognizable names (to casual viewers).

Russell has gone under in two straight, but that follows a stretch of scoring over 16.5 points in four straight, in six of seven, and 19 of 25 games.

The last stretch he had of three or more consecutive under 16.5 point game performances was a three-game run from January 30 through February 3, where Russell and 9, 16 and 16.

I think he returns to form this game, the form that he's displayed for much of the year, which has seen him put together one of his most efficient scoring seasons as a pro.

Pick: D'Angelo Russell over 16.5 pts (+100)

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Pacers vs. Cavaliers

Friday, April 12
7:30 p.m. ET
League Pass
Cavs -2.5

By Chris Baker

This line essentially is saying the market views these teams as equals but I completely disagree with that valuation.

The Cavs have been the better team all year long despite being injured and having extremely inconsistent lineups.

The Cavs rank +2.3 in adjusted net-rating versus the Pacers +2.0 in adjusted net according to, but I think that the Pacers just aren’t a good enough halfcourt defense to hang with this sophisticated Cavs offense.

The Pacers are allowing the highest rim rate in the league to opposing offenses and rank 24th in adjusted defensive rating on the season. The Pacers beat this Cavs team twice in the first few weeks of the season but that was when they were an elite three point shooting team.

We’ve seen them clearly regress as they now rank bottom-5 in three point attempt rate since the Pascal Siakam trade. I think that could change in offensive style could harm them here as the Cavs rank 2nd best in the NBA in FG% allowed at the rim (62.7%). When Mobley and Allen are in the lineup this is an elite interior defense.

The Pacers haven’t just become a less prolific three point team, they’ve become a less efficient offense as their current starting-5 has an offensive rating of just 113.0 in their minutes together.

I just have fundamentally different perspectives on these two teams than the market and I think the Cavs should be favored by -4 at least. Play this up to -4.

Pick: Cavs -2.5

Pacers vs. Cavaliers

Friday, April 12
7:30 p.m. ET
League Pass
Tyrese Haliburton Double-Double

By Joe Dellera

The Pacers face off against the Cavaliers in a high stakes game as these teams jockey for seeding in the Eastern Conference while attempting to avoid the Play-In Tournament.

One player that should find success tonight is Tyrese Haliburton.

Although he has seen his performance slip since the All-Star Break and is averaging just 9.4 assists per game in 24 contests. However, he still has recorded a double double in half of those post-ASB games including a 12 assist game against these same Cavaliers.

In 6 games against the Cavaliers over the last two seasons, Hali has logged a double double in 5/6 while averaging 19.0 points and 12.0 assists on 17.2 potentials per game.

The only miss is with 9 dimes back in December of 2022. The Cavaliers recently surrendered double-digit dimes to both Tyrese Maxey and Vaseline Micic and neither is considered the same type of facilitator as Haliburton.

Haliburton’s post-ASB form coupled with the Cavaliers’ elite defense is giving us this line, but given the stakes and his history in this matchup, I expect Haliburton to show out.

Pick: Tyrese Haliburton Double-Double

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Raptors vs. Heat

Friday, April 12
8 p.m. ET
League Pass
Raptors + 14.5 (-110)

By Bryan Fonseca

I think the Heat win this game, but I can't stomach them being favored by essentially 15 points given their recent play.

I have two scares. One, This is what they do, they're inconsistent and then unreasonably explode when it's not fully expected, as they did against the Blazers and Cavs at home late last month.

Two, the Raptors aren't playing for anything, and this is a big bounce back spot for Miami overall.

But the points are too much for a team this unsteady, doing what they do until they maybe get serious starting next week, unless they just don't have it this year, which is probably reasonable.

Pick: Raptors + 14.5 (-110)

Nets vs. Knicks

Friday, April 12
7:30 p.m. ET
League Pass
Jalen Brunson over 30.5 pts (-110)

By Bryan Fonseca

Jalen Brunson has gone over in five straight, so there's a reason to zag, but I'm not doing it against the Brooklyn Nets of all teams.

The Nets are so uninspiring that they're still 10-point underdogs despite the Knicks coming to New York from Boston last night — where they won.

There's no way this hits an under if Brunson is still getting to his spots at will, which he will, unless he's just missing the shots he's made over the last five games and for much of the season.

I think, if anything, he has a better chance finishing at 40 than he does 20. And this streak began with 35 points in a back-to-back earlier in April.

Pick: Jalen Brunson over 30.5 pts (-110)

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