NBA Best Bets Today: Expert NBA Picks for Friday

NBA Best Bets Today: Expert NBA Picks for Friday article feature image

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 25: Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks controls the ball during the first half against the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden on December 25, 2023 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images)

NBA Best Bets Today

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The NBA regular season continues tonight with a loaded 14-game slate — which means we have your NBA best bets today and expert picks for Friday, January 5.

Our NBA betting experts are locked in with five best bets for four of tonight's matchups including picks for Hawks vs. Pacers, Knicks vs. 76ers and Grizzlies vs. Lakers.

Find their NBA best bets today and expert picks below.

Hawks vs. Pacers

Friday, Jan. 5
7 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
Jalen Johnson Over 28.5 PTS + REB + AST (-125)

By Joe Dellera

The Hawks and the Pacers clash in what should be a high scoring affair. When these two teams faced off back in November, the Pacers won 157-152 in a game that was all offense. While Haliburton and Trae will both thrive, another player that should dominate is Jalen Johnson.

Jalen Johnson is averaging 15.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game but has been even better without De’Andre Hunter. Without Hunter, he is averaging 19.5 Points, 11.0 Rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. In those four games he is averaging 34.3 PRA with over 28.5 in three of them.

Considering the pace here, between Indiana who plays at the fastest pace and Atlanta who plays at the fifth-fastest, there should be plenty of opportunities for Johnson. I’ll take him to exceed 28.5 PRA in a well rounded effort.

Pick: Jalen Johnson Over 28.5 PTS + REB + AST (-125)

Knicks vs. 76ers

Friday, Jan. 5
7:30 p.m. ET
Isaiah Hartenstein Over 2.5 Assists (+130)

By Bryan Fonseca

Hartenstein has gone over this number in five of his eight starts since Mitchell Robinson's injury, averaging 2.9 assists exactly since his uptick in role.

Against Joel Embiid, where he'll be used primarily to swing the ball between guards and wings, it's a juicy bet, in my opinion, for someone who'll often act as the bridge between teammates offensively since he himself will have minimal shot attempts.

Hartenstein is at 33 minutes per game over his last eight and is a career 3.1 assists per 36 minutes — this stretch of assists isn't fake.

I loved getting this at +130.

Pick: Isaiah Hartenstein Over 2.5 Assists (+130)

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Knicks vs. 76ers

Friday, Jan. 5
7:30 p.m. ET
Jalen Brunson Over 7.5 Assists (-136)

By Bryan Fonseca

Brunson has gone over 7.5 emphatically in two games since adding OG Anunoby. He got 14 against the Timberwolves, and another 13 over the Bulls. Those were his first two games of double digit assists this season, surprisingly.

He's gone over in three of his last four and 10 of his last 19.

Against the Pacers, a modest six-assist game, Brunson had a 21% assist percentage, which jumped to 50% and 55% percent in two games since.

Yes, the sample size is small, but it's over 7.5, I'm not saying he'll get a third straight game with 13-plus assists. And furthermore, since joining the Knicks, he's gone over 7.5 assists in two of four games, the two unders being seven exact — all games played last season.

Like Brunson's assists here but probably wouldn't play beyond -160.

Pick: Jalen Brunson Over 7.5 Assists (-136)

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Grizzlies vs. Lakers

Friday, Jan. 5
10 p.m. ET
Lakers -4 (-110)

By Matt Moore

The spot is sublime. All eyes are on the Lakers with reports the locker room is unhappy with Darvin Ham. They're in a spiral. It's an absolute low point. They're facing the Grizzlies, who they absolutely hate because of how much trash the Grizzlies have yapped at them through the years.

The Grizzlies are still decimated by frontcourt injuries; it's Bismack Biyombo and Santi Aldama going up against a very big and physical Lakers team that wrecked them with size in the playoffs. This is a terrific buy-low spot with the market still giving the Grizzlies too much credit for having Ja back.

Pick: Lakers -4 (-110)

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Pistons vs. Warriors

Friday, Jan. 5
10 p.m. ET
NBA League Pass
Over 240 (-110)

By Maltman

On December 15, Isaiah Stewart injured his toe against the Philadelphia 76ers. He kept playing through injury, before the Pistons decided to leave him out of the lineup on December 28 vs. the Celtics, so he could have some real time to recover from his injury. Stewart is probably the Pistons best defender, as teams are scoring 13 points less per 100 possessions when he is out there.

They inserted Kevin Knox into the starting lineup, which means Monty Williams is fully moving away from prioritizing defense in the starters, as now Ivey, Knox, and Bogdanovic are all starting. The result? The last four games have gone over the total, and each game has had an over-under of at least 249.

This number is too low. Detroit's new lineup is juicing the scoring, and this just isn't high enough to reflect that. I'm betting over 240.5 at -110 for .25u (would bet to 242.5).

Pick: Over 240 (-110)

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