Friday NBA Odds & Betting Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Bucks vs. Cavaliers, Raptors vs. Nets (Feb. 5)
Scott Audette/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors.
- We've got another exciting NBA Friday in store with nine games on tonight's slate, which means our analysts are looking hard for an edge somwhere.
- Tonight they've zeroed in on a three-team moneyline parlay and one lofty total as their best bets.
- Check out their full breakdowns below.
The NBA schedule brings us a nine-game Friday night slate as we head into Super Bowl weekend. Tonight’s slate is anchored by two exciting national TV matchups: Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets (7:30 p.m. on ESPN) and Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Clippers (10 p.m. ET on ESPN).
Our crew is getting creative and betting a three-team moneyline parlay and the highest total on the board. You can find their analysis and picks on those games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Bucks vs. Cavaliers | Pistons vs. Suns | Jazz vs. Hornets
Brandon Anderson: Sometimes when there’s a big slate of games and nothing jumps out at me as a great play, I’ve been grabbing my three surest wins on the slate and parlaying the moneylines with pretty solid success. That’s the plan here with the Bucks, Suns and Jazz.
The Bucks play the Cavs who are missing Larry Nance Jr. and might be without Collin Sexton. The Cavs have been a nice story this season mostly because of their improved defense, but that defense has been slipping lately, and they’re no match for the league’s No. 1 offense.
As I noted in the game guide for tonight’s Pistons-Suns matchup, the Suns have been up and down, and the bench is still a mess with Cameron Payne and Dario Saric out (Jae Crowder is doubtful too). The Pistons are better than their record, but they are one of the worst fourth quarter teams in the league.
The Suns’ defense has been good and I don’t see the Pistons scoring enough if this game is close late. I advocated live betting the Suns in a close game late because I’m confident Chris Paul will help his guys find a way even if it’s close.
That leaves the Jazz and the Hornets. Charlotte is missing P.J. Washington but Terry Rozier is expected to return to the lineup. The Hornets are near .500, but they’re not a very good team. Meanwhile the Jazz have the best record in the NBA and have been the hottest team in basketball over the past few weeks. Utah played last night, so there’s always some danger there.
I’m not confident the Jazz will win comfortably or cover. Really, that’s the theme here with all three picks. I feel good about the favorites winning but not great that they’ll cover high lines. I lose a little value here playing such long moneylines, but parlaying them together gives me plus odds and that’s the play tonight.
Raptors vs. Nets
Raheem Palmer: This line has been steamed down from the opener of 242.5 down and has settled around 240, but personally I disagree with the line move. My projections make make this game 244 and with the Raptors playing a small lineup with Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell, I think this has the makings of a track meet.
The Nets are 17-6 to the over this season, according to Bet Labs. Since the James Harden trade, they are scoring a league-high 121 points per 100 possessions, giving up 118.2 points per 100 possessions (second-most) and playing at the fifth-highest pace; it’s hard to look anywhere but over in this matchup.
Unlike previous seasons, the Raptors aren’t a top-10 defense. While they had a reprieve starting out their six game road trip against the depleted Orlando Magic, they previously gave up 126 points to the Kings, 115 to the Bucks, 129 against the Pacers and 111 against the shorthanded Heat.
The Raptors are poor defensively and they’ll be without OG Anunoby, one of their best defenders. The Raptors are 5.1 points per 100 possessions better defensively with him on the floor and he was the only player with a shot of defending Kevin Durant. Pascal Siakam will likely have to pick up the assignment on Durant, but offensively Siakam should have a solid game if the Nets go small with Jeff Green at center.
Overall I see a fast paced games with both teams putting up points. PointsBet has the lowest line at 239.5 and my projections make this game 244.5. Unless we’re failed by 3-point variance, this one is going over.