Friday NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Plays for Hawks vs. Nets & Clippers vs. Jazz (Jan. 1)
Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Paul George #13 and Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers.
- Our experts are jumping on Friday's 10-game NBA slate and finding value on three matchups.
- They are betting the spread in Celtics vs. Pistons, the total in Hawks vs. Nets and the first quarter of Clippers vs. Jazz.
- Find their picks and analysis on those games below.
We made it through 2020! And while New Years Day is know for college football, NBA bettors will be treated to a 10-game slate anchored by two exciting NBATV matchups: Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs (8 p.m. ET), and Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET).
Our crew is focusing on three other games on Friday’s schedule and sees value betting one full game spread, one total and one first quarter moneyline.
Check out their analysis and bets on those games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Celtics vs. Pistons
Raheem Palmer: I don’t typically like to lay close to double digits in professional sports, but I’m not sure the market is accurately pricing how bad this Detroit Pistons team is. My projections make this game Celtics -11 with the market sitting at -9.
They come off a game in which they suffered a 10-point loss to the Golden State Warriors who needed a buzzer beater to beat the Chicago Bulls and weren’t remotely competitive against the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. The Pistons are 26th in Point Differential (-9.1), 24th in Offensive Rating (105.6), 21st in Defensive Rating (114.6), 28th in Effective Field Goal Percentage (53.5%).
They rank in the bottom 10 in shooting percentage in every area of the floor particular from behind the arc where they’re shooting 31.8% — 27th among NBA teams. To make matters worse, the Pistons will be without Blake Griffin who suffered a concussion in Tuesday night’s loss against the Warriors. The Pistons have lost every game by eight or more points this season and now face a Boston Celtics team whose starters didn’t play heavy minutes in their blowout win against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre have struggled this season but put up their best performances of the year in Tuesday night’s matchup so we can expect big games from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
With the Celtics scoring a whopping 113.5 points per 100 possessions and shooting 39.9% from 3-point range, I don’t see the Pistons having the horses to keep up in this one.
Hawks vs. Nets
Brandon Anderson: I overthought myself on this one a couple days ago. I looked at these two teams and saw a confluence of offense. Kevin Durant. Trae Young. Kyrie Irving. Atlanta shooters. Not much defense. Points, points, points. I considered the over. I considered the Atlanta team over. I considered alternate overs.
And I took… Nets first quarter and lost, of course. Well, fool me once. The Nets went on to win that one 145-141, and if that score reminds you of watching an All-Star Game, you should have seen the play on the court. Multiple players would not even bother getting back on defense on back to back to back consecutive plays.
Young or Irving would bring the ball up with numbers and have their pick of three wide open options on the wing, or a lane to drive if they so preferred.
And if there wasn’t something easy and readily available, the teams just pulled up for another long three. The books adjust accordingly and set this total at what feels like a ludicrously high line, except that, you know, they just went over it by 41 points a couple days ago.
The Hawks lead the league at 128.8 PPG. That’s a lot of points. The Nets at 121.6 rank third. Both teams play at pace. Neither has much defense.
Maybe we get a New Year’s hangover, but how hard can it be to shoot wide open jumpers all game? Take the over up to 247.5.
Clippers vs. Jazz
Matt Moore: Kawhi Leonard is a plus-10 per game in the first quarter, and he’s slated to play in this one, according to our NBA Insiders lineup tool. If Leonard is a late scratch for … Kawhi Leonard-ness, this is a stay away, or a small play on the Jazz for the game. Quin Snyder’s Jazz are 7-2 as a home dog on a back-to-back.
However, this Jazz team is getting more respect from the market than it deserves. They’ll annihilate bad teams, but they struggle with able competition and the Clippers with Leonard are more than able.
You can grab first quarter moneyline at -139 for LA. They’ve only lost one 1st quarter this season, that debacle vs. the Mavericks.
Utah’s offense is still finding itself while the Clippers is firing on all cylinders. Again, this is a Kawhi-only play.