Promotion Banner

NBA Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: Friday’s Best Bets

NBA Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: Friday’s Best Bets article feature image
Credit:

Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings.

  • If you're looking for NBA picks for Friday's nine-game hoops slate, you've come to the right place.
  • Action Network's analysts have six best bets for Friday, including the nightcap: Rockets vs. Kings.
  • Read on for their expert picks and predictions for tonight's games.

Well hello, Friday. Tonight’s NBA schedule is packed and our betting analysts have six picks for the nine games on the slate. The slate is anchored by an ESPN doubleheader: Warriors vs. Spurs (7:30 p.m. ET) and Nuggets vs. Clippers (10 p.m. ET).

For their six best bets for Friday, our crew is targeting the spread in four of their picks as well as a moneyline bet and a player prop. Read on for their expert picks and predictions below.

NBA Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers
7 p.m. ET
Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs
7:30 p.m. ET
Phoenix Suns vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
8 p.m. ET
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Chicago Bulls
8 p.m. ET
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers
10 p.m. ET
Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings
10 p.m. ET

Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers

Pick
Hawks Moneyline (-125)
Book
WynnBET
Tipoff
7 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Chris Baker: This is a buy-low spot on an extremely disappointing Hawks team. This line closed around -1 back when these teams played on December 27th in Indiana. Since then the Hawks have gotten healthier and gotten back key wing-defender and starter De’Andre Hunter.

On the flip side, the Pacers have suddenly become one of the most injured teams in the NBA after losing three starters — Tyrese Haliburton, Myles Turner and Aaron Nesmith — to injury. Turner and Nesmith are officially questionable for this one but the absence of Haliburton is enough for me to pull the trigger on Atlanta here.

This line is failing to account for how valuable Haliburton is to this team — fifth in the NBA in Wins Above Replacement, according to FiveThirtyEight. He ranks in the 87th percentile in offensive rating swing (+6.1), according to Cleaning the Glass. He is No. 1 in the NBA in assist rate (46.4%). This team revolves around Haliburton and his playmaking ability. No one else on the Pacers outside of TJ McConnell has an assist percentage that exceeds even 20%.

That is a ton of playmaking to replace and I think that it will take some time for this pacers team to acclimate to life without Hali. On top of the injuries, this Hawks defense actually matches up well with the Pacers as they rank 9th in opponent three point rate allowed and 14th in transition defensive rating.

I rarely bet based off of motivation, but this might be a “must-win” spot with all of the trade rumors swirling around this Hawks team. The Hawks have a massive talent and motivation edge and they should be able to cover this small number. I’d play this up to -3.


» Return to the table of contents «


Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs

Pick
Spurs +8.5
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Matt Moore: This game is a little bit different; San Antonio is celebrating their 50th anniversary with a game at the Alamodome, over 65,000 people are expected to be in attendance for what will be the largest single game attendance for an NBA game in history.

That’s a nice little bump here, but it’s not the only reason. The Warriors are a MESS on the road. They have the third-worst net rating on the road at -8.6 ahead of only San Antonio and Houston. They are just 4-15 ATS on the road this season and just 1-7 (!!!) as a road favorite.

The argument here is not whether eight points is appropriate for a full strength, well-oiled, playing-well Warriors team, because this team is not that. They got smoked by the Zombie Suns at home the other night. Will Golden State round into form eventually? Yes. Should we bet them like this is going to be the game they do that? Absolutely not.

I make this game 8.5 on a neutral court; between the Spurs in a special environment and the Warriors being trash on the road this is far from a neutral court.

I won’t bet on the Spurs much this season, but this is a spot.


» Return to the table of contents «


Phoenix Suns vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Pick
Timberwolves -4.5
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
8 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Andrew O’Connor-Watts: I’ve been looking for several opportunities to fade the Suns since Devin Booker went down in early December, and tonight we have another prime opportunity to do so.

Since Booker’s last game on Dec. 9, the Suns’ offense has been brutal. Their -5.2 Net Rating is 27th and they rank bottom 10 in every Four Factors category besides Offensive Rebounding Percentage, according to Cleaning the Glass.

During that same period, the Timberwolves rank fifth in Effective Field Goal Percentage (56.9%), seventh in field goal percentage at the rim (69%) and 10th in 3-point Percentage (37.6%).

Minnesota also matches up well defensively with the Suns who take the second-most shots from midrange (37.8%), an area the Timberwolves defend well. Not only do they limit opponents to just 28% in that area, which ranks sixth, but opponents are only making 41.5% of their jump shots from inside the arc.

Ultimately, these are two teams trending in opposite directions. The Suns are 2-6 against the spread in their last eight games, averaging 99.1 points per game. The Wolves are 4-1 in their last five games, with an Offensive Rating of 121.1 per Statmuse.

My official pick is the Timberwolves spread, but follow in the Action app to see how else I’ll be playing this game. Chris Paul is out and Deandre Ayton is questionable for the Suns, but I’ll bet against them even if he plays. Take the Timberwolves down to -5 with Ayton in the lineup and -7 without him.


» Return to the table of contents «


Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Chicago Bulls

Pick
Nikola Vucevic Over 32.5 Points + Rebs (-110)
Book
BetMGM
Tipoff
8 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Munaf Manji: The Chicago Bulls welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder to town tonight. One player that I expect to have a big night is Bulls starting center Nikola Vucevic. The Thunder have struggled to defend the center position thus far this season because they do lack the size.

In fact, the Thunder are allowing opposing centers to average 23.7 points per game while shooting 53.7% from the floor. Additionally, the Thunder are struggling to rebound the basketball.

According to nba.com/stats, the Thunder rank dead last in opponent rebounding on the season. Vucevic has had plenty of success against the Thunder over the last five career games. In fact, over his last six games against the Thunder, Vucevic is averaging 25.3 points and 12.8 rebounds.

Vucevic has gone over this projection of 32.5 points and rebounds against the Thunder in five out of the last six career games. Action Network’s prop projections give a slight edge to the over on this line.

The Bulls have officially listed DeMar DeRozan as doubtful for tonight’s game  with a quad injury, which this should create more opportunities and touches for Vucevic. I like this prop up to 34.5.


» Return to the table of contents «


Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Pick
Clippers -1.5
Book
Caesars
Tipoff
10 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Moore: Nice intersection of motivational spots here.

The Clippers finally seemed to wake up this week with a win vs. the Mavericks at home where Kawhi Leonard looked like Kawhi Leonard.

The Nuggets meanwhile are rolling, so much so that they popped Nikola Jokic on the injury report with “injury management” for his sore wrist along with Jamal Murray who tweaked an ankle in the win over the Suns Wednesday and Bruce Brown.

The Nuggets stomped the Clippers a week ago, it was an absolute annihilation. At halftime, the Nuggets had a 100th percentile offensive rating and the Clippers had a 0th percentile offensive rating.

So the Clippers will be motivated here, while Denver has no reason to get up for this game. They return for another extended homestand starting Sunday as part of the home-heavy part of their schedule; this is a one-off trip to LA.

Denver is forecasting that they’re not going into this with fierce intensity, nor should they, and the Clippers likely want to redeem their pride for the destruction last week.

Let’s lay the points and hope that the Clippers take advantage of what sure looks like a game the Nuggets are willing to schedule manage.


» Return to the table of contents «


Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings

Pick
Kings -9
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
10 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Moore: All about the spot. The Rockets hung in on Wednesday in the first game of this “duplex” set (two games in three days vs. the same opponent in the same location), moving the ball and playing well-structured offense; you know, that thing that Houston literally never ever does.

The Kings opened a full point in front of the Wednesday line of -9, before overnight bets moved this down to -9.5. It’s fair to ask “what has changed between Wednesday and tonight that justifies a half-point-to-a-point of line movement?”

The answer is nothing; if anything, the absence of Kevin Porter Jr. due to a foot contusion might make Houston more dangerous because it removes one of their main culprits in bad shot selection.

However, if we look back since 2020-21 when the NBA started scheduling these duplex spots, teams at home for both games, favored in both games, where the line moves toward them in the second game have gone 25-5 straight up and 18-11-1 (62%) ATS including 3-2 this season.

The Kings messed around in the first matchup, still won, still covered behind a 41-20 fourth quarter. They won’t need their fastball here to cover the number.


» Return to the table of contents «


How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.