NBA Best Bets | Top Picks for Magic vs Timberwolves, 76ers vs Spurs (Friday, Feb. 3)
Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Paolo Banchero #5 high fives Franz Wagner #22 of the Orlando Magic.
- Friday's NBA slate has eight games and our NBA analysts are targeting two games.
- Their best bets for Friday come from Magic vs Timberwolves and 76ers vs Spurs.
- Read on for their expert picks and predictions below
It’s Friday across the NBA and there are more than a few games to bet tonight. Only one matchup gets the honor of being featured on national TV: Suns vs. Celtics (7:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV). However, there are seven other games on the schedule and our analysts have two League Pass specials on their radar.
They have a team total and a third quarter spread as their expert picks and predictions for Friday . Read on for their in-depth analysis and best bets for 76ers vs. Spurs and Magic vs. Timberwolves.
NBA Odds & Picks
Orlando Magic vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Chris Baker: This Timberwolves defense is overrated as they rank 23rd in location effective field goal percentage but 11th in actual effective field goal percentage, according to Cleaning the Glass. This team is allowing clean shots to opponents, they’ve just been fortunate that those shots aren’t falling.
This team is widely perceived as an elite interior defense due to the presence of Rudy Gobert, but they actually rank 24th in opponent rim-rate. This bodes well for a Magic offense that ranks 11th in that area offensively.
The Timberwolves also don’t do a good job of limiting opponent 3-pointers, ranking just 21st in opponent 3-point attempt rate allowed. I believe the Magic have enough shooting to be able to capitalize on this weakness.
A major edge for the Magic here is the fact that every single big they play can shoot 3s. This is huge when facing Gobert as it will force him out of the paint to contest jumpshots and open the lane for guys like Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony, and Paolo Banchero to go to work. Between Wendell Carter Jr, Moritz Wagner, Bol Bol, and Mo Bamba, I think the Magic will be able to space the floor effectively and stretch the Wolves’ defense.
The Magic also have an edge in transition as they rank sixth in transition rate since Jan. 1. The Magic have been playing much faster since the return of Fultz, Jalen Suggs, and Jonathan Isaac and they should continue to do so against the Wolves who have struggled in transition at times this season.
I also like this spot for the Magic offense from a general positive regression standpoint. The Magic had their worst shooting performance of the season on Wednesday vs the 76ers: 15.4% from beyond the arc and had an overall 41.4% effective field goal percentage.
Some would attribute that to the Philly’s defense, but if you watched the game it was actually the result of Magic players just missing wide open shots at the rim and from deep.
The numbers bear this out as they had attempted nearly 75% of their shots at the rim or behind the 3-point line. Their offensive process is sound and this team is generating great-looks but they are struggling to convert on them.
I believe in the talent on this roster and I expect them to bounce back and hang a big number on an overrated T’wolves defense. Take the over 112.5 team total for the Magic here.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. San Antonio Spurs
Jim Turvey: This is a hammer spot–any angle you want to attack it. You could look to the third quarter moneyline, or alt spreads as well, but my favorite is just the standard spread.
The Sixers’ third quarters have been an excellent fade spot all season, going 18-32 in the third quarter vs the spread for a -31% ROI, easily the worst in the Association. The Spurs, on the other hand, have been the second-best team in third quarters against the spread, going 32-20, for a 16.9% ROI.
Joel Embiid is currently listed as questionable, and the full-game spread appears to be splitting the difference on whether he will play or not. If you wait it out, you might be able to get another half a point if he plays, but for a one quarter derivative, that’s not going to move too much, so no need to try to wait it out.
I don’t foresee much movement in this line throughout the day (even if Embiid is ruled out, I don’t see it moving more than half a point the other way), and I would play this to +1 -110. I would also play the Spurs third quarter moneyline down to +120.
BetRivers has the best line for the spread right now, but FanDuel has the most alt lines available as of writing.
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