NBA Betting Picks: Our Experts’ 3 Favorite Bets for Friday, Including Spurs vs. Warriors
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Warriors forward Draymond Green (23).
Tonight’s NBA schedule features eight games with some significant star power throughout. Notably missing from tonight’s slate, however, is Stephen Curry. He will be out for the foreseeable future after undergoing hand surgery.
Still, there’s plenty of value to be found in Friday’s games and our experts have detailed the bets they like most below.
Odds as of Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Wob: Knicks at Celtics
- Spread: Celtics -10
- Total: 211.5
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports
O COME O YE FAITHFUL FRANK NTILIKINA IS FINALLY IN THE STARTING LINEUP.
At long last, Knicks fans worldwide get their wish — and while oddsmakers clearly don’t care, anybody around this team will fortify the sentiment of the impact he will have finally getting the minutes he deserves.
The Knicks may not win this game straight up, but can they keep it within single digits? Absolutely.
Since Frank prefers to defer, look for more usage out of RJ Barrett tonight — more than at any point this season — which is only a good thing if you’re trying to cover a spread.
Also, the Knicks just got waxed by the Celtics on their home floor just last Saturday, they will undoubtedly treat this game as revenge.
The PICK: Knicks +10
Brandon Anderson: Cavaliers at Pacers
- Spread: Pacers -7
- Total: 215
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: FOX Sports
The rookie point guard has had a nice enough start to his career. Garland is averaging 9.5 points and 3.5 assists through four games.
The 3.3 turnovers in relatively limited minutes are not great but also not shocking for a rookie, especially one that missed most of his only college season. Garland was always going to have a steep learning curve.
He’ll have his hands full against Indiana, where he’ll spend a chunk of his playing time against Malcolm Brogdon, who is playing at an All-Star level right now.
Young players default to their go-to strengths when stressed, and Garland is an attacker and scorer at heart. He’s still learning how to run point, and the assist numbers will fluctuate as he grows.
Garland’s had games of two, three, four, and five assists, so he’s gone under this line 75% of the time. He’s a good bet to do so again, and that’s why our Player Props tool rates this one a 10 out of 10 today.
The PICK: Darius Garland under 4.5 assists
Bryan Mears: Spurs at Warriors
- Spread: Spurs -7
- Total: 222
- Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports
The hot topic in the NBA world is Stephen Curry, but let’s talk about Steve Kerr for a moment.
In Kerr’s system, the Warriors don’t run a lot of pick-and-rolls. Even last season with potentially the deadliest pick-and-roll combination of all time in Curry and Kevin Durant, Curry ran a PnR just 21.6% of the time.
For reference, Kemba Walker was at 46.8%. Trae Young was at 45.6%. Damian Lillard, 44.7%. Donovan Mitchell, 44.5%. Curry’s new teammate, D’Angelo Russell, was at 49.9% last season with the Nets.
As a whole, the Warriors were dead last in PnR rate, running them just 10.8% of the time. Kerr prefers to play a quick, read-and-react system with a lot of cuts; the Dubs ranked first in the league in cutting possessions and were obviously very good on those possessions (they were good at pretty much every possession, to be fair).
This roster, however, is not a read-and-react-quickly roster. Unscripted offensive sets are good for superstars, and the Warriors had like five of them last season and in the recent past. Now, with Curry out, it’s just Russell, Draymond Green and overwhelmed young players. They need a more structured system, but I’m skeptical Kerr will give it to them.
This season, Russell is running a pick-and-roll on just 33.8% of his plays — an obviously huge drop from his time with the Nets. And the Warriors have been utterly inefficient with them: They’re averaging 0.62 points per possession and a 30% effective field goal mark. That’s in the 17th percentile.
So maybe it’s tough to make an argument for Russell and the Warriors running more pick-and-roll sets. They don’t really have the roster for any offense, but at least Russell has some upside within PnRs, and he’s familiar with them.
Again, I’m skeptical the offensive philosophy will change overnight, and it just doesn’t fit Russell, Draymond or anyone on that team. Seven points is a lot on the road on a back-to-back, but I have little faith this Golden State team will be any good anytime soon.
Also, remember that back-to-backs are overrated early in the season:
I really wish Dejounte Murray, one of the best guard defenders in the league, was playing. But the Spurs are still much, much better than this team on a normal night.
I’ll likely add some things throughout the day, so check out the live chat at the bottom of this post for updates.
The PICK: Spurs -7