Friday’s NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Pacers vs. Heat, Suns vs. Warriors
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1).
There are six games on the NBA schedule for Friday night and our experts are betting on three specific matchups:
- 7 p.m. ET: Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic
- 8 p.m. ET: Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat
- 10:30 p.m. ET: Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors
See what bets they’re making below.
Odds as of Friday afternoon and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Brandon Anderson: 76ers at Magic
- Spread: 76ers -3.5
- Over/Under: 210
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
Isn’t it fun never knowing when Joel Embiid will decide to take a game seriously? If Embiid shows up, he should dominate Nikola Vucevic and Philly should beat the Magic easily, but things are never that easy with 76ers.
The Sixers have dropped to number seven in Defensive Rating, and the over has hit in five straight 76ers games, with an average score of 118.4 to 105.6 in that stretch. That 224 points is a far cry from this 210 line, which has been steadily dropping since opening. The Magic hit the over in four of their last five, too, and they’ve fallen out of the top 10 defensively.
That makes the over 9-1 in their last 10 games combined. Couple that with the super low line here and the over looks like a nice play until the oddsmakers adjust. The over can hit here if Philly comes out swinging on offense and puts up 115 or if they mail in another game and let Orlando score into the triple digits.
The PICK: Over 210
Malik Smith: Pacers at Heat
- Spread: Heat -4
- Over/Under: 211.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
Both of these teams have won seven of their past 10 games entering Friday and are shaping up to be much better than their respective preseason outlook suggested.
The Heat have played exceptionally well at home with their only loss coming against the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month. The Pacers are a scrappy team, but they’ve struggled to score on the road lately registering the second-worst Offensive Rating in the NBA on the road over their recent 10-game stretch. They could also be without Malcolm Brogdon, who is a game time decision tonight.
The Heat are 8-7-1 against the spread vs. teams above .500, including 3-1 in their past four games. The only thing that stopped them from covering all four was a meaningless layup by Rudy Gobert with less than a second left against the Jazz. I like the Heat to cover this one tonight at home.
The Pick: Heat -4
Wob: Suns at Warriors
- Spread: Suns -3.5
- Over/Under: 224.5
- Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Dare I say the Golden State Warriors have figured it out? Three straight wins scoring 106, 113, and 116 from the first win through the most recent against the Rockets. Those numbers don’t jump off the page for any other team in the league, but for a Warriors squad that couldn’t even get to 100 for what felt like a month, it is quite the improvement.
The offense is getting better — they’re up to second-worst in the NBA now from dead last! D’Angelo Russell and Draymond Green’s chemistry is clearly developing as they finally get significant burn together, and as a result, the no-name role players who were asked to carry the team can go back to more comfortable, appropriate assignments.
Meanwhile, the Suns, even without Devin Booker for a while, still score the sixth-most points in the league and still don’t play any defense (ranked 19th). There is no reason why this line shouldn’t be at least 230. Buckets everywhere tonight.
The PICK: Over 224.5