Friday’s NBA Expert Picks & Predictions: How to Bet 76ers vs. Knicks, Clippers vs. Spurs

Friday’s NBA Expert Picks & Predictions: How to Bet 76ers vs. Knicks, Clippers vs. Spurs article feature image

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard

The NBA was off for Thanksgiving, but returns with a 13-game slate on Friday. With so many games to choose from, our experts are eyeing two games in particular: 76ers vs. Knicks and Clippers vs. Spurs.

See how our crew is betting tonight’s game below.

Odds as of Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET

Wob: 76ers at Knicks

  • Spread: Knicks -7
  • Over/Under: 209
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Knicks should have had them in Philly last week. Josh Richardson and Al Horford are out and who knows what Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were up to in Manhattan last night with the night off.

The Knicks are coming off an embarrassing performance in Toronto and RJ Barrett is not sick anymore … this has random horrible team beating elite NBA contender straight up because they just don’t care written all over it, doesn’t it?

There’s a reason why this line has moved a point in a half in the Knicks’ favor. Expect a spirited performance in front of the home crowd tonight that should, at the very least, make it a close game.

The PICK: Knicks +7
[In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Bryan Mears: 76ers at Knicks

What a way to start off the post-Thanksgiving holiday: betting on the New York Knickerbockers.

It’s terrifying for sure, but the Sixers have the potential to be quite limited today. Al Horford and Kyle O’Quinn are already out, Josh Richardson is doubtful to play and Shake Milton is questionable. Ben Simmons is probable with an illness.

Richardson and Horford definitely don’t get the buzz and media coverage that Simmons and Joel Embiid do, but they’re arguably just as important to this team, especially on the offensive end. Without either of them on the floor, the 76ers have posted an eFG rate that is 4.3% worse — the most extreme mark of any players on the team.

They are perhaps the two best shooters on the team, so it’s not surprising to see the offense suffer without them playing. It’s a small sample, but in 281 possessions this season without either on the court, the Sixers have posted a poor -8.1 Net Rating and have scored just 102.1 points per 100 possessions (11th percentile this season).

Granted, a bunch of those minutes have come without Embiid (although with Simmons) who is a beast on both ends of the floor. Still, a main lineup of Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, Forkan Korkmaz, Tobias Harris and Embiid just isn’t going to have the same punch or spacing as the regular starting unit.

Without Richardson and Horford out there, the Sixers have taken very few 3-pointers, especially from the corner. They’ve mostly relied on mid-rangers and shots at the rim, which can be fine, but it’s also somewhat predictable.

The Knicks don’t have a great defense by any means, but they have been really good at defending the mid-range and not terrible in the paint/at the rim. Taj Gibson is washed athletically but smart; Mitchell Robinson is raw but has the potential to be a dynamic rim-protector. The Knicks should take advantage of the spacing issues and pack the paint around Embiid, and if so the 76ers could have troubles offensively.

The 76ers could counter that a bit by pushing the pace in transition, although the Knicks have limited transition opportunities at a top-10 rate this year. If they play things smart today — a big if admittedly for New York — then the Knicks should be able to cover this big number against an undermanned Philly unit.

The PICK: Knicks +8 (I wouldn’t bet past +7.5)
[In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

Brandon Anderson: Clippers at Spurs

  • Spread: Clippers -6
  • Over/Under: 225.5
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

This Spurs ship finally appears to have sailed. They’ve won exactly one of their last 11 games, and the defense is ranked 29th in the NBA. There’s no spacing with DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge on the floor, and when they try to add a shooter like Bryn Forbes, the defense is left with no chance.

Today the Spurs face a Clippers team at full strength. Does this still count as a Kawhi Leonard revenge game? It may not really matter. If it’s not Kawhi, then Paul George will take care of business, and if not him then Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell and everyone else.

And sure, the Spurs are at home and all, but they’re a whopping 1-9 against the spread at home. They’re 1-6 ATS as a dog and 4-15 ATS overall. Let’s add another L to the list, eh?

The PICK: Clippers -6
[In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

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