NBA Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 4 Favorite Bets for Friday
Pictured Above: Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee (7), Photo Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
- Get the latest betting odds and picks for Friday's nine-game NBA slate.
- Our experts give their favorite bets, including spread bets for Knicks-Nets and Suns-Nuggets, along with an over/under pick and player prop.
Friday brings a large nine-game NBA slate filled with superstars and rivalries. Will Kyrie Irving repeat his Game 1 performance and prove he’s the king of New York? Will LeBron James and Anthony Davis get in the winner’s circle?
Our NBA analysts have perused the slate and found four of their favorites bets, which they’ve detailed below.
Odds as of Friday afternoon 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 +8 vs. Nets
- Odds: Knicks +8
- Total: 229
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
There’s a reason why they’re giving away Kyrie Irving jerseys on opening night at Barclays Center — because this is a Knicks home game and they don’t want to be embarrassed.
The Knicks won’t win because they don’t have anyone to go to get a bucket late in the fourth with the game on the line, but their “treat every possession like Game 7 of the Finals” effort throughout the preseason was on full display in San Antonio. You will be surprised how far this type of intensity gets you in the NBA, even if you suck. Just ask the Nets.
Also, until Kyrie shows us that he can adapt to Kenny Atkinson’s pace-and-space, selfless style of offense, the timeline will be bumping, but these guys aren’t beating anybody at this number.
Matt Moore: Suns +11.5, Nuggets Team Total Under 116
- Odds: Suns +11.5
- Total: 220
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
So Deandre Ayton is out for 25 games (pending appeal) for violating the NBA’s banned substance policy. The line has since ticked up from 11 to 12 at most books after the news.
The Nuggets went 9-5 at home vs. double-digit spreads last season, a great mark. Reviewing those games, they were excellent vs. the league’s absolute worst and most hopeless teams, including 2-0 vs…. the Phoenix Suns.
Except these aren’t those Suns. Of the 10 players who played double-digit minutes in the Suns’ home opener route of the Kings, seven of them were not on the roster in the two Nuggets’ blowout wins a year ago. This Suns team has competent veterans, shooting and, yes, defense.
The Kings surely imploded, and it was just one game, but we have established track records of defensive capability from Ricky Rubio, Dario Saric, Aron Baynes, Tyler Johnson and Kelly Oubre.
The loss of Ayton will surely hurt the Suns offense, but will only help their defense, which fills in with more experienced players in Baynes, an excellent defender, and Frank Kaminsky, who is tall and has been around.
The Nuggets shot 56% from 3-point range in their win vs. the Blazers, and still finished with just a 104.3 Offensive Rating. Their defense was excellent, and they benefited from some Blazers cold shooting. Some of that offensive struggle was tied to Nikola Jokic’s foul trouble.
But the Nuggets are also likely to regress from 3-point range while shooting a little better overall. Their team total is at 116. Denver can absolutely put up that number, but with Phoenix’s defensive profile, it, along with the Nuggets’ 11.5-point spread, are too high.
Bryan Mears: Over 223.5 in Bulls/Grizzlies
- Odds: Bulls -2
- Total: 223.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
When most people think of the Grizzlies, they likely think of the Grit ‘N Grind era defined by an incredibly slow pace. That team no longer exists, and the young guys project to really push. In their first game of the season, Memphis played at a ridiculously fast 114.7 pace — tops in the league so far.
They’re definitely smart to try to get out in transition with their young talent and athleticism with Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr.
The Bulls are about average in pace after the first game, but their defense was pretty terrible. They lost to the Hornets, who had a barrage of wide-open shots all game. The same dynamic existed with the Grizzlies, who gave up 120 points to the Jimmy Butler-less Heat. Bad defenses, fast pace and the public sentiment around the Grizzlies perhaps not changed — I’ll take the over.
Brandon Anderson: JaVale McGee under 6.5 rebounds
- Odds: Lakers -3.5
- Total: 216.5
- Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
The great thing about under bets is they can go under for so many different reasons. Maybe the player doesn’t produce. Maybe he gets in foul trouble or gets hurt or just doesn’t get many minutes. Maybe it’s a bad matchup. Unders give you a lot of outs. And in JaVale McGee’s case, it might be any or all of the above.
The Lakers are still figuring out their big man rotation. McGee got 17 minutes in the opener, while Dwight Howard had 19. The Lakers played Anthony Davis at center the other minutes. The Jazz will have a center out there all game, but they’re a tough rebounding team and McGee could struggle with Rudy Gobert’s physicality.
There’s also the minutes question. JaVale averaged 7.5 boards last year but played 22.3 minutes a game. He’s much more comfortable historically in that 16-to-18 minutes range, which would put him just over five rebounds a game at his typical rate. He had only two in the opener. Our Player Prop tool rates this a 10 out of 10.