NBA Expert Betting Picks (Friday, Jan. 17): Best Bets for Cavaliers vs. Grizzlies, Trail Blazers vs. Mavericks
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard (0), Carmelo Anthony (00) of the Portland Trail Blazers.
There are seven games on Friday evening’s NBA schedule, and our experts are betting on these specific matchups:
- 8 p.m. ET: Cleveland Cavaliers at Memphis Grizzlies
- 8:30 p.m. ET: Atlanta Hawks at San Antonio Spurs
- 9:30 p.m. ET: Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks
See which bets they’re making below.
Odds as of Friday evening and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Brandon Anderson: Cavaliers at Grizzlies
- Spread: Grizzlies -9
- Over/Under: 230.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
Ride the Grizzlies wave! They’ve won and covered in six straight games, starting with the blowout win over the Clippers at Staples and most recently a win over Houston that got everyone talking — plus wins over presumed playoff contenders the Suns, Spurs, and Timberwolves.
Suddenly the Grizzlies are not just the team of the future, they’re the team of the present. Ja Morant is a walking bucket and a mortal lock to win Rookie of the Year unless Zion Williamson returns and ascends directly to heaven. Jaren Jackson and Brandon Clarke are breaking out. Dillon Brooks is a thing.
Hey you know what’s not a thing? The Cavaliers. What better story heading into Martin Luther King Day than a seven-game winning streak and a marquee game in Memphis?
The PICK: Grizzlies -8 (It has since moved up to -9)
John Ewing: Hawks at Spurs
- Spread: Spurs -8.5
- Over/Under: 230.5
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
This season John Collins is averaging 19.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Oddsmakers have posted Collins’ over/under for rebounds tonight at 9 against the Spurs. This number is in line with his season average, but since coming back from suspension Collins has been playing better.
In his last game, Collins scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. This was his third double-double in the past four games. Since returning from suspension he is averaging 10.2 rebounds a game.
San Antonio is a plus matchup for Collins. The Spurs have allowed opposing power forwards to average 11.4 rebounds per game this season, according to HashtagBasketball.com.
The FantasyLabs player prop tool projects Collins to snag 12.2 rebounds tonight. With a positive matchup against the Spurs and better play since returning from suspension, Collins is a good bet to go over his rebound total of 9.
The PICK: Over 9 rebounds
Wob: Trail Blazers at Mavericks
- Spread: Mavericks -9
- Over/Under: 229.5
- Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
It’s beginning to be a common theme here on the Rob Perez portion of Best Bets, but I’m going to keep asking the question until I get a legitimate answer: how is this total not in the mid 230’s? What algorithm or formula are they using to produce this number? Portland plays at the 11th-fastest pace in the league, while carrying the NBA’s 24th-ranked defense.
The Dallas Mavericks have the No. 1 rated offense. Yes, Dallas.
Every time down the floor it is either a Luka Doncic assist, bucket, or him flailing and complaining his way to the free throw line. There will not be an ounce of defense played in this game, and even when there is, the Blazers will use it to get Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum out in transition and speed up the pace.
The only way this total doesn’t end up in the mid 230s is if the two teams find a way to miss 40 combined 3s, which I just don’t see mathematically possible considering the Blazers are matadors on the perimeter and just general lack of effort.
Editor’s note: After this article was published, the Trail Blazers added Lillard to the injury report, making him questionable to play due to an “upper respiratory illness.” Get the latest updates on his status in our Labs NBA Insiders tool.
The PICK: Over 229.5