NBA Expert Betting Picks (Friday, March 6): Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Spurs vs. Nets, Heat vs. Pelicans, More

NBA Expert Betting Picks (Friday, March 6): Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Spurs vs. Nets, Heat vs. Pelicans, More article feature image

Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena.

  • Friday's NBA schedule is absolutely packed with betting value and intriguing matchups, including the Miami Heat at New Orleans Pelicans (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).
  • Can the Pelicans keep their postseason hopes alive against one of the top teams in the East?
  • See all of our experts' picks on tonight's slate below.

Friday's NBA schedule is stacked with 10 games — many with playoff implications — and our experts are betting on three of those matchups:

  • 7:30 p.m. ET: San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets
  • 8 p.m. ET: Orlando Magic at Minnesota Timberwolves
  • 8 p.m. ET: Miami Heat at New Orleans Pelicans

See the bets they’re making below.

Friday NBA Betting Picks

Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

John Ewing: Spurs at Nets

  • Spread: Nets -3.5
  • Over/Under: 224
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Nets were awful in their last game. Memphis routed Brooklyn 118-79. The Nets poor offensive performance was bad news for the 64% of bettors that wagered on over 223 as the under easily cashed.

Casual bettors tend to let recent events impact how they bet a team going forward. After scoring 79 points, the public may be tempted to wager on the Nets under tonight. But history suggests teams tend to bounce back, especially after bad offensive games.

Since 2005, teams that scored 80 or fewer points and went under the total in their previous game have been good over bets. The over has gone 206-147-5 (58%) in these games, returning a profit of $4,832 for a $100 bettor.

The Nets couldn't buy a bucket on Wednesday, but are likely to experience positive regression tonight making the over more likely to hit.

The PICK: Over 222.5 (has since moved to 224)
[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

Brandon Anderson: Magic at Timberwolves

  • Spread: Magic -2.5
  • Over/Under: 233
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET

Quick, close your eyes and describe the Orlando Magic.

You pictured a stodgy, defensive team built around Nikola Vucevic and raw playmakers like Markelle Fultz and Aaron Gordon, right? A team that slows it down and makes the game boring and rides defense to a W? You might be surprised to find out that Orlando has hit nine straight overs. The Magic are actually scoring points lately, and the defense hasn’t been as strong without Jonathan Isaac.

As for the Timberwolves, they’ve hit the over in eight of 11 games since adding D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Juancho Hernangomez to the lineup. The Wolves aren't playing a lot of defense, but they are shooting the lights out, even without Karl-Anthony Towns. The over is also 24-15 in their games this season when they’re the underdog. The Wolves may be bad, but at least they’re entertaining.

This is somewhat of a steep line for the Magic, but they just beat the Timberwolves 136-125 a week ago today, covering tonight’s 233-point line with ease. The Wolves' games have gone over 233 in all eight of those overs since the trades.

Bring on the shootout.

The PICK: Magic/Wolves over 233
[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

Wob: Heat at Pelicans

  • Spread: Pelicans -1.5
  • Over/Under: 233
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET

The season is on the line in New Orleans tonight and the line is already moving against the Pelicans. How could this be? Every time I load Twitter I see a highlight from a Pelicans player doing something nasty. Surely they are a playoff team and will right the ship … right?

There is a reason the casinos in Las Vegas are tall; they didn’t build themselves. They built them on the backs of people betting the Pelicans in must-win situations thinking they’ll show any sort of improvement.

The Pels are not bad … I don’t want to turn this into a slander open mic session … but as long as Alvin Gentry is the head coach of this team enforcing his pace-and-space #GentryBall with the only objective of drowning the other team in volume, I will never trust them.

This team’s secondary break defense is so bad that I honestly question whether they have ever practiced it during Gentry's tenure. They don’t play basketball getting back on defense, they just run. No team should EVER be consistently giving up 130 points to opponents with guys like Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Derrick Favors on the roster.

Individual defensive talent is not the problem, they are just broken. There is no other way to explain it. They can’t close big games because they can’t stop the other team from getting easy buckets while they’re laboring extensively to get theirs. The math equation they’re trying to win is flipped against them almost every night in the fourth quarter. It drives me insane because this team is talented and they just don’t have a chance.

Tonight, with the burden of the postseason on their shoulders, they face their antithesis — one of the league’s most fundamentally-sound defenses with a Godzilla patrolling the paint to neutralize anything cool Zion Williamson does to make up for his team’s lack of efficiency.

The Heat have turned things around since their losing streak/array of injuries, and the Pels’ “let’s make them play as many possessions as possible” strategy is going to completely backfire on them when going up against a team this fundamentally-sound and a coach who is light years ahead of his opposition.

I’m done with you, Pelicans, take all of your clothes and leave the key on the kitchen counter on your way out.

The PICK: MIA +1.5
[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

Joe Dellera: Heat vs. Pelicans

The Heat square off with the Pelicans in a battle that features two elite offenses. Over the last 15 games (since Williamson's debut), the Pelicans have the sixth-best Offensive Rating at 114.4; the Heat are third at 115.8.

Unsurprisingly, these teams have been two of the most profitable squads to the over:

  • The Heat's over is 8-2 during its past 10 games; the Pelicans' over is 7-3.
  • The Heat's over has hit 62.3% of the time this season; the Pelicans' over has hit in 58.1% of games.
  • The Heat's over is 17-13-1 on the road, while the Pelicans’ over is 17-13-1 at home.

Two top-notch offenses that absolutely crush overs. We're taking the over, right? Absolutely not.

Historically, it has been profitable to fade good over teams when they play late in the season.

And if you want more than a trend, let's look at sharp money. So far, per Sports Insights, there have been two steam moves on the under at 235.5 and 234.5, with no buyback on the over.

The numbers don't lie. I'm trusting the data here and fading the public's love of the over. I'm over the over.

THE PICK: Under 233
[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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