NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Cavaliers-Jazz, Warriors-Clippers, More

NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Cavaliers-Jazz, Warriors-Clippers, More article feature image

Photo credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Donovan Mitchell

  • Our experts offer their favorite NBA betting picks for Friday's seven-game slate.
  • You'll find a number of intriguing betting angles, including historical trends, matchup analysis and why there's value on Donovan Mitchell's points prop tonight.

There are seven games on tap Friday night starting at 7 p.m. ET. That means there are plenty of betting opportunities in the marketplace.

Let’s dive into our experts’ four favorite wagers in the following games:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers at Utah Jazz: 9 p.m. ET
  • Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers: 10:30 p.m. ET


Rob Perez: DeMarcus Cousins Under 13.5 Points

It will take some cojones for books to post this prop. (The line above is from MyBookie.)

Limited minutes, tender Achilles, first game playing with the Hampton’s 5 … nothing has ever felt more like a “let’s just go through the motions and make it to the final bell” performance than this does.

Cousins will get a couple touches on the block, a pull-up 3 in transition, a put-back bunny … but despite running with the starters, you have to imagine his usage is going to be absurdly cautious and minimal.

Whatever the under is, it’s going to hit.

Evan Abrams: Clippers +7 vs. Warriors

With Cousins’ return, the Warriors are getting 87% of spread bets and 86% of the money wagered as of writing (see live data here). They’ve also won six straight games, including five straight on the road, while the Clippers have lost four consecutive games straight-up and ATS.

But it’s time to jump in front of a moving train.

The first-half line is only three points, which means I would lean Golden State. But it’s also the reason I will turn my attention to the full seven points, which I hope gets higher closer to tip tonight.

My gut says wait this line out and try to find its peak. Since Jan. 1, 2015, the Clippers are just 2-14 SU but 8-8 ATS against the Clippers. So it won’t be fun, but I think the Clippers find a way to cover this line at home.

Matt Moore: Cavs +9 First-Half Spread at Jazz

Utah has been really bad in the first half against poor teams as of late. For the season, the Jazz are 2-5 against the spread when more than a five-point favorite on the first-half line.

The Jazz will roll, but they’ve had real problems when taking on teams of this type. They’re going to win this game — it’s all but assured — but they are 15-point favorites, and that’s just way too much for an offensively limited team down two point guards.

Even then, I don’t feel confident enough in the Cavaliers to go with them on the full game. But in the first half of a game that’s sure to be a slog, I’ll grab the Cavs on an outrageous first-half line.

Bryan Mears: Donovan Mitchell Over 24.5 Points

Over the past couple of games, the Jazz have been down Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum and Raul Neto. They’re out again on Friday night, which means Mitchell is one of the few players on the roster who can actually dribble and initiate offense.

He’s gone for 26 or more points in seven straight games, and he’s been playing between 35 and 40 minutes consistently with all of those guys out.

>>For Mitchell’s points projection and more, visit our NBA Player Props tool.

Per our NBA On/Off tool, Mitchell is averaging 29.4 points per 36 minutes with those guys off the floor, and he’s using a whopping 34.6% of the Jazz’s possessions during that time.

The worry here is the blowout potential with a spread of -15.5, but even if you discount his over/under points prop, this line is still way too low.