NBA Odds, Picks: 4 Friday Best Bets for Nuggets vs. Grizzlies, Lakers vs. Timberwolves, More
Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Friday's NBA slate features 10 games, and our staff came through with best bets for four of them.
- Their picks include Timberwolves vs. Lakers, Grizzlies vs. Nuggets, Jazz vs. Thunder and Trail Blazers vs. Hawks.
- Check out all four of our staff's best bets for Friday's NBA games below.
Friday’s NBA slate is far from small.
Ten games line the schedule beginning at 7 p.m. ET tonight, and our staff came through with best bets for four of them: Trail Blazers vs. Hawks, Jazz vs. Thunder, Grizzlies vs. Nuggets and Timberwolves vs. Lakers.
So, whether you’re looking for an early player prop or a simple late-night spread pick, we have you covered.
Check out all four of our best bets for Friday night’s NBA games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Blazers vs. Hawks
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: The Portland Trail Blazers are in a bad spot tonight in their third city in four nights, traveling across the country from Portland to Atlanta.
They will also likely be without their second-leading scorer in Anfernee Simons (doubtful), who reaggravated his ankle in a 121-110 loss to the Pelicans on Wednesday night.
The Blazers have been a mess, especially on the road. They’ve dropped four of their last five games with all four losses coming by double digits, and they’re just 2-11 straight up and against the spread in their last 13 road games.
The Hawks have the revenge factor in their favor as well. They lost the last meeting this season, 129-1295, in Portland. Now, the Hawks have won the last three games in Atlanta by a combined 30 points.
Trae Young is probable for Atlanta and participated in shoot-around — a good sign for him playing.
I like Atlanta to win big tonight. I bet this at -7 and would play it to -8.
Pick: Hawks -7
Jazz vs. Thunder
Munaf Manji: The Utah Jazz will head to Oklahoma City tonight to take on the Thunder. In this game, I’m focusing on the starting rookie center for the Jazz, Walker Kessler, to have a big night rebounding the basketball.
There’s no secret the Thunder have struggled this season rebounding. In fact, according to NBA Stats, the Thunder rank dead last in opponent rebounds per game, allowing close to 47 boards. In particular, the Thunder are allowing 16 rebounds per game to the center position, and that number has increased slightly to 16.8 over the last seven days.
In an earlier matchup this season against the Thunder, Kessler grabbed 18 rebounds. Furthermore, over the last five games, Kessler is averaging 12.8 rebounds and has gone over this number of 11.5 in four straight games.
At even-money odds, I love for Kessler to get over this projection, and this is a great ladder-up opportunity for 14+ rebounds at +195 and 16+ at +420.
Pick: Walker Kessler Over 11.5 Rebounds
Grizzlies vs. Nuggets
Matt Moore: The Grizzlies are terrible on the road: 4-14-1 ATS. Denver is awesome at home: 19-10-1 ATS.
Memphis took its last matchup last Saturday when Denver was at the end of a road trip off a big win over Cleveland. Now, the Nuggets have a revenge spot against a team that struggles on the road, where Denver is nearly unbeatable.
Memphis ranks 25th in half-court offense and 22nd on the road in that category. It needs turnovers and mistakes to fuel its fastbreak offense, but Denver’s turnover rate is lower at home. The Nuggets defense is a full seven points better at home as well.
I lean under here heavily as well, as this projects to be way more of a slugfest than a shootout like the 233.5 number suggests.
The Nuggets can clinch the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies and put them five back in the loss column; a win here essentially clinches the 1-seed for Denver.
In a big game at home with a superior team, I’ll back the Nuggets.
Pick: Nuggets -5
Timberwolves vs. Lakers
Chris Baker: This is a great matchup for the Timberwolves, as the Lakers are heavily reliant on offensive rim attempts when Anthony Davis is in the lineup.
With LeBron off the floor and Davis on, the Lakers take a remarkable 39.5% of their shots at the rim (94th percentile). This is a huge issue when facing a long team like the T-Wolves. Anchored by Rudy Gobert, the Timberwolves do an outstanding job of limiting paint touches and looks, so expect Davis to struggle tonight.
Where the Timberwolves are susceptible is in defending the 3-point line, as they rank 18th in 3-point attempt rate and 22nd in 3-point percentage allowed. Fortunately for the Wolves, the Lakers rank 26th in offensive 3-point attempt rate and percentage.
This Lakers offense does not match up well with this rangy Wolves defense.
On the offensive end, expect the Timberwolves to be efficient against a Lakers defense that struggles to force turnovers. The Wolves have been an underwhelming offense all season, and they have particularly struggled to take care of the ball. They rank 28th in turnover rate on the year, but they should do a better job against the Lakers, who rank third-worst in the NBA in turnover rate.
Minnesota’s defense should carry it tonight while its offense is efficient enough to get a needed win in Los Angeles. Trust the Timberwolves on the road tonight as underdogs.
Pick: Timberwolves +1.5
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