NBA Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: 3 Best Bets, Including Magic vs. Bulls, Knicks vs. Warriors, More (November 18)
Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors.
- Friday's NBA slate is massive as there are 11 games tipping off tonight.
- Our betting analysts are targeting a few of those games, including Magic vs. Bulls and Knicks vs. Warriors.
- Check out their expert picks and best bets from Friday's games below.
Congratulations, you made it to another Friday. Your reward? All the NBA games that you could ever want to bet on a loaded 11-game slate. Tonight’s schedule is anchored by two games on ESPN — Bucks vs. 76ers (7:30 p.m. ET) and Knicks vs. Warriors (10 p.m. ET) — but features a number of exciting matchups.
Our betting analysts are targeting two player props and betting the spread in another marquee matchup. You can find their expert analysis and best bets for Friday night below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls
Jim Turvey: Zach LaVine gets a tasty matchup on Friday against Orlando.
The Magic allow the third-most opponent 3-pointers in the NBA, and LaVine, as usual, has not been shy from deep this season, averaging 8.1 attempts per game from behind the arc and hitting at a 38.2% clip. On three separate occasions, LaVine has gotten up 11 or more 3s in a single game.
LaVine also thrives in transition, a spot where the Magic are vulnerable. His 4.0 fastbreak points per game rank 14th in the NBA, and the Magic rank 22nd in fastbreak defense.
This number is also a touch low considering that over the four seasons prior to this, LaVine’s points per game have cleared this total. The reason the books are giving a lower total is that LaVine has struggled this season, but that has mostly been due to nagging injuries.
In his most recent return from injury, LaVine has already looked better, averaging 24.8 points per game, and clearing 20 each time out. He’s also looked back to his aggressive self, averaging 19.8 shots per game, up from the 16.3 per game before that.
Boston Celtics vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Boston is the best team in the NBA by a wide margin. The Pelicans are top-10 but the margin on neutral court is more than 10 points. I can’t get to this number for the Pels at all.
You may be thinking, “Boston’s gotta lose sometime.” No, that’s not how this works. Trying to guess when regression will hit in betting is too dangerous.
If the number was too sharp, I’d be amenable to ignoring how hot Boston’s been. But until they show that they’re anything but the best team in the league by margin, they need to be bet as such.
I like this at any number.
New York Knicks vs. Golden State Warriors
Munaf Manji: The Golden State Warriors are back home tonight where they are playing their better basketball and welcoming the New York Knicks to town.
The Knicks are one of the worst teams in the league at defending the 3-point line. They allow the second most made 3s (14.1 per game) and are last in opponent frequency at 43.4%, according to NBA Advanced Stats. The Warriors, meanwhile, rank third in 3-point makes and rank second in attempts.
Tonight, the Knicks have the task of trying to slow down the best shooter in the world, Stephen Curry, fresh off his best scoring game of the season.
In eight of Curry’s last 10 games against the Knicks, he has knocked down five or more 3-pointers. He has also hit five or more 3s in five of the Warriors’ seven home games this season. Curry leads the NBA in attempts from deep (11.5) and makes (5.1), so we’re essentially betting him to be his average self and getting plus odds.
I love the matchup against a porous Knicks defense and expect Curry to continue to shoot the ball well tonight.