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Best bets today from around the NBA.

There are more games on deck for Friday, Jan. 27. Read on for our NBA best bets and predictions.

After a short, blowout-loaded NBA slate on Thursday where several bets were tarnished due to late injury news, Friday’s menu again features few options but potentially better spots for betting value. Two hot Florida teams match up when the Orlando Magic visit the Miami Heat. The Golden State Warriors will host the Toronto Raptors a couple of days after a nail biter where Stephen Curry was ejected in the final moments. And we have a potential shootout when the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers face each other.

Here are our NBA best bets for Friday (odds via Caesars, BetMGM, and DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our Grizzlies vs. Timberwolves picks for Friday!

Friday’s NBA schedule and odds

Odds via DraftKings

  • Milwaukee Bucks (-345) vs. Indiana Pacers (+285)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (-150) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (+130)
  • Orlando Magic (+270) vs. Miami Heat (-325)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (-110) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (-110)
  • Toronto Raptors (+175) vs. Golden State Warriors (-205)

Friday’s NBA best bets

  • Spread: Magic +8.5 (-115 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Upset: Raptors (+175 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Total: Grizzlies-Timberwolves Over 238.5 (-110 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Player prop: Jimmy Butler 4-plus assists & 1-plus steal (-120 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

NBA top picks

Spread: Magic +8.5 (-115) ⭐⭐⭐

The Heat have won seven of their last eight home games and are 5-3-1 ATS in their last nine games. However, the 19-29 Magic are no easy out and this line is an overreaction to the Heat's recent rise. Both teams are coming off a win; this season, Miami is 8-15-3 ATS following a win, the fourth-worst cover rate in the NBA, while Orlando is 12-5-1 ATS following a win, the best mark in the league.

The Heat will list all of their key players available, but many of them have been playing through injuries and were listed questionable as recently as last night. On the other hand, the Magic are the healthiest they have been all season with even Jonathan Isaac back from his 904-day surgery rehab. Orlando is 15-5-2 ATS when underdogs by seven or more points and they should be able to keep Friday’s game close with their length on defense and versatility on offense. This season, only the Utah Jazz have played in more clutch games than the Miami Heat, so even though the Heat might have the far superior tools to close this game out for a win, they certainly aren’t a good bet to blow out a very capable opponent these days.

Upset: Raptors (+175) ⭐⭐⭐

The young, retooling Raptors have already faced the reigning champion Warriors once this season and it was a 16-point defeat in Toronto. However, both teams were dealing with significant injuries and Golden State shot 46.2% from three, so I would not reach too much into that beatdown.

On Friday, Toronto is fully healthy and Golden State could be without two-way stud Andrew Wiggins, currently listed questionable with an illness. That might be the difference in this one. Since the New Year, no team in the NBA has allowed more made field goals per game in the paint area than the Warriors — all while being a below-average defense against the three and in the mid-range. That’s music to the ears of Nick Nurse’s Raptors, who aren’t heavily based in paint offense in that span but have been letting it fly from three, ranking top 10 in the NBA in 3-point attempts from both the corners and above the break.

The Raptors just crushed the Kings on their home floor despite just shooting 30% from three. If they positively regress at all, they have a good shot at competing against the Warriors too. Instead of buying the points, I am comfortable taking the plus-money value on the outright win since Toronto has their fair share of experience in close contests. They rank sixth in clutch games played and are a respectable 7-12 straight up when underdogs by between one and five points.

Total: Grizzlies-Timberwolves Over 238.5 (-110) ⭐⭐⭐

This is only a three-star play due to the uncertainty in player availabilities for this game, a rampant issue in the NBA these days. Over 75% of the public action on this total has come in on the Under, yet the line has spiked up by a point on most books. With Steven Adams ruled out and no update on the injury designations of Rudy Gobert and Desmond Bane, consider it the sharp play to back offense in this Friday night matchup.

These teams have already faced off twice this season and this total has not been cleared in either contest. That’s despite the Timberwolves being healthy and starting Karl-Anthony Towns in one of those games. A closer look at those games show statistics that are highly unlikely to repeat themselves. In those two games:

  • Memphis shot 21.2% and 34.6% from three and 70.4% and 60.0% from the free throw line
  • Minnesota shot 33.3% and 30.8% from three

Expect positive regression in the third edition of this matchup and back the Over.

Player prop SGP: Jimmy Butler 4-plus assists & 1-plus steal (-120) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

You’ll have to use the same-game parlay option on DraftKings to play this prop. There’s value in buying this correlated Jimmy Butler impact game. He has cashed on this play in 12 of his 23 games this season when both Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo play, but in this game that we like to stay competitive for four quarters, it’s a perfect matchup as well.

Over their last seven games, the Magic have been pretty much 100% healthy, but in that span they have allowed the fourth-most assists to small forwards (ninth-most assists overall) and third-most steals to small forwards (fifth-most steals overall).

NBA best bets made 01/27/2022 at 12:45 p.m. ET.

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