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Best bets today from around the NBA.
Best bets today from around the NBA.

After a short, blowout-filled four-game slate, it's a joy to have 22 NBA teams playing, opening the door for plenty of value on the betting slate. Read on for our NBA best bets for Friday based on the top odds.

Friday’s selections include a battle between a banged-up Los Angeles Clippers and a suspect Minnesota Timberwolves matchup that could get intriguing, a chance at a thriller between the rebuilding Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs, and another instance of LeBron James trying to beat a young team with no help.

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

Check out our NBA best bets.

Friday’s NBA Schedule and Odds

  • Portland Trail Blazers (+115) vs. Indiana Pacers (-135)
  • Chicago Bulls (+152) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (-180)
  • New York Knicks (+140) vs. Toronto Raptors (-165)
  • Brooklyn Nets (-180) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (+152)
  • Washington Wizards (+105) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (-125)
  • Charlotte Hornets (+345) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (-455)
  • Detroit Pistons (-105) vs. San Antonio Spurs (-115)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (+152) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (-180)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (+185) vs. Denver Nuggets (-225)
  • Miami Heat (-135) vs. Phoenix Suns (+115)
  • Atlanta Hawks (-140) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (+120)

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Friday’s NBA Best Bets

  • Spread: Hawks -2.5 (-110 via Caesars)
  • Upset: Clippers (+135 via PointsBet)
  • Total: Heat-Suns Under 214.5 (-110 via PointsBet)
  • Player prop: Jakob Poeltl Over 1.5 turnovers (-106 via Caesars)

NBA Top Picks

Spread: Hawks -2.5 (-110) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Lakers may have just pulled off an upset at home against the Miami Heat without their top two players, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. However, they are still not good when they are missing either of those superstars.

Now, they got more bad news in the injury department; on Friday, they might get James back, but they will be missing Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker.

The Hawks are missing only starting center Clint Capela and it makes no sense that a majority of the action is coming in on the Lakers against the spread - so we’ll fade. We are probably getting a discount because in their previous matchup a week ago, the Lakers won by a comfortable nine points. However, it took a 47-point, 10-rebound, nine-assist performance from James and a 29% shooting night from three from the Hawks to get that done.

On the season, the Lakers are 4-6-0 ATS when James plays but Davis does not, and they're 3-7-1 ATS at home when the spread is less than five points. Take the better team in the Hawks to take care of this small task of winning by three points.

Upset: Clippers (+135) ⭐⭐⭐

With the public ATS action being fairly evenly split between the Clippers and the Timberwolves in a three-point spread, the line has crept up in favor of the Clippers. We will buy low and take a Clippers thrashing at the hands of the Nuggets on Thursday as a sign that they should bounce back.

Head coach Ty Lue benched his starters in the second half as the Clippers were down 30 points, and team leader Kawhi Leonard called out his teammates for “too much hero basketball.” They should have most of their lineup not just available but also rested enough to play with more energy on Friday against a Timberwolves team that is 4-8 ATS as a home favorite this season and will still be without Karl-Anthony Towns and possibly backup center Naz Reid.

If this game ends up being close, I trust the coaching of Lue to be a heavy advantage even if Leonard is unable to go. The Clippers are 5-4 ATS as road underdogs and 5-3 straight-up when they are underdogs by two to four points. This game should be closer to a pick‘em, so we’ll snag the plus-money value of an upset.

Total: Heat-Suns Under 214.5 (-110) ⭐⭐

In this interconference matchup with a two-point spread, both teams are coming off a loss and will look to rely on their defensive anchors, who are healthy on Friday.

With Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler both playing, the Heat have had one of the best defensive ratings in the NBA while the offense has still been inconsistent and reliant on shooting. Heat games are 20-19 to the Under overall and 7-2 to the Under when Miami is a road favorite.

Meanwhile, with Chris Paul playing and Devin Booker out, as is the case on Friday, Suns games are 6-4 to the Under.

Most of the action so far is on the Over, yet the line has moved down a few points. This is a perfect opportunity to fade the public and bet on defense.

Player prop: Jakob Poeltl Over 1.5 turnovers (-106) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Spurs starter Devin Vassell has already been ruled out of Friday’s contest due to a knee injury. That’s enough to trust that Jakob Poeltl will be forced into minutes and usage against the Pistons’ new-look two-bigs lineup featuring Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren.

Over their last 15 games, Detroit has forced the fifth-most turnovers to centers. Poeltl has committed at least two turnovers in four straight games against Dwane Casey’s Pistons, averaging 4.2 turnovers per 30 minutes in those contests.

This season, Poeltl has committed at least two turnovers in five of his eight games without Vassell in the lineup, averaging 1.9 turnovers in 27.9 minutes per game.

NBA best bets made 01/06/2022 at 1:30 p.m. ET.

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