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

We're looking at our favorite NBA player props and the best bets for Friday based on the best NBA odds

On Thursday, our NBA best bets article had its first losing night of the week as we finished 1-1, resulting in a loss of 0.08 units. We weren't able to earn a green checkmark on our Under 21.5 points bet on Miles Bridges, but Lu Dort did come through for us by going Over his total of 7.5 points.

Friday's slate of games is loaded with some very intriguing matchups, potentially serving as a preview of both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. The Boston Celtics will host the Philadelphia 76ers on ESPN, followed by the Denver Nuggets visiting the Phoenix Suns.

Both of these matchups are appointment television for me, but more importantly, why am I targeting a player prop on the New Orleans Pelicans?

Here are our NBA player props and best bets for Friday (odds via our best NBA betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Friday’s NBA schedule and odds

(Odds via BetMGM)

Friday’s NBA best bets

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Friday’s NBA player props

Jaylen Brown Over 2.5 assists vs. 76ers (-135 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

When the Celtics clash with the 76ers on Friday, we'll see a much different matchup than the last time these two teams faced off in early November. Kristaps Porzingis is out for the Celtics, and it appears Joel Embiid will also miss Friday's game, as he wasn't at shootaround.

With Porzingis out, the Celtics are running a free-flowing five-out offense with everyone creating for each other, and all involved are getting a ton of touches. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Derrick White, and Jrue Holiday are all averaging more than nine potential assists per game across Boston's last two outings without Porzingis.

Brown shouldn't be trading at 2.5 assists with the Celtics playing that style of basketball, and the Over is priced at -135.

If Embiid is also out the 76ers will lack rim protection on defense, which means the Celtics will be able to finish at the rim for easy assists.

Brown is projected to register 3.3 assists on Friday against the 76ers, allowing us to price the Over on 2.5 assists at -168. I wouldn't wait until right before game time to place this bet, as it's already been steaming pretty hard in the market.

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CJ McCollum Over 17.5 points vs. Spurs (-103 via BetRivers) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Pelicans find themselves on the front end of a back-to-back, in a game that could be a blowout. This situation is usually not ideal for betting Overs, but I have a different opinion for McCollum.

McCollum is working his way back into game shape from the collapsed lung he suffered. If I'm the Pelicans, I use this game against the San Antonio Spurs to get McCollum some minutes and shots, with the idea that he sits out the second leg of the back-to-back on Saturday. I don't think this is a stretch by any means; I just can't see McCollum playing in a back-to-back coming off of a collapsed lung.

From the basketball side, Pelicans big man Zion Williamson will be a nightmare for the Spurs on defense, and they will have to send help. The Philadelphia 76ers had the same issue on Wednesday, and the Pelicans ensured McCollum was on the same side as Williamson. Send help, and it's a wide-open 3-pointer for McCollum. I think the Spurs will have to live with giving McCollum a ton of open looks because they can't possibly match up against Williamson without sending help.

McCollum is projected to score 19.7 points on Friday, which allows us to price the over 17.5 points at -148. Based on this projection, we're receiving an expected value of 18% by attacking the -103 price point at BetRivers.

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NBA best bets made 12/1/2023 at 6:30 a.m. ET

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