Biggest Upsets For Friday's Action

Vince Carter

Friday, February 3, 2017 3:25 PM GMT

This week's column explains why two talented Western Conference teams like the Timberwolves and the Grizzlies provide great betting value on Friday. Read on to get the insider's NBA picks on tonight's action.

Timberwolves vs. Pistons

Even though they're coming off a 125-97 loss against the Cavaliers on Wednesday, the Timberwolves have won five of their last seven games. The Pistons on the other hand have lost three of their last four, although they beat the Pelicans 118-98 on Wednesday to improve to 13-10 at home.

These two teams met on December 9 and the Pistons won 117-90 in Minnesota behind 22 points and 22 rebounds from Andre Drummond, while Karl-Anthony Towns had just 14 points and 12 rebounds and turned the ball over five times. Towns is now 0-3 in his career against Detroit, as Andre Drummond has outplayed him every time, averaging 22 points and 17 rebounds in those meetings. Towns on the other hand has put up 18 points and grabbed 9.3 rebounds against the Pistons.

Once again, the matchup between these two young, talented centers will determine the outcome of a Timberwolves vs. Pistons game and this time Towns comes into this contest playing much better than Drummond, who is averaging 14.6 points and 13.6 rebounds, decent numbers but down from his 16.2 points and 14.8 rebounds from last season. Towns on the other hand leads the Timberwolves with 23.0 points, 11.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks and he averaged 25.4 points and 12.9 rebounds in January.

The Timberwolves are 5-1 ATS in their last six visits to Detroit and 5-0 ATS in their last five games after a loss while the Pistons are just 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games after scoring 100 points or more. Minnesota has a slightly deeper team than Detroit, with Wiggins and LaVine helping Towns, who is ready to have a big game against the Pistons. I like the Timberwolves +4 for one of my NBA picks.  

Free NBA Pick: Timberwolves +4 (-108)Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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 Grizzlies vs. Thunder

The Thunder have suffered three consecutive blowout losses against the Cavaliers, the Spurs and the Bulls while the Grizzlies are on a roll, winning four of their last five games, including last Wednesday's 119-99 road win against the Nuggets. Marc Gasol led the way with 24 points and Mike Conley added 18 points and five assists in that victory. 

This will be the third meeting between these two teams this season. The Grizzlies won 114-80 on December 29 in Memphis while the Thunder prevailed 103-95 on January 11 in Oklahoma City, when Enes Kanter scored 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.

Kanter fractured his right forearm when he punched a chair in the game against the Mavericks last week and the Thunder haven't won since. Kanter's 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds will be missed on offense and not having him to guard Marc Gasol will hurt Oklahoma City's chances in this contest. Gasol is averaging 26.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his last 10 games and he will take advantage of Kanter's absence and help the Grizzlies at least keep the game close.

The Thunder are favored by 1.5 points on the NBA odds board but I have to go against them here. The Grizzlies are 18-7 ATS in their last 25 games against Western Conference opponents while the Thunder are 0-3 ATS as a home favorite of 3 points or less.

Free NBA Pick: Grizzlies +1.5 (-110)Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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