Early Betting Odds & Free NBA Picks for Friday

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, November 20, 2014 10:16 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 10:16 PM GMT

All but six of the NBA's 30 teams are in action on a busy Friday night in the Association, and SBR's handicappers have you covered with in-depth previews and opening NBA odds of six of those 12 games. All times are Eastern. 

Pistons vs. Hawks (-6, 197), 7:30 p.m.
Covered by Jason
The Detroit Pistons enter on a three-game losing streak, which is already the third three-game skid of the season for Coach Stan Van Gundy's club. The good news: Detroit won its next game after the first two. The Pistons are just not a good offensive team, averaging 92.4 ppg. They haven't reached 100 points in four straight. Atlanta was a big favorite on NBA odds Tuesday at home against the Lakers, but the Hawks suffered their first home loss, 114-109. Atlanta could never rally from a 67-52 halftime deficit. When making your NBA picks keep in mind that Detroit won the final two games of last season against the Hawks but has lost 10 of the last 11 in Atlanta.

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Cavaliers vs. Wizards (+1, 206), 8 p.m.
Covered by Jason
This game will be shown on ESPN. It could be a playoff preview as the Cavaliers remain the Eastern Conference favorites at sportsbooks and Washington appears to have its best team in years at 7-3. The Cavaliers would drop under .500 with a loss here, which would be their third straight. LeBron James and Kevin Love both struggled in Wednesday's 92-90 home loss to San Antonio in what many believe was an NBA Finals preview. James and Love were a combined 10-for-29 from the field for only 25 points. James also turned it over five times, including a crucial one in the final seconds that allowed San Antonio to salt it. Washington is finally whole as rising star guard Bradley Beal made his season debut Wednesday off wrist surgery. Beal, who came off the bench, led the team with 21 points, but the Wizards lost 105-102 against Dallas. It was the Wizards' first home loss. Two great individual matchups to watch here: Kyrie Irving vs. John Wall and Paul Pierce against James. Pierce and James have quite the history against one another.

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Celtics vs. Grizzlies (TBA), 8 p.m.
Covered by Joe C.
Why no opening line here? The Grizzlies might be down as many as five players again. Starters Courtney Lee and Tony Allen and reserves Kosta Koufos, Jon Leuer and Beno Udrih all were out with a virus on Wednesday, and the short-handed Grizzlies somewhat predictably lost 96-92 in Toronto. That Memphis kept it that close against a very good Raptors team was admirable. The Grizzlies, who still have the best record in basketball at 10-2, had a four-game winning streak snapped. Boston was able to keep Philadelphia winless on Wednesday night with a 101-90 victory in the City of Brotherly Love. That snapped the Celtics' three-game losing streak. Things will be a bit tougher at Memphis, where the Grizzlies have won 20 straight games. Memphis swept last season's series and has won four straight against Boston overall.


Nets vs. Thunder (-1, 193.5), 8 p.m.
Covered by Dave
Oklahoma City, the NBA's second-worst offensive team, has lost four straight games. The injury-ravaged Thunder did get back guard Andre Roberson in Wednesday's 107-100 loss in Denver. He had missed the previous eight with a foot problem. The Nets have lost five straight and are just 1-4 on the road this season. This concludes the season series. Oklahoma City was blown out 116-85 on NBA odds in Brooklyn on Nov. 3, the Thunder's worst loss of the season. The Nets shot 52.4 percent compared to 39 percent for Oklahoma City. Brook Lopez led six Nets in double figures with 18 points. Reggie Jackson scored 23 points to lead the Thunder, but he was minus-23 in 42 minutes.

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Lakers vs. Mavericks (TBA), 8:30 p.m.
Covered by Dave
Talk about opposites. Los Angeles is last in the NBA in defense, allowing 110.2 points per game. Dallas is No. 1 in offense at 108.9 ppg. So, yeah, this will be a sizable total when the line opens at sportsbooks. It hasn't as of this writing because Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki suffered a minor ankle injury in Wednesday's big win in Washington. Nowitzki briefly left the game but returned after having it taped. The future Hall of Famer doesn't expect to miss any time, but oddsmakers want to be sure. Apparently Nick  Young is the most important Laker as L.A. is 2-0 since Swaggy P made his season debut Tuesday off thumb surgery. Wednesday's 98-92 win in Houston was one of the biggest upsets of the season thus far. Dallas swept the season series 3-0 with the Lakers last year, amazingly the first time Dallas ever swept L.A. in the regular season.

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Bulls vs. Trail Blazers (TBA), 10:30 p.m.
Covered by Kevin
This is the final game of the ESPN doubleheader and there's no line because Bulls stars Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol both sat out Thursday night in Sacramento. It was Rose's third straight game on the bench with a strained left hamstring and Gasol's second straight with a strained left calf. Obviously sportsbooks will wait on their status to post NBA odds for this one. Portland is not a happy place for Rose because that's where he tore his meniscus last year, ending his season. So while the Bulls may be shorthanded and on the second of a back-to-back, Portland has been off since a 102-93 home win over New Orleans on Monday, the Blazers' fifth straight victory. The injury news is good for the Blazers as starting forward Nicolas Batum is likely to return after missing four games with a knee issue. Portland swept last season's series and has won six straight at home vs. Chicago.

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