Friday Double-Dribble: First-Half 'Overs' Are Plays of Day

lakres heat

Jordan Sharp

Friday, March 16, 2018 3:04 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 16, 2018 3:04 PM UTC

The NCAA Tournament is taking most of the basketball betting action right now, but the NBA odds are still in full force Friday and there are two great picks to take advantage of despite the shorter slate.

Nets at 76ersFree NBA Pick: Over 106½ First HalfBest Line Offered: Bookmaker

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We nailed a first half play on Thursday between the Hornets and Hawks, and it’s once again time to take advantage of the sportsbooks with a first-half total play on the Nets and Sixers. As of this morning, the number sits at 106½.

The Nets don’t own their first-round pick thanks to some disastrous management decisions going on six years ago. However, while that doesn’t mean they are tanking, the Nets still don’t have much juice right now heading down the stretch. The chance to ruin a playoff seeding run for a divisional rival could be motivation enough for the Nets, and with the Sixers coming in on no rest the Nets could take advantage of the Sixers early in this one.

The Nets have had two full days off, and that should help their legs on the road against this tired Sixers team. Furthermore, when you examine the way these two teams have been playing early in games, the first-half total screams 'over.'

The Nets and Sixers are both playing at first-half paces of 103 since the All-Star break, and that has led to both of their defenses struggling some. Both are allowing close to 112 points per 100 possessions, and if you look at the tape of the first half when they played on March 11, you can tell this one should be high scoring as well.

The first half score of their last game was 70-60, and while I doubt we see that high of a score at this intermission, there could easily be 110-plus combined points in the first half.

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Heat at LakersFree NBA Pick: Over 111½ First HalfBest Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Another first-half total with some excellent value is the Heat and Lakers. The last time these two played, we easily cashed an 'over' play on the full game total, and tonight it’s another nice value on the first-half line of 111½. With Hassan Whiteside out again, the Heat’s defense turns from not very good to really bad. The Lakers’ defense hasn’t been anything special this season, either, but tonight with no Whiteside again for the Heat this one could get messy.

The Lakers have made it their mission to start games fast since the All-Star break, and so far it’s working well. The Lakers are playing at a pace of 107.2 in the first halves of their 11 games since the break, and they own an offensive rating of 110 in the first half of those games. Compare that to the Heat, who are actually playing faster in the first halves of their games post-break, and this first-half total is money on the 'over.'

When they played in Miami earlier this season, the Lakers led 73-62 at the half, and I see no reason why they can’t do that again here. The Lakers are averaging 57.2 first half points over their last five games, and could get 60-plus tonight at home.

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