Friday NBA Upset Watch Features Pacers & Hawks

Jason Lake

Friday, December 30, 2016 2:06 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 2:06 PM UTC

If you want the best picks on Friday’s NBA odds board, take a gander at the moneyline, where the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks look like quality fade candidates.

Record: 4-1 ATS

It’s time to shake things up with your NBA picks. Everyone loves betting against the spread, but sometimes, the moneyline is the way to go – especially when you’re dealing with smaller favorites ATS. If you’ve got a quality fade candidate at –4 or less, there’s a good chance you’ll make more coin by taking the underdogs on the ML. And it just so happens that we’ve got two such candidates in action this Friday. Let’s riggidy-roll.


Chicago Bulls vs Indiana Pacers (4:00 p.m. ET)

Even before Friday’s moneylines popped up on the NBA oddsboard, the Pacers (15-18 SU, 12-21 ATS) opened as 4-point home faves for this game, so we’ve got them right where we want them. FiveThirtyEight project an Elo-based spread of Indiana –2.5, which already suggests we should be looking at the Bulls (16-16 SU, 15-17 ATS) for betting value.

It’s not a pretty picture. Chicago went 9-5 SU and 10-4 ATS to start the season, but they’ve been scuffling lately. Still, they’re doing better than the Pacers, who are 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS in their last five games – including a 90-85 loss to the Bulls on December 26 as 2-point road dogs. Indiana’s offseason makeover was even stranger than Chicago’s and much less effective; Paul George (+2.0 BPM) hasn’t played this poorly since he was a rookie.

Free NBA Pick: Bulls +145Best Line Offered: at Jazz

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Detroit Pistons vs Atlanta Hawks (8:00 p.m. ET)

It’s much the same situation in the Dirty South. The Hawks (16-16 SU, 14-18 ATS) opened as 4-point home faves against Detroit (15-19 SU, 16-18 ATS), and again, FiveThirtyEight has an Elo-based spread of Atlanta –2.5 instead. The Hawks started the year on fire at 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS, but they’ve been hot garbage ever since.

Yes, the Pistons are 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS in their last seven, but they did crush the Hawks 121-85 back on December 2 as 1.5-point road dogs, so we’re going back to the well. Head coach Stan Van Gundy knows a thing or two about Atlanta center Dwight Howard (+3.0 BPM) from their days with the Orlando Magic. That wasn’t a pretty picture, either.

Free NBA Pick: Pistons +140Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Jake Walker's Bonus Upset PickBucks vs. Timberwolves

The Bucks have lost three of their last five games but they're coming off an impressive 119-94 road win against the Pistons on Wednesday while the Timberwolves suffered a disappointing 105-103 road loss against the Nuggets to fall to 10-22 on the season, a record that doesn't reflect the level of talent on this team.   

Milwaukee has won the last four meetings between these two teams, including a 116-101 victory in the last one on March 4, 2016 but they're just 5-12 ATS in their last 17 road games.

The Bucks crushed the Pistons on the road but they have really struggled away from home, going just 5-8. The Big 3 of Towns, Wiggins and LaVine makes the Timberwolves the better team here and they also have more depth than the Bucks. Minnesota showed their true potential in their 104-90 home win against a talented Atlanta team and I expect a similar type of effort when they host Milwaukee. Take the Timberwolves +1 with your NBA picks while you can.

Free NBA Pick: Timberwolves +1 (-108)Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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