Friday Picks: Raptors Look for 2nd Win This Week vs. Bucks

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Troy Haliburton

Friday, January 5, 2018 5:16 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 5:16 PM GMT

Let’s take a look at some of the slated action for Friday night in the NBA and see if we can find a few quality bets to make. We have three, actually.

Pistons at Sixers

Detroit is expected to be without Andre Drummond, who has bruised ribs, and his injury will prevent the world from seeing another installment of his battles with Joel Embiid. Replacing Drumond in the lineup will be the Boban Marjanovic, who had 15 points and nine rebounds in the Pistons' loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Detroit will also be without starting point guard Reggie Jackson, out long term with an injured ankle.

Philadelphia will look to continue its winning ways against the Pistons, having won their last three games after weathering a rough December stretch in which they lost nine of 10 and fell out of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Embiid looked like his normal self again with a spirited performance in the victory against the formidable San Antonio Spurs last time out with 21 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four blocks and four assists.

While the Sixers have shown much promise this season, they still need to develop a mental toughness that will translate to winning basketball. One of the main tenets of being a mentally tough team is taking care of the basketball. The Sixers are committing 17.4 turnovers per game, ranking them last in the NBA. Conversely, the Pistons are ranked 10th in the NBA with 7.7 steals per game. Ball security aside, one of the Sixers other problems has to be their propensity to foul and put opposing players on the free-throw line. The Sixers are giving up a whopping 27.6 free-throw attempts per game, ranked dead last in the NBA.

Luckily for Philly, it has a fantastic record ATS this season (21-15-1) and should be able to protect home court against a short-handed Pistons squad.

Free NBA Pick: Sixers -6Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Raptors at Bucks

Toronto will be looking to extend its hot streak against the Bucks for the second time this week. The Raptors have won five games in a row and 11 of the past 12. One of the reasons that Toronto has been so successful this season is the fact that it made a conscious effort this offseason to change its style of play. The intent was on making sure that the Raptors were playing a style that would fit in better in the pace-and-space era.

From a gambling perspective, the Raptors have been a bettors' best friend this season as they have gone 21-15 against the spread for a 58 percent win rate. Toronto’s success as a favored team has led them to the fifth-best ATS record.

The Raptors' matchup with the Bucks will their second this week after pulling off a comeback overtime victory in Milwaukee four days ago. DeMar DeRozan set a Raptors franchise record with 52 points, and the Bucks could do nothing to stop the shooting guard from having his way. Look for the Bucks to get revenge.

Free NBA Pick: Bucks +1Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Jazz at Nuggets

The Jazz and the Nuggets are both figuring out how to play together after losing star players to injury. The Jazz have been without Rudy Gobert for a few weeks already and have kind of plummeted in his absence. The Nuggets are without All-Star Paul Millsap to a broken wrist but have been figuring out how to win games in his absence.

Utah is slowly figuring out that they can win games in the absence of Gobert by relying on their best offensive weapon, rookie Donovan Mitchell, instead of their defensive prowess. Denver is still having complications with their point guard situation and still running a lot of the offense through Nikola Jokic in the high-post, which is good in moderation, but not necessarily how you want to run your team in the modern NBA. Look for Mitchell to breakout again against a weak Denver backcourt and secure a cover for the Jazz.

Free NBA Pick: Jazz +6Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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