Friday's Biggest Upsets In The NBA

Jake Walker

Friday, January 13, 2017 2:08 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 2:08 PM UTC

This week's column focuses on two Eastern Conference teams that provide incredible betting value, and with tonight's slate they are some smart investments to make. Read on to get the insider's NBA picks on tonight's action.


Hornets vs. 76ers

Trusting "The Process" is paying off in Philadelphia as the 76ers have won four of their last five games, and although they're still seven games behind the Wizards for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, this team is having fun on the court and playing with confidence, as evidenced in last Wednesday's 98-97 come from behind home win against the Knicks. Philadelphia trailed by as many as 17 points but Joel Embiid led the comeback with 21 points and 14 rebounds and T.J. McConnell made a game-winning baseline jumper.

Now the 76ers host the struggling Hornets, who are favored by 4.5 points on the NBA odds board. Charlotte has lost five of the last six, including three straight after last Tuesday's 121-114 road loss against the Rockets.  

The Hornets are now just 20-19, which is clearly below their expectations considering the ton of talent and depth that they have. These two teams are heading in opposite directions, Philadelphia is on a roll while Charlotte is really struggling. That being said, the Hornets are still the better team and they have a significant edge with Kemba Walker at the point going up against Sergio Rodriguez. 

Charlotte might win the game but I like Philadelphia +4.5 at home. The Hornets are just 1-7 ATS against Atlantic Division opponents while the 76ers are 4-0 ATS in January and they have Embiid playing like an All-Star and ready to make a difference down low, so they have what it takes to at least stay in the game.

Free NBA Pick: 76ers +4.5 (-105)Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Celtics vs. Hawks

The Celtics have won five of their last six contests and they're just 1.5 games behind the Raptors in the Atlantic Division and in the race for the second seed in the East while the Hawks have won seven straight despite trading Kyle Korver and supposedly looking to deal Paul Millsap. The team recently decided that Millsap will be staying put and they're poised to make a playoff run but they're not so strong offensively, averaging 102.7 points per game (20th in the league) and they will go up against a Celtics team that scores 107.0 points per game (8th in the NBA).

The player to watch in this game and the reason why I like the Celtics to at least cover against a red-hot Hawks team is Al Horford, who will return to Atlanta for the first time since signing with Boston. Horford has been one of the most valuable players on the team, averaging 15.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while making his teammates better, as the Celtics outscore opponents by 5.7 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor. It will be an emotional game for Horford and he will be a difference-maker as usual, helping the Celtics keep the game close. I'm taking the Celtics +2.5 with one of my NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Celtics +2.5 (-110)Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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