Friday's NBA Picks & Predictions

Jason Lake

Friday, February 21, 2014 1:10 PM GMT

It’s time to sort out the aftermath of the NBA trading deadline and see which of Friday’s teams are ready for some basketball betting. Looks like the Philadelphia 76ers are ready – for the golf course.

Jason’s record on his early NBA picks for 2013-14, up to February 20 inclusive:

64-53-1 ATS

18-13 Totals

Another year, another NBA trading deadline. It’s always fun to bet on basketball when you’re not entirely certain which players are going to be available for the games in question. I mean that, too – dealing with this kind of volatility separates the sharps from the squares, and the squares from their money.

As usual, we had a flurry of trades this year, mostly of the minor variety. But one team blewed itself up real good. Let’s start our latest NBA betting tour in the City of Brotherly Love, where your brother would probably be good enough to suit up and play on Friday.

Dallas at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. ET)

It’s often the case that the sellers at the trade deadline pick up betting value when the market overreacts and writes them off. But this is a special season in the NBA, and the Sixers (15-40 SU, 21-34 ATS) are a special team. They just traded away two of the only four decent players in the lineup: Spencer Hawes (15.4 PER) and Evan Turner (13.3 PER). However, they did acquire Danny Granger (10.4 PER) Earl Clark (8.8 PER), Byron Mullens (8.0 PER) and Eric Maynor (6.1 PER). Whee?

The Mavericks (32-23 SU, 31-24 ATS) didn’t make any trades going into the deadline, figuring they weren’t going to get much of an upgrade over what they’ve already got. And what they’ve got is pretty good: Dallas is 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS over the past eight games, and the roster is about as healthy as you could ask for at this time of year. The fact that the Mavs are clinging to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference should keep them focused on destroying the Sixers in this matchup. 

NBA Pick: Take the Mavericks –10 (–115) at The Greek

[gameodds]5/256165/?r-1=43-19/us[/gameodds]

New Orleans at Charlotte (7:00 p.m. ET) 

In theory, the Bobcats (25-30 SU, 31-22-2 ATS) just got two decent guards for the price of one. They sent Ramon Sessions (14.8 PER) to the Milwaukee Bucks, along with little-used PF Jeff Adrien (14.9 PER), in exchange for Luke Ridnour (9.3 PER) and Gary Neal (11.4 PER). Both Ridnour and Neal have played at a higher level at previous stops in the NBA, and Charlotte did have a need at the 2-spot behind Gerald Henderson (13.4 PER), so this deal works from a balance perspective. But Sessions played very well for Charlotte. He’ll be missed. 

Why nitpick over this trade, anyway? Fact is, the Bobcats are in eighth place in the East, and they were buyers at the deadline. They’re also 6-3 SU and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games. Meanwhile, New Orleans (23-30 SU, 23-27-3 ATS) is 1-3 SU and 0-3-1 ATS in its last four, thanks to a frontline that is still missing Ryan Anderson (19.1 PER) and Jason Smith (12.6 PER). Jrue Holiday (17.4 PER) is also out indefinitely. It’s not a 5-star pick, but I’ll go with the hotter hand in this case. 

NBA Pick: Take the Bobcats –3.5 (–106) at SBObet

[gameodds]5/256163/?r-1=43-19/us[/gameodds]

Boston at L.A. Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET, EPSN) 

It’s the greatest rivalry in the history of the NBA~! Okay, so neither the Celtics (19-36 SU, 26-28-1 ATS) nor the Lakers (18-36 SU, 28-25-1 ATS) is going to make the playoffs this year. But both teams have shown plenty of moxie even while everything is going pear-shaped around them. Looks like the Lakers are ready for the blender after they traded one of their few healthy guards, Steve Blake (12.5 PER), to the Golden State Warriors for Kent Bazemore (6.3 PER) and Marshon Brooks. Kobe Bryant is not pleased. Neither am I, because the NBA odds or this game were pending as we went to press. I’ll just take the OVER. Who wants to play defense anyway?

NBA Pick: Take the OVER

[gameodds]5/256172/?r-1=43-19/us[/gameodds]