NBA Betting Picks - Predicting Friday's Biggest Upsets

Los Angeles Lakers

Friday, November 18, 2016 6:22 PM GMT

The Warriors visit the Celtics in a potential NBA Finals preview and the surprising Lakers host one of their former stars Pau Gasol and the Spurs. This week's column explains why you should add the Celtics and the Lakers to your NBA picks.

Warriors vs. Celtics

Both teams come into this game playing decent basketball. The Warriors have won their last five games, scoring at least 116 points on each contest while the Celtics have won two of their last three. Golden State is favored by 7.5 points on the NBA odds board.

The Warriors have a formidable starting lineup, Curry and Durant are the last two MVP award winners and they can score at will, Klay Thompson is starting to shine as the third option on offense, averaging 19.2 points over his last 10 games and Draymond Green can score, rebound, pass and defend as well as anyone, but the team's role players are non-existent, as no one besides Durant, Curry, Thompson and Green averages more than six points per game.  

If the Warriors want to win this game and cover, their role players must step up against a deep Celtics team that has six players averaging double-digits in scoring.

Al Horford has missed the last seven games with a concussion and is questionable against the Warriors, which makes Avery Bradley the player to watch here. Bradley has always been known for his defense but he is having the best season of his career, averaging 18.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists and the Golden State defenders will have their hands full with him. Look for Thomas, Bradley and the Celtics to give the Warriors all they can handle.

 

Free NBA Pick: Celtics +7.5 (-115)Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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Spurs vs. Lakers

The Spurs will try to extend their winning streak to five games when they visit the Lakers. San Antonio is coming off wins against Detroit, Houston, Miami and Sacramento, but all those victories were by 10 points or less and they're visiting a Lakers team with a decent 7-5 record. No one expected the Lakers to be this competitive without Kobe Bryant and under first-year head coach Luke Walton, even with his credentials as Warriors assistant coach and at one point interim head coach. 

The Lakers have won six of their last eight games, including an impressive 117-97 home victory against the Warriors on November 4 and they didn't reach seven wins last season until January 1. Los Angeles ranks second in the league, averaging 110.0 points per game and they have five players averaging double-digits in scoring, so their offense can keep up with the Spurs, who average just 101.9 points per game (19th in the NBA). I like the young, hungry Lakers to stay in the game behind Russell, Williams and Clarkson so I will include them on my NBA picks.

 

Free NBA Pick: Lakers +7 (-105)  Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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