The NBA had a rare dark day Thanksgiving so it's a very busy Friday around the league with 12 games, including a rate weekday matinee. SBR has covered with previews on six of the matchups and opening BetOnline NBA odds. All times are Eastern.
Bulls vs. Celtics (TBA), 1 p.m.
Covered by Jason
Here's a daytime option for NBA bettors opposite a solid college football schedule. Just about every Bulls game this season hasn't had a day-before line at sportsbooks because of Derrick Rose and it's probably going to be this way all season. The guy just can't stay on the court. Rose returned Monday night from missing four straight games with a left hamstring injury and played pretty well in a win over Utah. However, he lasted only 10 minutes the next night in a loss in Denver after tweaking the injury. Seems unlikely he plays Friday as well as power forward Taj Gibson, who has missed two straight with an ankle injury. All-Star center Joakim Noah also could miss a second straight game with knee/eye injuries. The only injury for Boston is that rookie guard Marcus Smart remains out. The C's won in Chicago 106-101 as a sizable underdog on NBA odds Nov. 8, but Rose and Boston star Rajon Rondo both were out.
Warriors vs. Hornets (+8, 199.5), 7 p.m.
Covered by Jason
Here are two polar opposites, with Golden State near the top of the Western Conference standings and on a seven-game winning streak (5-2 ATS at sportsbooks), and Charlotte one of the NBA's biggest disappointments by far at 4-12 and on a seven-game skid. Everyone expected a leap forward for the Hornets after last year's playoff appearance and the offseason addition of Lance Stephenson. However, Stephenson hasn't been all that great and in fact was benched for the fourth quarter of Wednesday's loss, with Coach Steve Clifford calling out Stephenson by saying he's not a "star" yet. Interesting to see how much Stephenson plays here. The Warriors have no problems, ranking as one of the top offensive and defensive teams in the NBA. In the seven-game winning streak, the Warriors really haven't been threatened once. Win No. 2 of the streak was 112-87 at home against these Hornets.
Clippers vs. Rockets (TBA), 8 p.m.
Covered by Joe C.
No early line here at sportsbooks because of the uncertain status of Houston starters Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley. All signs point to both sitting out yet again and probably for at least a few more games. Howard is dealing with a knee injury and has missed four straight, although Houston has won three of them. Beverley has been in and out of the lineup with a hamstring injury. They are easily Houston's best two defensive players. Houston is No. 1 in the league in scoring defense. The Clippers are starting to find their offensive rhythm in winning two straight and four of five. They have scored at least 110 points in three of those five. Los Angeles pretty much destroyed Houston last year in winning (and covering on NBA odds) all four meetings easily.
Knicks vs. Thunder (-6.5, 187), 8 p.m.
Covered by Dave
How can a Thunder team that is among the worst clubs in the Western Conference be giving 6.5 points to anyone, you might ask? There are two reasons. First, the Knicks almost surely will be without star Carmelo Anthony. He sat out Wednesday's loss in Denver with back spasms. Second, the bigger news could be the return of Oklahoma City's two superstars, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. It appears that Westbrook has a better chance of playing Friday. He was lost in the season opener to a broken hand. Durant has a shot at making his debut off a broken foot. At 4-12, the Thunder can't afford to dig a much deeper hole and still hope to make the playoffs in the competitive Western Conference. This NBA betting line could obviously change, but clearly sportsbooks believe Melo isn't playing and that at least one Thunder star is.
Grizzlies vs. Trail Blazers (-3.5, 194.5), 10 p.m.
Covered by Scott
Not just the game of the night but maybe the game of the year thus far. Memphis (13-2) is tied with Toronto for the best record in the NBA, and the Grizzlies' only two losses were very close in Milwaukee and Toronto. Memphis has the No. 3 scoring defense at 92.4 points allowed per game. Portland (12-3) is No. 6 in scoring at 104.4 points per game and has won a league-best nine straight games. To be fair, it wasn't against a very tough schedule but only one game was close. Should Portland win this, it would mark the first time the franchise had double-digit winning streaks in back-to-back seasons in more than a decade. Memphis has had the Blazers' number in winning five of the past six meetings, although Portland won the final one last season.
Timberwolves vs. Lakers (TBA), 10:30 p.m.
Covered by Dave
Expect a big total in this one when the line opens at sportsbooks. Neither three-win team is great offensively, but Los Angeles is No. 30 in allowing 110.8 points per game and Minnesota is No. 29 at 109.7. The Timberwolves remain without their starting backcourt of Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin for several more weeks. Mo Williams, who had been starting for Rubio, missed the Wolves' last game with an illness but did travel with the team to Los Angeles. The Timberwolves have to be encouraged by the recent play of rookie Andrew Wiggins as he's averaging 14.8 points and 4.6 rebounds in the past five. Minnesota has just one win (and cover) in the past nine and that came in the only game in which the Wolves held the opponent under triple digits (Knicks). Los Angeles dropped to 1-7 at home (4-4 ATS on NBA odds) with Wednesday's loss to Memphis. This is the first meeting of the season between the Wolves and Lakers.