NBA Picks: Friday's Top Basketball Plays

Jordan Sharp

Friday, December 20, 2013 3:00 PM GMT

It’s the Friday before Christmas, and since it’s the giving season, I am in a giving mood tonight. There are a ton of NBA Odds coming out tonight and tomorrow, as 21 games line the schedule.

The first nine of those are tonight, and since I’m in the Christmas spirit, I have three free NBA picks for your wagering pleasure.

Jazz vs. Hawks

The Jazz have been getting better at scoring the ball, and even though they have had some very bad games this season, they have shown bright spots. Utah is giving up a ton of points this season, but they still can score in the mid 90s tonight. They enter Atlanta as +7 ½ underdogs, but the total of 198 ½ seems pretty valuable tonight. The Jazz road defense has not been great this season, and I think it may lead to a lot of scoring and the over being the play.

Utah is giving up over 102 points per game on the road this season, and this is not good news heading south tonight. The Hawks have been hot recently, averaging over 111 points per game in their last four games.

Even though they don’t meet often, the over is 13-6 in the last 19 times these two have played one another in Atlanta. The Jazz are 4-2 cashing the over in their last six road games, and the Hawks have cashed the over in five of their last six games overall. Look for a huge offensive night from Atlanta, and 198 ½ being too low.

My Pick: ‘Over’ 198 ½

[gameodds]5/250717/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Raptors vs. Mavs

The NBA Odds have the Mavs as -6 favorites tonight against the Raptors, with a total of 201. The Mavs have been one of the better scoring home teams this season, averaging over 106 points per game, and I doubt the Raptors will have anything to say about it. Despite playing solid defense on the road for most of the season, I doubt Toronto can stay with the Mavs offensively now without Rudy Gay.

While they may have good overall defensive numbers, in nine games against West opponents this season, the Raptors are giving up over 105 points per game and are 4-5 ATS. The Raptors have won only once in their last 13 trips to Dallas, and tonight with a tanking roster, Dallas should roll.

My Pick: Mavs -6

[gameodds]5/250722/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Suns vs. Nuggets

Nuggets’ guard Ty Lawson missed yesterday’s practice with a stomach bug, and he is a game time decision for tonight’s game. Lawson has been one of the only saving graces for the Nuggets with all of their injuries, and tonight against the Suns, it’s going to be tough for them to compete if Lawson is not playing. Since it’s a late game, shoot around news won’t be released until the afternoon hours on the east coast, however if Lawson misses shoot around, that is when you could see some serious line movement. However if Lawson does suit up tonight, I think there is some nice value on these lines.

The NBA Odds have the Nuggets as a -4 ½ favorite, (which signals to me that Lawson will probably try to go) but I am more interested in the total, which sits at 205 ½. The Suns have been red hot offensively over their last few games, and neither team plays too much defense.

In their last four games, the Suns have scored an average of 109 points per game, while giving up 106 per game in that same stretch. The total has gone over in four of the last five overall meetings between the Suns and Nuggets, and the over has cashed in four of the last five overall for the Suns.

My Pick: ‘Over’ 205 ½

[gameodds]5/250723/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]