After splitting a pair last night in our NBA Picks parlay, it's time for Swinging Johnson and I to battle for NBA Picks supremacy once again. I’m 3-1; he is 4-0, so let’s see how Friday night goes in the NBA Odds.
Magic vs. Celtics
This could be one of the better values on the board right now and it seems as if the sportsbooks don’t know exactly what they have with this game. Despite the fact that Isaiah Thomas should still miss this game tonight, Avery Bradley is back for the Celtics, and he is going to play a big role in trying to slow down Victor Oladipo tonight. The NBA Odds have the Celtics as -5 favorites in this one, and while that may be where the Swinger is going tonight with his picks, I am going with a play on the total of 194 ½.
The total has been steadily dropping since it opened late last night, as it’s dropped four full points. While this may be a sign to some to run for the hills, I’m not so sure. These two teams have the ability to score in bunches on certain nights, especially when the defense for both teams isn’t that good.
On top of the below average defenses, Boston is going to force the pace at home in this one. They rank 5th in the league in pace, and while they may be down one of their better scorers, this team still have the ability get buckets.
The over has also cashed in two of the three meetings between these two, and in all three of those, the total was higher than it is tonight. The over is also 4-1 in the Magic’s last five games, and it’s 18-7-1 for the Celtics in their last 26 games against losing teams this season. Take the over as your first NBA Pick tonight.
NBA Pick: OVER 194 ½
Hawks vs. Suns
The Atlanta Hawks are going to win the first overall seed in the Eastern Conference, however while they have built for themselves a sizeable lead, that doesn’t mean they are a lock to win anything. Especially because they have been struggling some just a little bit here recently, and it could come into play tonight against a scrappy Suns team. The NBA Odds tonight have the Hawks as -5 favorites, and while I’m tempted to take points with the Suns at home, Phoenix isn’t at full strength right now either. However instead a play on the total could once again be the right move here.
Atlanta has given up 105 and 115 points respectfully in their last two games, and with a total of only 204 points, if they continue on that trend of not playing well, it could mean the Suns see plenty of scoring tonight. If the Suns force the pace of this game, and get Atlanta running, it might be an up and down contest where both clubs score 110 or more tonight. The Suns have been very good at cashing the over when good road teams come to town. Phoenix has cashed the over in 12 of their last 17 games against teams with winning road records, and I see it going down again tonight.
NBA Pick: OVER 204 at 5Dimes