Six Fantastic NBA Picks from Friday's Abundant Betting Slate

Matthew Jordan

Friday, March 20, 2015 1:39 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 20, 2015 1:39 PM UTC

What, you thought the NCAA Tournament was the only basketball betting action on Friday? There are 12 games on the NBA slate and SBR has you covered with previews on half of them. 

Knicks vs. 76ers (-6, 189.5), 7 p.m.
Covered by: Jason
New York lost 95-92 in overtime Thursday against Minnesota in a game that matched the two teams with the NBA's worst records. Now the Knicks travel to the club with the third-worst mark in Philadelphia. The Sixers can match their season high winning streak of two -- done three times previously -- with a victory. They beat the visiting Pistons by 11 on Wednesday, but the news wasn't all good. Prized rookie big man Nerlens Noel suffered a right foot contusion in the third quarter and did not return to the game. Noel did come back to the bench after a stint in the locker room so he could play in this game. The Knicks aren't going to win a season series against many teams this season but can with a victory here as New York won the first two meetings. Jason likes Philly if Noel plays, and he is expected to.


Pacers vs. Cavaliers (-11, 201.5), 7:30 p.m.
Covered by: Jason
Cleveland probably is going to be the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and the Pacers are battling for a No. 7 or No. 8 spot so this could be a first-round preview. It's understandable that NBA odds makers are favoring the Cavs by a hefty 11 points for the spread tonight. However, Indiana is on the outside looking in at the moment as it has picked a bad team to go on a three-game losing streak, failing to score triple digits in any of them. The Cavaliers continued their home dominance on Wednesday with a 25-point rout of Brooklyn. It was their 14th straight victory at home, winning by an average of 16.4 points. Cleveland started the season just 11-9 at home. Kevin Love returned from a two-game absence against the Nets and had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Indiana has won the past two matchups against the Cavs this season. Jason is giving the points.


Raptors vs. Bulls (-1.5, 198.5), 8 p.m.
Covered by: Scott
Toronto could have a tough time extending its winning streak to three games because All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry is "50-50" in his words to play against the Bulls. Lowry Wednesday's win over Minnesota with just under five minutes to go in the third quarter after injuring his back on a hard fall. Lowry did travel with the team so expect an update after the morning shootaround. Chicago might get back power forward Taj Gibson on Friday as he's "hopeful" to play. He has missed 10 straight with an ankle injury but practiced in full Thursday. The Bulls have again ruled out All-Star guard Jimmy Butler, however. Chicago is 2-0 against Toronto this season. Scott leans on Chicago for his NBA picks.


Hawks vs. Thunder (+2, 212), 8 p.m.
Covered by: Jason
Atlanta comes to Oklahoma City licking its wounds off a 114-95 defeat at Golden State on Wednesday in a potential NBA Finals preview. The Hawks didn't have All-Star guard Kyle Korver for the game and won't against the Thunder, either. Of course Oklahoma City remains without Kevin Durant, although he appears to be getting somewhat close to a return. Thunder big man Enes Kanter, who has been terrific since the trade from Utah, was injured in Wednesday's win over Boston and missed practice on Thursday, so might have to sit out. Jason leans 'under' 212.5 from YouWager if Kanter sits.


Grizzlies vs. Mavericks (-3.5, 195.5), 8:30 p.m.
Covered by: Jason
Memphis' chances of winning in Dallas could depend on the status of starting point guard Mike Conley. He's questionable with an ankle injury that has cost Conley the past four games. If Conley can't go, Beno Udrih would likely start again and Nick Calathes will get extended minutes off the bench. The Mavericks are in one of their best offensive stretches of the season, averaging 118.3 points per game in wins over the Clippers, Thunder and Magic. None of those teams are close to as good defensively as the Grizzlies are. Jason likes Dallas as long as Conley sits.


Wizards vs. Clippers (-6.5, 203), 10:30 p.m.
Covered by: Scott
The last game of Friday night could be the best with All-Star point guards John Wall of Washington and Chris Paul of the L.A. Clippers squaring off. Washington is playing some of its best basketball of the season in a five-game winning streak. Wall is averaging 22.4 points, 8.8 assists and 6.4 rebounds in that stretch. He did tweak his ankle late in Wednesday's win in Utah but it's not likely to keep him out here. The Clippers have won two straight and will look for payback for a 104-96 loss at Washington in December in which Wall outplayed Paul. Scott is taking the points.

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