Surging Bulls a Good Bet Among Friday's NBA Picks

Troy Haliburton

Friday, December 29, 2017 6:51 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 6:51 PM UTC

There are quite a few intriguing games on Friday night's NBA schedule, so let's take a look at some and see if we can find a few quality bets to make.

NBA Friday: Pacers vs. Bulls

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3263791, "sportsbooksIds":[238,169,19,93,180], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Free NBA Pick: Bulls +1Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

The Pacers are a surprisingly competitive team this season and a lot of the credit has to go to the improved play from Victor Oladipo. The former Indiana Hoosier is having a career year, averaging 22 points per game, which is up from the 15 he averaged last season. Oladipo came to the Pacers in a trade for Paul George, in which the consensus was that the Pacers did not get proper value back for the former All-Star. Also in that trade was Damantas Sabonis, who is averaging 12 points per game after averaging only five last season.

The Bulls might be the only team that is more surprising than the Pacers. A month ago, this team appeared to be on the fast track for the worst record in the league, and then Nikola Mirotic got healthy. Chicago has been one of the better teams since his return, amassing a 9-2 record with Mirotic in the lineup. They are fully capable of competing with the majority of teams on any given night.

Chicago playing at home has been a safe bet for bettors this season. The Bulls are 10-5-1 ATS in home games; granted, the majority of those covers were because they had a lot of double-digit point spreads to manage early in the season. In this situation, the Bulls should be able to handle the Pacers at home and continue their surge in the standings.

NBA Friday: Rockets vs. Wizards

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3263776, "sportsbooksIds":[238,169,19,93,180], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Free NBA Pick: Rockets -1Best Line Offered: Heritage

Houston is coming off of a devastating loss Thursday night in Boston where they blew a 26-point lead. The Rockets were not able to close out the game strong because their three-point shots simply stopped going in. The thing that makes Houston such a dominating team is the fact they take and make more three-pointers than any team in the league. If Washington is to have any chance at defeating the Rockets, they will have to drive the Rockets players off of the three-point line.

Washington is having a disappointing week themselves. After upsetting the Celtics on Christmas Day, the Wizards turned around and lost to the NBA's worst team, the Atlanta Hawks. This has been a familiar theme for the Wizards; they seem to get up for the games against good teams and lose their focus against teams that are below .500.

The Wizards have also been disappointing at home, going 6-10 ATS. That does not bode well for them Friday being only one-point underdogs against one of the league's elite teams, so look for Houston to snap its three-game losing streak.

NBA Friday: Clippers vs. Lakers

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3263800, "sportsbooksIds":[238,169,19,93,180], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Free NBA Pick: Lakers +3.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

The Clippers are having a major problem staying healthy, and it completely changes their outlook when they don’t have their guys in the lineup. Depth has always been an issue for the Clippers under Doc Rivers, but at least in years past the bench players were laden with veteran leadership. Now the back end of the bench consists of rookies and second-year players. The Clippers will be without Danilo Gallinari (strained glute), on top of already missing Patrick Beverley and Blake Griffin.

The Lakers are dealing with injury issues of their own, as Lonzo Ball has missed the last two games with a strained shoulder. Ball has received all of the attention thus far, but Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma are the young Lakers who are really excelling. Ingram and Kuzma are averaging 16.3 and 17.8 points per game, respectively, and are a large part of the reason the Lakers have been able to compete this season.

Look for the young Lakers to take advantage of an injury-riddled Clippers team and get their first victory of the year against their across-the-hall counterparts.

comment here