There are 11 games on the NBA docket on Friday night, and our team of betting analysts have pinpointed three as having great value.
First, we spot in Charlotte where the Hornets look to get right against the Knicks newfound offensive prowess. Next, Brandon Anderson finds us a player prop in the Bucks vs. Celtics matchup in Boston.
Finally, we head to the Lone Star State, where the Rockets host the Blazers and three hours east, the Spurs look to bring the Mavericks back down to earth.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Hornets||7 p.m. ET|
|Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets||8 p.m. ET|
|Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs||8:30 p.m. ET|
New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Hornets
|Tipoff||7 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Austin Wang: Two of the league’s best offenses face off on Friday night when the New York Knicks travel to Charlotte to face the Hornets.
The Hornets have just returned from a five-game road trip, having gone 1-4 with their lone win against the Grizzlies in their last game.
Home underdogs off a long road trip of at least four games where they won their previous game has gone 39-63-2 (38.2%) against the spread (ATS) since the 2010-11 season, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme the Dog.
This is active to fade the Hornets. Teams in this situation seem to be more relaxed after they return home from a long road trip, especially if they won their last game. This leads to a tendency for a let-down spot at home.
Road favorites off an outright loss as a home favorite have gone 167-105-5 (61.4%) ATS since the 2014-15 season, per the SDQL. This is active as play on the Knicks, who are coming off a disappointing defeat against the shorthanded Bucks at home. These teams tend to bounce back after the letdown spot at home and take care of business on the road.
In addition, the Knicks have fared well on the road this season. They have a 5-1 record and are 4-1-1 ATS. Kemba Walker will come home to face the team he grew up with in the NBA and spent eight seasons with, so I expect him to have a big game. Also, I think coach Tom Thibodeaux will have the Knicks fired up after the loss.
The Knicks are ninth in 3-Point Rate (42.9% of their shots) and fifth in 3-point percentage (37.1%), per NBA Advanced Stats. Look for them to make it rain on the Hornets’ poor 3-point defense.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
|Pick||Robert Williams over 1.5 blocks (-110)|
|Tipoff||7:30 p.m. ET|
Brandon Anderson: If you think about Robert Williams playing basketball, what images come to mind?
You’re probably picturing Timelord doing one of two things: dunking ferociously on some poor unassuming opponent or swatting some player into oblivion.
That’s Robert Williams’ game, and he’s finally getting enough minutes to show it. Williams has cut his fouls quite a bit this year and he’s starting and playing 31.2 minutes per game, by far a career high. And when Williams is on the court, he’s often dunking the ball or blocking shots.
For his NBA career, Williams averages one block every 10.7 minutes. That would put him on pace for almost three blocks a game with his current minutes load. But he’s blocked only two shots over the last five games. And why? Variance, probably. When the numbers are usually between 0-3 each night, you’re bound to have some random cold stretches where you flip tails a few times in a row.
Williams is playing well, and the Celtics defense is finally coming around. I’m not worried about a cold stretch or some such nonsense. Timelord is always a threat to block shots when he’s out there, especially since guys like Jrue Holiday and Bobby Portis tend to get blocked more often than others.
This line is too low. Even with his “cold stretch” this season, Williams is still blocking a shot every 17.3 minutes which still makes this a playable number. In his career, he averages 2.3 blocks in games with 20-plus minutes played, and he’s getting well over that number this season.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets
|Pick||Trail Blazers -6.5|
|Tipoff||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Raheem Palmer: This is the perfect buy-low spot for the Portland Trailblazers, who are coming into this one off back-to-back losses against the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns to start their four-game road trip.
While Damian Lillard has struggled this season, averaging 20.7 points per game on 38% shooting and 25.4% from behind the arc, he’ll get to take on a Houston Rockets team that is 20th in Defensive Rating (109.9). Houston allows the fifth-highest frequency of 3-point field goals (34.3%) and the sixth-highest field goal percentage at the rim (68%). That makes this a matchup that Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic should be able to capitalize on.
Despite Portland’s struggles, it’s still fourth in Offensive Rating, scoring 113.6 points per 100 possessions in their non-garbage time minutes. Rockets rookie Jalen Green and Christian Wood should have trouble keeping up with their 27th ranked Offensive Rating (101.2).
My model makes this game Blazers -8 so at -6.5, I think there’s value buying low on this Blazers team that dropped the first two games of its road trip and hopes to salvage it with a victory over a young Rockets team.
Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs
|Tipoff||8:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Matt Moore: This is pretty clearly based on preseason numbers and the expectation of the public being behind the curve. The Spurs have a better adjusted offensive and defensive rating according to DunksAndThrees.com which factors strength of schedule on both sides. The Mavericks are 3-4 as a favorite, the Spurs are 4-2 as a dog.
This Mavericks team’s record is a complete sham and the Spurs aren’t in a bad rest spot, at home.