The NBA season continues with a nine-game slate on Friday, and our NBA analysts have a pair of best bets. Joe Dellera is targeting a prop based on Jordan Poole’s uptick in usage with Stephen Curry sidelined in Trail Blazers vs. Warriors, while Roberto Arguello is taking a side in Heat vs. Nuggets. Find their expert picks and predictions below.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Heat vs. Nuggets||9 p.m. ET|
|Trail Blazers vs. Warriors||10 p.m. ET|
Heat vs. Nuggets
|Tipoff||9 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Roberto Arguello: This is the first meeting between the Heat and Nuggets this season, but the Nuggets have won all four of the matchups between these teams over the two prior seasons. Denver covered all four games and won each matchup by an average of 17.5 points.
While Bam Adebayo might be the most versatile defender in the NBA, one of the few players he struggles to defend is Nikola Jokic (like all other NBA defenders). Jokic is simply bigger than him, and he has utilized this size advantage to carve up the Heat’s defense (which minimizes open looks around the basket) as a facilitator to open up shooters on the perimeter.
This has proved to be an effective strategy against Miami, and it should work again tonight. Per Cleaning The Glass, the Heat allow the second-most 3-point attempts (40.0% of opponent shots), which sets up favorably for the Nuggets as they have the highest 3-point shooting accuracy in the NBA (39.6%).
Additionally, the Heat will struggle to defend the basket on passes to the rim from Jokic with their overall lack of size hindering their recovery ability. The Heat have often played with Caleb Martin, Jimmy Butler or Max Strus at the four, and this will be a mismatch against the likes of Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. diving to the rim off of passes from Jokic with Adebayo out of the picture.
Finally, the situational spot favors the Nuggets as the Heat will be playing the first leg of a back-to-back (the next leg is tomorrow at Utah) and may end up holding a player or two out to maximize the chances of winning tomorrow’s more favorable matchup. While I’m not counting on the Heat resting anyone, this is potentially gravy on top.
This is also the Heat’s first game at altitude this season. I’ll take the Nuggets at -4 on FanDuel and bet them to -5.5.
Trail Blazers vs. Warriors
|Pick||Jordan Poole Over 3.5 Turnovers|
|Tipoff||10 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Joe Dellera: The Warriors have essentially used Poole as Curry’s replacement, and it has worked fairly well. In 10 games without Curry, Poole has averaged 27.5 points, 1.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.7 3s made on 9.8 attempts, with 4.8 turnovers per game.
His turnover prop currently sits at over 3.5 (-105) on DraftKings, which is a bet. He has exceeded that line in nine of his 10 games without Curry this season and should further this trend against the Trail Blazers tonight.