NBABet's 3 Best Bets From Friday's Games

Find out how Action Network's analysts are betting two matchups on Friday's NBA slate, Hornets vs. Timberwolves, Thunder vs. Suns.

The NBA hiatus ended for most teams Thursday night and the rest of the league will be in action Friday with a schedule that features eight games.

Our betting analysts are targeting two games — Hornets vs Timberwolves and Thunder vs Suns — and have three picks for their best bets tonight. Read on for their expert picks and predictions for those matchups below.

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NBA Odds & Picks

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Charlotte Hornets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves 8 p.m. ET
Charlotte Hornets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves 8 p.m. ET
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns 10 p.m. ET

Charlotte Hornets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Pick Timberwolves -2.5 1Q (-106)
Book FanDuel
Tipoff 8 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass

Jim Turvey: This will be the first game out of the All-Star Break for both teams, and it looks to be a great spot for the Minnesota Timberwolves to get off to a fast start post-break.

The Wolves have started games strong all season, going 36-25-0 against the spread in the first quarter this season, good for a +11.2 percent ROI that ranks second in the Association in 2022-23.

On the flip side of that coin, the Charlotte Hornets have struggled mightily in the first, with a near inverse 25-32-3 record against the spread in the first 12 minutes. That is a -15.3% ROI that ranks above only the Pacers, Pistons, and Kings this season.

The Wolves are nearly fully healthy, with only Karl Anthony-Towns still on the sidelines. However, Minnesota has shown an ability to win without KAT. In fact, they are 21-19 without him, compared to 10-11 with him. The net rating tells the same story, with a +0.6 net rating since he went out on November 28, compared to -0.6 when he was around.

There isn’t a huge rush on this play, since a bit of money has come in on the Hornets for the full game spread. I would play this to -3 -105.

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Charlotte Hornets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Pick Mike Conley Over 6.5 AST (-122)
Book FanDuel

Prop Bomb: Since joining the Timberwolves, Conley is averaging 6.0 assists per game on 51.0 passes made. It’s only three games, but with the lengthy All-Star break, I expect the veteran guard to have gelled more with his new teammates.

In the small sample size, the veteran has averaged a teammate-high 1.7 assists per game to Rudy Gobert, where conversions are coming inside the rim. Conley only recorded three assists versus Memphis on Feb. 10, but that was primarily due to the Grizzlies‘ No. 8 (48.0) paint defense. Gobert finished with just eight points on four attempts in that contest.

Unlike the Grizzlies, in their last four games since the trade deadline, the Hornets have allowed the third-most points inside the paint (60.0), which is excellent for Conley’s assists conversions down low. The Hornets are the worst in the NBA in opponent assists per game, allowing 26.6.

Past guards who have faced the Hornets include Trae Young (14 assists), Derrick White (10), Jaden Ivey (seven) and DeMar DeRozan (seven).

With Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre Jr. probable to play and the spread just 6.5, the Hornets should be able to keep the game close.

Being the primary facilitator in an uptempo matchup with the highest-scoring team total on the slate, I love Conley to rack up at least seven assists. I am comfortable taking this up to -140.

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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns

Pick Thunder +7
Book DraftKings
Tipoff 10 p.m. ET

Tyler Schmidt: I wrote about this game in more detail in today’s Thunder vs Suns betting guide, but I think the spread here is too large. The Thunder are the best team in the NBA against the spread this season at 36-21-1 and as underdogs they are 27-12-1 ATS.

They have the second-best Net Rating (+7.1) in the NBA since Jan. 1 and rank first in Offensive Rating (120.6) over that span.

The Thunder are playing on a back-to-back after losing by one point in overtime to the Thursday, but they are 4-1 as dogs on the second night of a back-to-back this season. I bet the Thunder at +8 and would take them down to +5.

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