Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM

Friday's Best Bets

We've got a nice big NBA board to dissect tonight, as the Friday slate has 10 games on tap with a couple of them shaping up to be rather good. Denver's in Boston to take on the Celtics, the Clippers are in Milwaukee to take on the Bucks, and a Lakers visit up to Portland for the night cap will have plenty of eyes on it as well.

One of those games will be discussed in a minute, but after going through the entire board, there are two plays that do seem to stand out.

Let's get to them:

L.A. Clippers at Milwaukee (8:35 p.m. ET)

Best Bet #1: Milwaukee -3.5

This is a rematch game from exactly a month ago when Milwaukee went into LA and left with a 129-124 win. Clippers fans will be quick to point out that neither Kawhi Leonard nor Paul George was suited up for that game, and that with both available tonight as they start a six-game eastern road trip, this return match should be different. Obviously you can't discount the upgrade it is to have Leonard and George out on the floor logging big minutes, but their availability doesn't ensure Clippers success. Especially in games that are tight.

For one, the Clippers have yet to find the magic elixir on the road to become that complete team they expect to be. LA is just 3-5 SU away from home, and have gone 2-6 ATS in those contests. This extended trip out east will test that mark, as LA's got too much talent to have a brutal road trip, but they are playing at least two quality teams at the same time (Milwaukee, Toronto).

LA's last two road tilts were a 10-point loss in San Antonio as -5 chalk, and a two-point win in Memphis laying six points. Granted, that Memphis game was the latter half of a back-to-back after beating on the Mavericks (114-99) in Dallas, so it's not like they aren't capable of being at their best on the road, it just has tended to be a rarity. Prior to that there were losses @ New Orleans, @ Houston, and @ Utah and @ Phoenix dating all the way back to before Halloween, and LA lost all of those games by at least five points and an average of nine points per game. That's rather troubling to say the least, and while the Clippers weren't at full strength for some of those games, health doesn't always equate to wins, especially against a quality foe like the Bucks.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee's been rolling through everyone during this 13-game winning streak they are on, but a 6-7 ATS mark during that time could be a reason for pause. But considering they've never been shorter then a -8.5 favorite during that span and have laid double digits eight times in those 13 games (3-5 ATS in those games), tonight's price is much more manageable. Clearly it's a big step up in competition for Milwaukee compared to most of their recent wins, but this does have the feel of a game where you pick the outright winner and an ATS win will follow.

Considering the Clippers outright struggles away from home, and Milwaukee being a dominant home team (9-1 SU) this year, I do think we see the Bucks pull away late tonight and ultimately get the SU and ATS victory.

Sacramento at San Antonio (8:35 p.m. ET)

Best Bet #1: Sacramento +4.5

Sacramento is another California team that hasn't had great success on the highway, but this is a play more against a Spurs team that is still valued a little too high in the markets from where I sit. Did you know that San Antonio hasn't won two games in a row since they opened the year 3-0 SU out of the gate? And after their four other wins since then – not counting Wednesday's “gift” win vs Houston – they've gone 0-4 ATS as well, losing those games outright by an average of 17.75 points per game.

That is just atrocious no matter how you break it down, and while they were extremely lucky to win in OT against the Rockets the other day, it doesn't bode well for them tonight given their history in this role. And don't forget that this team is off until next Thursday when they host Cleveland, so perhaps wandering minds could be an issue for this Spurs team that's already been in the news as one that could be making significant trade noise in the near future.

Sacramento is a squad that many expected to take that next step this season, and at 8-12 SU that just has yet to be the case. But a 12-8 ATS record is what the market prefers to see, and after dropping two in a row against the number coming into tonight, this is where I expect them to get back on track. The Kings are on a 7-2 ATS run on the road right now, and the ATS failure in Portland the other night was the first time in seven tries that they failed to cover the spread when coming off a loss.

Sacramento is also on a 9-2 ATS run in their last 11 catching points, and San Antonio has always been a friendly place to visit for them in recent years as they are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 trips here.

The Spurs are one of those teams that should be on many people's fade list as we hit the holiday season – especially as chalk since they are 3-9 ATS this year in the favorite role already – as Sacramento could easily pull off this outright win as well.

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