Friday’s Best Bets

Lots of the league's best teams are in action tonight, as it's a decent sized slate in the NBA with nine games in total. You've got both LA teams hitting the floor, along with others like Philadelphia, Houston, Milwaukee, and Utah, and just as is the case more often then not with those sides, they are sure to get plenty of support from the market.

Whether or not they get you to the pay window remains to be seen, but let's take a look at a couple of totals for tonight's action, both of which could see a few more points then expected.

L.A. Lakers at Miami (ESPN, 7:05 p.m. ET)

Best Bet #1: LA Lakers/Miami Over 212

There was lots of 'under' love to start the day on this game as the 214 opener was quickly bet down to its current status. Easy to see why, as the Lakers are a 3-7 O/U run in their last 10 games, while Miami's gone 2-2 O/U run in their last four would be much different had their last two games not needed extra time. Throw in a 95-80 win for the Lakers when these two teams met in LA last month, and LA coming off a game that had 183 total points in it last time out (96-87 win over Orlando) and you can see why the initial reaction for most here was to go low.

However, it's also important to note that the Lakers being held under the century mark is not something that happens twice in a row for them this year, as it's not happened yet in three other potential occurrences. In fact, LA has put up 120, 104, and 122 points themselves in their games following a sub-100 point effort, and they own a 3-0 O/U record in those games as well. The combined scores in those contests was never lower then 217 points, and prior to that tough offensive game for the Lakers in Orlando, LeBron and company were coming off three straight games where they scored 121, 136, and 142 points respectively.

At the same time, when LA is coming off a strong defensive game where they allowed fewer then 100 points on the scoreboard, they are 7-1 O/U this year, with only the lone 'under' in that scenario clocking in at less then 217 points as well. With Miami's offense averaging 118.8 points at home this year (albeit a bit skewed because of OT games), I've got confidence we will see a much better offensive showing from the Heat then we saw from them in their first meeting with LA. Miami's scored at least 109 points in every single home game this season, and if they hit that mark again tonight, 212 will end up looking far too low of a total for this game.

Charlotte at Chicago (8:05 p.m. ET)

Best Bet #2: Charlotte/Chicago Over 213

This is another game tonight that's taken plenty of 'under' action, as I guess the market has a tough time trusting two suspect teams to score. But given that their first two meetings of the year ended with the two sides splitting one-point victories, and at least 231 points being scored in both, I'm not sure I agree with that 'under' sentiment.

Chicago hasn't been the most consistent offensive of late and after going off for 136 points on 57.4% shooting, you should expect a regression there. But that doesn't mean the regression will be so severe that they can't put up 110+ against a team they've done that two twice already this season, when their best shooting night was just 47% from the field. Yes, there are some injury concerns for the Bulls tonight and I'm sure some are waiting on news like that to be confirmed, but no matter who is out there tonight, these two teams have shown they prefer to run on one another and that's the style I think we see tonight.

From Charlotte's perspective, they've put up at least 104 points in each of their last six outings and only allowed fewer then 107 one time in that span. All six of those games have come against teams that are comparable to the Bulls this year (Brooklyn X2, Washington, Atlanta, Golden State, and Phoenix), and with a 10-1 O/U run going in their last 11 against a losing team, the Hornets have no problem running the floor with “equal” opponents and letting the chips fall where they may in terms of a win or a loss.

That's the type of game I expect to see from these two again tonight, as these two likely hit 220+ points for the third time this season.