Friday’s Best BetsA 10-game betting board graces NBA bettors on Friday night, with the Dallas/Philadelphia contest being the brightest star of them all, at least on paper. The Mavericks come into that contest catching eight points on open, as the loss of Luka Doncic still hits them hard in the betting market. In fact, injuries are a big concern for a few teams in action on Friday – most notably the defending champs – as they saw Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam, and Norman Powell all leave with injuries on Wednesday, with all being listed as out indefinitely at the moment.
Not entirely sure what to expect from Dallas or Toronto in those contests, but two other games on the board have caught my eye. Hopefully they can cash a ticket or two by night's end.
Detroit at Boston (7:35 p.m. ET)
Best Bet #1: Detroit +8The Pistons were sharing the floor with Toronto on Wednesday night when the Raptors ended up losing those three guys, and yet couldn't take advantage of it. An awful 3rd quarter offensively – Detroit was outscored 26-15 in the frame – was too big of a hole to climb out of for the Pistons, and the 4th wasn't any better as they put up just 20 points in the final 12 minutes.
A 35-point half just can't happen in today's NBA, and to do so at home is even rougher. That made it three straight defeats at home for the Pistons, who may be just fine with going out on the road for this brief one-game trip. That brutal half has likely shifted at least the perspective on backing Detroit in the market tonight, but with the Pistons on a 3-0 SU and ATS run on the road currently, getting on that plane could help.
Meanwhile, Boston's coming home home after a tough three-game stretch – albeit one that included a five-day layoff – against Indiana, Philadelphia, and Dallas, with the Celtics only managing to get by the latter on Wednesday night as well. Boston outscored Dallas 59-48 in the final 24 minutes to turn a five-point halftime deficit into a six-point victory, and this might not be the greatest spot for them to be laying a chalky number like this. All three of those recent contests closed with lines of +/- 1.5 for the Celtics, and with each game being decided by six points or less, this does have the potential to be one of those natural letdown situations for Boston at home against a far lesser opponent.
With Detroit on a 5-1 ATS run after losing by double digits, and Boston just 3-9-2 ATS in their last 14 at home against a losing road team, those trends speak to that letdown potential we've got here. Combine that with a general distaste in the market backing the Pistons, taking the points is attractive enough for me to back.
New Orleans at Golden State (10:35 p.m. ET)
Best Bet #2: New Orleans/Golden State Over 225This season has gone nowhere fast for both the Pelicans and Warriors, as a combined 12-46 SU record between the two entering tonight is extremely hard to look at. But in a year when wins are extremely tough to come by for both sides – as only the Pelicans have won consecutive games this year – in a game that's winnable for both sides, I do believe we see these two squads decide to play a run-and-gun style of contest and let the chips fall where they may at the end.
These two teams have split their two matchups this year, with the Warriors winning the first one 134-123, and the Pelicans claiming the second one 108-100. This is the first time they'll be playing in California though, and with that brand new building always in need of an entertaining show when possible this year, I believe this game will resemble that first meeting much more then the second.
No matter where you stand on who you believe will end up winning this contest, there is this to consider. Outside of two wins over another bad team in the Chicago Bulls, the Golden State Warriors have averaged 125 points in their three other wins this season, never scoring fewer then 114 points in those games. At the same time, New Orleans has averaged 117.57 points per game in their seven wins this season, with Wednesday's 107 point total being the lowest number they've put up in victory. Even if you were to include the Warriors two lower scoring wins over the Bulls (104-90 and 100-98), Golden State still averages 115.8 points in their five wins this year overall. With a point spread that's hovering around the pick'em range for this contest, somebody's got to win, and that suggests that one of these averages of 115+ will likely get hit.
As long as the game doesn't end up one-sided and plays to the script the spread suggests, 225 is a number that does feel a bit low here. The 257 combined points these two teams put up in that first meeting back before Halloween came with neither team shooting 50% or bettor from the floor, although the Warriors did have Steph Curry available to them at the time. But even without the 26 points he put up that night, there is still plenty of wiggle room to get 'over' a number like this.
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