Free NBA Picks Friday, December 13 and Opening Line Report
Friday night basketball features nine NBA basketball games, including a big game between the Miami Heat and Las Angeles Lakers . The Lakers have been extremely good on the road, losing just one game in the first 12 games, while the Heat are undefeated at home. The Heat's home record was tested by the Hawks, but somehow the Heat found a way once again. This time, I don't think Miami will find a way against LeBron and the Lakers. Will Heat fans welcome him back with open arms or shower him with boos in another return to South Beach? Here are my predictions for Friday's slate.
Pelicans @ 76ers (TBD, TBD)
The Pelicans were blown out by a Giannis-Less Bucks team, 127-112 on
Wednesday. Even Zion Williamson tried to bring New Orleans some luck by
sitting on the bench. It didn't work. The Pelicans haven't won a game in
December and are really starting to fall in the standings. The 76ers have
been different. They've won three straight games, one against the Cavs, but
the other two against quality opponents. They've been undefeated at home
but will be playing a game against the Celtics the night before this one.
Boston to Philly isn't a trip. I expect Philly to win this one big, at
against the Pelicans
Key trends: The 76ers are 12-13 (48%) in all games against the spread this season.
Early lean: 76ers, Under
Rockets @ Magic (TBD, TBD)
The Rockets have been tricky this season. James Harden leads the team with 38.7 points per game, but they've had games that should've been double-digit wins turn into close two-minute games. The Rockets took a loss to the Kings at home in the final seconds and beat the Cavs by only six points. The Magic were also down to the Lakers by 20 points and almost came back towards the end of the game. However, the Rockets should be able to handle this one. The spread will likely be a small number and one I'd easily take with the Rockets.
Key trends: The Magic are 4-8-1 (33.3%) as the home team against the spread this season.
Early lean: Rockets, Under
Lakers @ Heat (-4, 220.5, TBD)
The Lakers have lost only one game on the road. The Heat haven't lost at home. There's a reason why this game is on ESPN Friday night. Miami has survived in the last two games they've played, defeating the Bulls and Hawks in overtime. The Heat continue to stay in games and fight, especially at home, while the Lakers have been just as good on the road. West teams against the east do better against the spread.
Key trends: The Lakers are 8-5 (61.5%) on the road against the spread this season.
Early lean: Lakers, Under
Pacers @ Hawks (+6, 222.5)
The Pacers rallied for a big win against the Celtics at home and will now
travel to Atlanta to play a Hawks team that choked away a six-point lead
with one minute to go against the Heat. The Hawks literally gave it their
all and still fell short. They're having trouble closing out games. That's
what happens to young teams. Trae Young reportedly is asking for help. He's
got none currently, while the Pacers sit 16-9 and in good position for a
playoff spot early. The Pacers will likely run away with this one in the
Key trends: The Hawks are 7-13 (35%) vs teams allowing over 102 points per game against the spread this season.
Early lean: Pacers, Over
Bucks @ Grizzlies (TBD, TBD)
The Bucks, without Giannis Anetokounmpo, destroyed the Pelicans on their home floor. They've now won 16 straight games, and I can promise you that the Grizzlies won't put an end to it . Memphis is coming off a big win on the road against the Suns and have now won two straight games. The line isn't out for this game, but the Bucks will likely be single-digit favorites with the Grizzlies being the home team. I don't mind. I expect the Bucks to win by at least 10.
Early lean: Bucks, Over
Hornets @ Bulls (-6, 214.5)
Devonte' Graham. Remember the name. The insanity is more insane than
Linsanity. He dropped 40 points, five assists, five rebounds and hit a
couple clutch threes to lead the Hornets past the surging Nets. The Hornets
have now won two in a row and are six-point underdogs with a better record
overall than the Bulls. I expect the Hornets to stick with the Bulls the
entire way and potentially even win this game as well. The Bulls are too
inconsistent to think about betting on right now.
Key trends: The Bulls are 5-7 (41.7%) as a favorite against the spread this season.
Early lean: Hornets, Over
Warriors @ Jazz (-12, 210.5)
The Warriors lost to the Knicks. You read that correctly. The Jazz, who
have been pretty poor this season, might be figuring things out after a
convincing win over the Timberwolves. Still, 12 points is a lot of points
for a Jazz team that has been struggling as of late. Draymond Green and
D'Angelo Russell are back for the Warriors. That appeals to me. Take the
Key trends: The Warriors are 7-8 (46.7%) on the road against the spread this season .
Early lean: Warriors, Over
Clippers @ Timberwolves (-5, 231.5)
What happened to the Timberwolves? Minnesota is now 10-14 and on the
outside looking in. Maybe they really needed Jimmy Butler. The Wolves
haven't won a single game in December and have been beat up pretty badly
this month. The Clippers are coming off a big win against the Raptors, on
the road. Kawhi Leonard's return to Toronto went as planned for himself.
The Clippers should also win this one by double digits, too.
Key trends: The Timberwolves are 1-2 (33.3%) as a home underdog against the spread this season.
Early lean: Clippers, Under
Knicks @ Kings (-8, 207.5)
Mike Miller got the first win of his interim head coaching job with the
Knicks after blowing a double-digit lead and allowing the Warriors to force
overtime. The Knicks are a joke. They stink, and the Kings are red hot with
a couple of big buzzer beaters. They've played their last three games
really close, but they won't have to sweat as much this time. The Knicks,
on the road, against any opponent, always struggle. The Warriors were
somehow an exception.
Key trends: The Kings are 12-6 (66.7%) vs teams allowing over 102 points per game against the spread this season.
Early lean: Kings, Over
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