Free NBA Picks Friday, December 6 and Opening Line Report
Friday night basketball never gets old. The Clippers play the Bucks and the Nuggets play the Celtics . Those are two potential championship matchups later in the playoffs. Obviously, it's too early to look ahead, but it's not too early to break down NBA games for Friday! We've got a 10-game slate with lots of interesting games taking place. Here are my picks for Friday.
Magic @ Cavaliers (+3.5, 212.5)
Last week, the Magic ended a four-game losing streak after defeating
Cleveland. Now they're on a three-game winning streak looking to make it
four against Cleveland on the road. The Magic are now one game away from
becoming a .500 ball club. They've now scored 125+ points in back-to-back
times for the third time in franchise history. The Magic could continue
their streak of 125 points as the Cavs have allowed 100 or more points in
10 consecutive games this season. The Magic will continue their little run
and become .500 with a solid victory.
Key trends: Magic are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
Early lean: Magic, Over
Pacers @ Pistons (TBD, TBD)
It's always fun when the Pacers and Pistons get together for game action. Does Ron Artest ring a bell? The rivalry series will conclude after tonight after the Pistons took the first two and the Pacers won the most recent matchup. The Pistons took a loss last time out against the Bucks, who are easily the team to beat in the East. Luke Kennard has been out with tendinitis in both knees, and he's hopeful he can play in this one. The Pacers are coming off a win against the Thunder, and they're getting production from a lot of key pieces. Look for the Pacers to tie the season series up in this one.
Key trends: The Pacers are 9-3-1 (75%) vs teams that win under 45 percent of games against the spread this season.
Early lean: Pacers, Under
Nets @ Hornets (+3, 217.5)
If you haven't heard the name Devonte' Graham yet, where are you living? Graham put together a career high 33 points, shooting 10 threes in the Hornets defeat of the Warriors. Graham and Rozier are starting to get used to each other in the backcourt. The chemistry is coming together, and the Hornets are making a little noise. However, they've still won only three of their last 10 games. The Nets will be without Kyrie Irving for the 11th straight game. But Spencer Dinwiddie has (dare I say it?) been better. They've also rebounded a lot better, which has helped the Nets get back over .500. The Nets recently already beat the Hornets on November 20 when Jarrett Allen hauled in 17 rebounds, and 22 points. As long as the Nets rebound well, the Hornets won't win this one.
Key trends: Nets are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
Early lean: Nets, Under
Wizards @ Heat (TBD, TBD)
The Wizards have lost a couple high scoring matchups recently to the Clippers and the Magic. Now they'll get another team that can put up points after the fact that they need to play the 76ers a day before this one. The Wizards should be drained on the road in their second game on the back-to-back. Take the Heat whatever the spread is tomorrow.
Key trends: The Wizards are 9-5 (64.3%) as an underdog or pick this season against the spread.
Early lean: Heat, Over
Warriors @ Bulls (-4.5, 212.5)
Two bad teams have just destroyed the Warriors recently. The Hornets won 106-91, and the Hawks won 104-79. These are teams that will not be in the playoffs this year. The Bulls have found some life. They're on a two-game winning streak against the Kings and Bulls. They're home for this one. I should point out that the Warriors did beat the Bulls on November 27, not too long ago, but the Bulls learned from that game. They're ready to get this win and put together a three-game winning streak.
Key trends: The Bulls are 3-1 (75%) as a home favorite against the spread this season.
Early lean: Bulls, Under
Timberwolves @ Thunder (-4, 220.5)
I'm not sure why the Thunder are four-point favorites in this one. Seems like a lot. I know the Timberwolves have struggled recently, but talent wise, it's really not that close. The Timberwolves are back .500 after losing to the Grizzlies and Mavericks. The Thunder, on the other hand, are 8-12 and coming off a seven-point loss to the Pacers at home. I'm all over the Timberwolves to cover here.
Key trends: The Timberwolves are 7-3 (70%) on the road against the spread this season.
Early lean: Timberwolves, Under
Nuggets @ Celtics (-3.5, 203.5)
This is an interesting east/west match-up between two soon-to-be playoff teams. The Nuggets will play the Knicks the night before this one, so they'll be on a back-to-back on the road. The Nuggets recently lost to the Lakers at home, but you'd have to think the Nuggets will beat the Knicks and start a little run on the east coast now. With the Celtics getting a day-off before this matchup, it's hard to take the Nuggets in this one. The Celtics, with a day's rest, at home, should be able to win this one by enough against the spread.
Key trends: The Nuggets are 8-9-1 (47.1%) against the spread this season.
Early lean: Celtics, Over
Clippers @ Bucks (-4.5, 232.5)
The NBA really helped us out for Friday night basketball. If the Nuggets vs Clippers won't do it for you, this game certainly will. This could be the championship matchup. Seriously. The Clippers are coming off a beating against the Trail Blazers, winning 117-97. Montrezl Harrell scored 26, Paul George added 25. The Clippers won by 20 while Kawhi shot 3-15. That's how deep they are. The Bucks are on a 13-game winning streak. They've absolutely destroyed teams this season. The Clippers might not be destroyable. I like to pick the west teams in these types of scenarios. I'll take the points with the Clippers.
Key trends: The Clippers are 5-4 (55.6%) vs teams that win 55 percent of games against the spread this season.
Early lean: Clippers, Over
Kings @ Spurs (TBD, TBD)
The Spurs got lucky last time out. They beat the Rockets at home in double overtime, after an amazing comeback thanks to Lonnie Walker. James Harden's dunk didn't count, and so the Spurs went on a huge run, of course, and got the win later. Both of these teams are at the bottom of the west, but I believe the Spurs will carry momentum into this one and beat the Kings, who have struggled beating bad teams recently.
Key trends: The Spurs are 6-16 against the spread this season, the worst in the league.
Early lean: Spurs, Under
Lakers @ Trail Blazers (-3.5, 221.5)
Lebron James + Anthony Davis. That's all I really need to write. The Lakers are 19-3 and are coming off another dominant performance against the Jazz, winning 121-96. The Blazers beat up on the Kings, winning 127-116 on Wednesday, but took a beating from the Clippers on Tuesday. Look what the Clippers did to the Trail Blazers. The Lakers will do the same. They're rolling.
Key trends: Lakers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog.
Early lean: Lakers, Over
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