Free NBA Picks Friday 3/6/2020 and Opening Line Report
Friday night NBA features some of the most intriguing matchups of the season. The headliner is the last night ESPN game between the Bucks visiting the Lakers in a Giannis vs. LeBron match-up. We'll also get to watch last year's Rookie of the Year play the likely Rookie of the Year this season. Luka Doncic vs. Ja Morant will be extremely fun as we'll get to watch the new faces of the NBA in action. Here are the early leans for the 10-game slate on Friday.
Hawks vs. Wizards 3/6/20 (-3.5, 244.5)
The Wizards still believe they can get an 8 seed in the East. At 22-39, chances aren't as slim as you might think. They'll welcome Trae Young and the Hawks to their home after four straight road games, where the Wizards won one of four. In the Wizards last home game, they defeated the Nets, 110-106. The Hawks have played four straight home games and won two of them. On the road, the Hawks have struggled for the most part. With Young and Beal on opposite sides of this game, the over seems like the play. I'd also take the Wizards at home in a game where there will be no defense played. If you like offense, enjoy!
Key trends: Wizards are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 home games.
Early lean: Wizards, Over
Spurs vs. Nets 3/6/20 (-1, 224)
Tim Duncan got his first win in his coaching career as Gregg Popovich took the night off due to a personal matter. The game was actually still credited to Popovich, but Duncan was the coach. Either way, the Nets have lost four of their last five games. And if it weren't for Caris LeVert's insane quarter and overtime period, the Nets would've lost five straight. The Nets are done. That's why teams like the Wizards and even Hawks think they can sneak into the playoffs. Take the Spurs on the road. Both teams have been awful against the spread lately, but the Spurs have some momentum at least.
Key trends: Spurs are 32-13-1 ATS in their last 46 Friday games.
Early lean: Spurs, Under
Thunder vs. Knicks 3/6/20 (+7, 218.5)
The Knicks won two straight until their eight-point loss to the Jazz. There's more drama and buzz around this team in a negative way with Spike Lee being the next celebrity to have a confrontation with owner James Dolan. The Thunder started their road trip off nicely with a win over the Pistons, 114-107. But reality is, the Knicks have played so much better lately. All the drama has taken away from the fact that the Knicks have lost three games by single digits and won two in their last five. I expect the Knicks to fight the young Thunder team and at least stay in the game at home.
Key trends: Knicks are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games.
Early lean: Knicks, Under
Jazz vs. Celtics 3/6/20 (-2.5, 228)
The Celtics are all banged up. However, Jayson Tatum is back in the lineup and all should be fine. The Celtics have won three of their last five games, with two games coming as overtime losses. The Nets game was a fluke, and the Houston game was an exciting match-up. The Jazz are playing very well with three straight wins, but those wins are against non-playoff teams. I like the Celtics at home.
Key trends: Celtics are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Early lean: Celtics, Over
Pacers vs. Bulls 3/6/20 (+4.5, 230)
Both teams are banged up. However, when in doubt, take the better team. The Pacers are 37-25 on the season and have won four of their last five games. The one loss came against the Bucks on the road. The Pacers are a team that's going to catch fire in the second half, especially when Oladipo and Brogdon are healthy. The Bulls just dropped a road game to the Timberwolves. This team has been better at home, but the Pacers are playing a much better brand of basketball recently.
Key trends: Pacers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
Early lean: Pacers, Over
Magic vs. Timberwolves 3/6/20 (+2, 233)
Isn't Minnesota supposed to be bad? The Timberwolves have added back-to-back wins over the Pelicans and the Bulls, while the Magic have lost three straight games against tougher opponents. Still, the Magic are 5-5 in their last 10, while the Timberwolves are 3-7. With Aaron Gordon back for the Magic, the lean goes to the Magic in this battle. Minnesota's most consistent player has been rookie Jarrett Culver, who is averaging 9.2 points per game. I'd be all over the Magic on the road in this one.
Key trends: Magic are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Early lean: Magic, Over
Heat vs. Pelicans 3/6/20 (-1.5, 235.5)
We're all just waiting for the Pelicans to get on a long winning streak and take that 8 seed in the West. It's just not happening. The Pelicans have lost four of their last five games, and the only win is against the Cavaliers at home. Meanwhile, Miami has played five straight home games and won their last four games. The Heat have struggled on the road. This is a spot where the Pelicans should be able to rebound from their losses and take advantage of home court.
Key trends: Pelicans are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game.
Early lean: Pelicans, Over
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Grizzlies vs. Mavericks 3/6/20 (-5.5, 228)
That eight spot that the Pelicans are chasing belongs to Memphis, who have won their last three games after starting the streak with a win against the Lakers. Dallas needed overtime to defeat the Pelicans at home but had played four straight road games before that home game. Dallas is going to settle in, and the Luka Doncic vs. Ja Morant show will be spectacular. Dallas should escape this game with a victory late in the game. I like Dallas' chances at home against the spread.
Key trends: Mavericks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.
Early lean: Mavericks, Over
Trail Blazers vs. Suns 3/6/20 (+2, 220)
Damian Lillard is back for the Trail Blazers as Portland looks to make a push for a playoff spot in the West. The Blazers destroyed Washington at home, 125-104. They held the Wizards to 104 points, way below the average. The Suns lost Kelly Oubre and have lost motivation. Phoenix has lost four straight games at home and will now play their fifth game at home against the Blazers. The Blazers are getting pieces back, while the Suns are losing pieces. Take the Blazers on the road.
Key trends: Suns are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.
Early lean: Trail Blazers, Under
Bucks vs. Lakers 3/6/20 (PK, 227)
This is the game we've been waiting for. A Bucks team that's 53-9 vs. a Lakers team that is 47-13. Giannis Antetokounmpo's Bucks vs. LeBron James' Lakers. This could very well be a Championship matchup. Giannis is the reigning MVP, while LeBron James probably should win the award every year. Either way, the Bucks have struggled on the road as of late with a win over the Hornets scoring just 93 points in a 93-85 win and then were blown out by the Heat on the road. The Lakers played three straight road games until coming home to face the 76ers and won 120-107. I'll take the Lakers at home as a small favorite.
Key trends: Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
Early lean: Lakers, Under
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