Friday’s Best NBA Bets
Friday’s Best NBA Bets

Friday night is quickly becoming a great basketball betting night for me, and you should enjoy all the profits available on the board. Pro Basketball betting is a grinder’s game, meaning that if you’re looking to win big like the NFL, this isn’t the place to do it. Tracking teams through a shortened 66-game schedule is no easy task but here are a few matchups to flag down on your way in towards the end of the week.

As always I’m writing these previews way ahead of Friday, this time on a Wednesday morning because that’s the deadline. Without betting lines and injury reports, it’s hard to precisely measure the trends but there’s still a handful of info we can dig in to about these matchups heading in to the weekend. So let’s get to it.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS over Atlanta Hawks
The Sixers are one of those teams that sink well below the radar of normal NBA betting fans. That’s because they usually suck, but this season they’re not only ripping through with an Atlantic division best 10-3 SU record, they’re also one of the hottest bets in the league at 10-2-1 ATS. This includes a 9-1 SU and ATS record in the month of January alone, with a 79-85 loss to New York on a +3.5 betting line as the only dent in the armor.

At home, they’re flawless against the betting line and to be honest I really don’t know where all this consistency is coming from. It could be based on their matchups. It could be that Spencer Hawes is way better than anyone thought. Maybe it’s because (surprise, surprise) they have a pretty deep rotation in a shortened season.

Atlanta garners a lot of favoritism because they have a few All-Stars, though it’s a stretch for me to refer to Joe Johnson or Josh Smith as such these days (I don’t want to get in to it, plus I don’t have the space). The Hawks are decent on the road at 4-3 ATS, but you can’t expect any type of consistency without Horford. Sure, they’re 6-1 SU in their last 7 games but they’re also 3-4 ATS during that run.

Hop on the Sixers and ride them during this betting streak. It’s a secret gold mine that nobody’s playing in Pro Basketball betting. The Sixers will get a modest line at home that is worth backing no matter what.

ORLANDO MAGIC over Los Angeles Lakers
Oh, Dwight Howard. Don’t you want to go to Los Angeles, where all the players play? Well they certainly need you when playing on the road. Los Angeles suffers from being a massive public bet, and it’s shows in their numbers. The Lakers are just 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games while going 7-3 SU. They’re also 1-4 ATS when playing on the road this season.

To be honest, I’m not sure what to make of the Orlando Magic. They’re 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games and have been winning games pretty convincingly using their big man redux of Anderson, Howard and Turkoglu (Anderson used to be Rashard Lewis in this formula).

I’m almost positive with what the Lakers are this season: a good team that squashes average teams and can’t close out very good teams. Orlando is a very good team, and the Lakers are still adjusting to the combo of Kobe, Gasol and Bynum. Until Gasol plays like the monster he used to be in the paint, I’m not sold on the Lakers in big time matchups.

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS over Minnesota Timberwolves
If Ricky Rubio wants to be counted amongst the point guard elite, there’s no better matchup than against Chris Paul, who should play Friday after straining his hamstring earlier in the week. If he does play, this is going to be a fast tempo game which is worth exploring the OVER because Ricky loves to run and so does Paul.

That being said, I’m going to make this easy on everyone. If Chris Paul plays, the Clippers are a no-brainer. Don’t buy in to the Timberwolves’ 4-1 ATS record on the road because that has been built on three losses to Milwaukee, Toronto and Atlanta along with a pair of wins against Washington and New Orleans. Whoop-de-doo.

If Paul doesn’t play, well, we all saw the 79-108 shellacking Utah handed Lob City on Tuesday night. That game reminded everyone that these Clippers are still the same losers without a star point guard. If Paul plays, go with the home team which will be heavily favored and willing to put memories of that Utah loss to rest. If Paul is still injured on Friday go the other way. That’s when you can bank on Minnesota’s 4-1 ATS road record because the Clippers are so terrible without Paul. It’s really that simple in this one.