NBA betting can be more fun when you pick exciting teams. So that’s what I did for this Friday’s slate of games that features 11 games, most of which have great matchups. But I honed in on three teams that have an edge sizable enough to warrant a wager.
The BetUS online sportsbook has these teams as favorites of varying degrees, but based on the matchups and how much more parity we have in the NBA this year, I’d be more comfortable taking them to win straight-up. The NBA odds aren’t too steep anyhow.
Clippers Outduel the Bulls
If you’ve been following these NBA betting parlay pieces, you’ll know I loved betting on the Clippers. Past tense. The money train has slowed down since, especially with Paul George (foot) out. Still, they should beat Chicago as a visitor.
The NBA is out of whack this season. Home court advantage isn’t what it used to be. Chicago is only 4-8 at home while the Clippers are 10-4 on the road. This is a trend that should continue here as L.A. should clamp down Chicago and force them to play a more halfcourt-oriented offense.
Chicago prefers a more run-and-gun style offense ranking third in the NBA in pace (102.6) while the Clippers feature an iso-heavy half court style. I expect the Clippers to slow the pace down and capitalize on Chicago’s error-proneness (29th in NBA in turnover percent).
But as recent online sports betting trends between these two indicate (Chicago has covered three straight), this should be a close game so I’ll take the Clippers to win straight-up.
Pick: Los Angeles Clippers to win
Kings Put on Some Real Magic
The Kings have found something good lately and have come from being one of the worst teams to being one of the better ones. They’ve covered in eight of their last nine games and are 13-11 ATS. On the flipside, the Magic have been anything but.
These two teams already faced each other late in January, which Sacramento won by 14 despite being a slight dog. The tables have turned and Orlando is now missing F Aaron Gordon and potentially G/F Evan Fournier to make the NBA’s third-worst offense even worse.
Sacramento was an all-offensive team for the earlier parts of the season, but they’ve turned up their defense in their last nine resulting in a 7-2 record. The Kings had the eighth-best rated defense (110.8) and that’s impressive when they’ve faced the likes of the Nuggets, Celtics, and Clippers.
This should be a resounding victory for the Kings who are on a roll and will take advantage of the depleted Magic.
Pick: Sacramento Kings to win
Blazers Leave Cavs in the Dust
Cleveland appeared to be a good underdog earlier in the season despite the NBA’s worst-rated offense thanks to what appeared to be solid defense. But after going through the who’s who of the league, that same defense has dropped to 19th in efficiency.
The Cavs have lost eight of their last ten and their defensive rating bottomed out at 117.7. Their net rating has been a league-worst -13.0 and do I even have to bring it out? “They were who we thought they were!”
Bank on Portland to extend Cleveland’s losing streak here and push them back into being a lottery contender. The Blazers also stink on D (28th in rating) but they can at least score the ball. And score it effectively with the 7th-best offensive rating and the tenth-best three point percentage.
Portland should win here, but G Collin Sexton could will Cleveland to stick around longer than usual. Take the Blazers straight instead.
Pick: Portland Trail Blazers to win
Parlay: Clippers to win, Kings to win, and Blazers to win
Laying heavy on the chalk here, but at least we’ll have fun watching them to win. There might be some sweating here, but these teams are levels above their competition.
The Clippers even without George should oust the Bulls, who are dealing with more injuries themselves. On this same note, the Kings will get one over the injury-riddled Magic. And the Blazers will take out the Cavs who are falling apart.
Enjoy the games and let’s cash this parlay!