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Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers) over 1.5 three-pointers made vs Charlotte Hornets

The Philadelphia 76ers are making a charge toward to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, with the Boston Celtics and the two-seed in their sights. Philly has won six straight, re-igniting Joel Embiid’s chances at MVP, where he’s now the favorite in the betting market.

The Sixers can’t afford to drop a game to a team like Charlotte on the road and are well aware of that, hence the large 10.5-point spread on this game.

While Embiid has been the headliner for the Sixers and is likely to star Friday night in Charlotte, the role players around him deserve a large piece of credit for this late season burst.

Tobias Harris deserves particular recognition, having totally changed his style of play after the arrival of James Harden. Harris now understands his need to take quick catch-and-shoot three-pointers in the flow of the Philadelphia offense.

In recent games, he hasn’t been effective from deep. In his last eight games, Harris has topped this number just once and is hitting only 30 per cent from long range. He’s always been a streaky shooter and now is a good time to bet on his luck to change. The six games prior to his recent cold shooting streak, Harris hit 45 per cent from long range and topped 1.5 made threes in four of those six. On the season, he’s topped this mark in 31 of 63 games, which makes getting this prop at +125 a smart bet in my book.

Los Angeles Lakers (-5.5) vs. Dallas Mavericks 

It’s critical to note that Dallas star Luka Doncic will miss this game due to injury. The Mavs have struggled in his absence this season, winning just four of the 13 games he’s missed.

The addition of Kyrie Irving before the trade deadline was intended to bolster Dallas’ performance when Doncic was sidelined or sitting, but Irving has been similarly injury-plagued. He has missed three straight games and is questionable to face the Lakers Friday night.

If he’s unable to go, it’s hard to see how Dallas generates enough offense to compete. We’re talking about a team that is 4-9 in its last 13 games, even with Doncic and Irving in and out of the lineup. Fade the Mavericks on the road here.

Atlanta Hawks (-4) vs. Golden State Warriors 

I have been harping on the Warriors home and road splits in my picks all season here at Betway Insider. To date, Golden State is 29-7 at home and just 7-27 on the road. Against the spread, it doesn’t get much better with the Warriors only 9-25 away from home.

This issue is particularly troubling against Eastern Conference foes. On the season, the Warriors are 13-15 against Eastern Conference opponents, yet much of that success came at home. In Eastern Conference arenas this year, Golden State is 3-11 straight up and ATS. As an underdog on the road, Golden State is only 5-13 ATS.

At some point, this should regress to the mean, but for now, I’m comfortable auto-betting almost every Warriors game simply based on its location.

Chicago Bulls moneyline vs. Minnesota Timberwolves 

On a similar line of thinking, I like the Bulls to take care of business at home versus the visiting Timberwolves.

Geographically, it’s a little silly that these two foes, whose regions find themselves pitted as rivals in nearly every other sport, are in different conferences. The NBA’s divide between the Eastern and Western Conferences squiggles its way through the Midwest. For years, that was a blessing for the Bulls, who earned playoff appearances in the weaker East, despite mediocre rosters and records.

Now, the balance of power has shifted. The Bulls, sitting a few games under .500 while facing an Eastern Conference schedule, are a few degrees better than Minnesota, which has the luxury of playing the West’s bottom feeders.

Minnesota is 10-15 against teams from the East this year, while totaling seven of its 35 wins against Oklahoma City, Houston, and San Antonio.