NBA betting tips: 4 picks and predictions for Friday
Shane McNichol makes his NBA predictions for Friday night with four best bets, including two player props.
Joel Embiid Over 45.5 points, rebounds, and assists vs. Milwaukee Bucks
With James Harden sidelined due to an injury, the Sixers have needed to lean on Embiid even more than expected. The perennial MVP candidate has responded in a big way.
Last weekend, Philadelphia played back-to-back games, winning both. In those two games, Embiid combined to post 101 points, 21 rebounds, 14 assists, and nine blocks. It was, perhaps, the best two-games-in-two-days performance that a player has had in the NBA this century.
It’s unlikely to expect Embiid to keep up that pace, but he has a few things going in his favour. First, the Sixers haven’t played since Sunday, a full four days of rest. Given the amount of effort Embiid has needed to exert to push Philly back to .500, this a welcome respite for the big man.
Second, in 13 career games against Milwaukee, Embiid averages 27.0 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. Though Brook Lopez has greatly improved as a defender in recent years, Embiid has always found ways to produce.
Lastly, Jrue Holiday seems poised to miss another game for the Bucks. He’d spend little time matched up with Embiid, yet his presence on the defensive end helps all of his teammates. The 76ers should find more chances offensively with Holiday sidelined.
Memphis Grizzlies (-6.5) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been the story of the week, if not the season, in the NBA. The fifth-year guard has taken a leap into superstardom, averaging more than 30 points per game thus far. He has posted 33 or more points in seven of his last nine games.
Unfortunately for SGA, it hasn’t fully translated to team success. OKC has lost five of its last seven outings. On the road, the Thunder are just 2-5.
That should not leave you optimistic with the Thunder waltzing into FedEx Forum in Memphis. Ja Morant and the Grizzlies have taken care of business on their home floor, winning five of six to start the year.
Morant, in particular, should be ready as ever to welcome Gilgeous-Alexander to battle on the floor. While SGA has been the talk of the league, Morant continues to impress. In Memphis’ last game, facing the one player drafted ahead of him (Zion Williamson), Morant fired off 36 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
Morant and company will be ready Friday night.
Golden State Warriors (-6.5) vs. New York Knicks
Whispers about trouble in the Bay Area are growing louder. The Warriors are now winless in eight tries away from home. The meshing of the original core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green with Golden State’s younger, developing players has not been smooth.
For whatever reason, however, those woes have been far more apparent on the road. The Warriors are 6-1 at home, averaging 121.9 points compared to just 111.6 on the road. Defense has also been smoother playing in the Bay, with the Warriors allowing only 112.9 at home, compared to 123.4 at home.
Golden State averages more assists and rebounds at home, while forcing more turnovers and shooting the ball better from outside the arc.
The Warriors have their issues, yet to date, those problems have been isolated to road trips. Expect this trend to continue against an uneven Knicks squad.
Tyrese Haliburton over 10.5 assists vs. Indiana Pacers
That’s a big number to bet the over, yet based on Haliburton’s output this year, it’s fully in play. He has tossed double-digit assists in eight of Indiana’s 12 games this season. Haliburton has particularly been on a tear lately, averaging 13.3 assists in his last three games.
There could be an expectation of regression there, but Houston is not the team to expect to cut off that production. The Rockets are in the top half of the league in pace and per possession, allow the eighth most assists in the league.
The young Rockets have been allowing opponents to toss assists at high numbers lately. In their last outing, Spencer Dinwiddie had 10 dimes, with Luka Doncic sidelined. Haliburton can top that mark here.