This article is part of our NBA Picks series.
We're back with a relatively mundane nine-game Friday slate save for the obvious Golden State/Phoenix matchup. With the season creeping closer to the halfway period it seems like injuries and key players missing major time has dominated the NBA season. Much like Thursday, where Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf) was ruled out almost moments before tip off, bettors need to keep their head on a swivel when it comes to injury-related news. Often times those minute details are the biggest areas of advantage for prop bets if you know when to look.
We'll have to see what the loss of Bam Adebayo (thumb) will mean for the Heat's offense, but I have to imagine Dewayne Dedmon taking 13 shots like he did Wednesday just isn't a likely outcome most nights. The Pacers are also terrific at limiting opposing centers so under 10.5 points for Dedmon (-125) feels like a safe enough call, especially if Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro can shake off the shooting slump.
Long-time readers know I hate betting the unders on star players, but the Cavaliers are relentless in terms of negating the three ball from opposing shooting guards. Factor in Bradley Beal's continual struggles to get to the free-throw line and I think under 24.5 points (-115) makes for a bit of an obvious line that you wouldn't expect given the All-Star's electric scoring capabilities in past seasons.
Other than Wednesday's molasses-slow 88-87 loss to the Celtics, Tyrese Maxey has scored at least 15 points in every game dating back to early November. The Hawks allow the most assists and second-most points to opposing point guards, so taking the total points + rebounds +assists (PRA) allows a bit of a safety net as opposed to taking the individual point/assist over. Give me over 22.5 PRA for Maxey (-125).
Given the odds this probably better belongs in the parlay section, but under 3.5 made threes for Patty Mills (-145) is easily in range. The veteran has cooled off somewhat shooting just 5-of-17 from deep in the last two games and that was against lesser defenses, at least in terms of limiting threes. The 33-year-old went over this mark just eight times in 21 contests to date, with five of those coming in the last two weeks with Joe Harris (ankle) sidelined. The extra usage does build in some wiggle room for Mills to reach the over, but he'll need to shake off his recent form in order to do so.
This is going to be a bruising battle between the Celtics and Jazz, especially without Jaylen Brown (hamstring management). As a result, it's just hard to assume the backup center, Hassan Whiteside, is really going to score more than 6.5 points (under sits at -115) especially given the Celtics allow the fewest points to opposing centers across the entire association by a significant margin. Let's just hope Rudy Gobert doesn't have to relinquish some minutes due to something dumb like foul trouble.
I wish there was more obvious value in this section, but with a number of games looking more like pillow fights, it's hard to gauge the possibilities for rebounds, assists, steals, etc. If you're like me and will be watching Suns/Warriors you're going to at least want some rooting interest, so I'll point your attention to Kevon Looney under 7.5 rebounds and assists (+105). Yes, the Suns do allow the eighth-most assists to opposing centers, but Looney is far from the big man facilitator that you'd imagine could benefit from that sort of advantage. And despite Deandre Ayton feasting in the marquee matchup earlier this week, Looney saw just 18 minutes. I highly doubt that number will rise to the point where he's in range to hit the over.
I highlighted this one more so because of the odds, but I'm admittedly intrigued regarding over 21.5 PRA for Lauri Markkanen (+100). I don't think DraftKings has quite adjusted to his role now without Collin Sexton around which sorta guarantees his points and rebound overs are in play. To put this into perspective, since returning from a lengthy COVID-19 absence the fifth-year forward has three games with 20-plus points, much less total PRA. That's incredible value given Markkanen also four games with at least five rebounds during that stretch. I don't think there's greater bang for your buck than this bet Friday.
- Dewayne Dedmon under 0.5 made threes (-265)
- Jonas Valanciunas double-double (-215)
- Tyrese Maxey over 22.5 PRA (-125)
- Lauri Markkanen over 21.5 (PRA) (+100)
- Hassan Whiteside under 6.5 points (-115)