NBA odds, expert picks, predictions: Top 5 bets for Friday, including Hawks vs. Hornets, Nuggets vs. Lakers (Dec. 16)
Friday’s schedule is huge: 10 games in total, including a doubleheader on ESPN. On the national television front, we’ll see two exciting games: Warriors vs. 76ers (7:30 p.m. ET) and Nuggets vs. Lakers (10 p.m. ET).
Our top five bets for Friday, featuring the final match from this pair and three more across the evening’s menu. Among their plays are two spread bets, a player prop and a team play.
You can find their in-depth analysis, expert picks, and predictions for Friday night below.
NBA odds and picks
Atlanta Hawks vs. Charlotte Hornets
Jessica Gridiron: The Hornets are on a six-game losing streak, but I think that will end tonight at home against the Hawks. Charlotte actually beat Atlanta this season on October 23rd. Kelly Uber Jr. (24 points) and backup Nick Richards (20 points) led the way for the shorthanded Hornets in a 126-109 win over an all-healthy Hawks team at that point. Game.
The Hornets got LaMelo Ball back in the lineup on Wednesday after missing 11 games and should improve further from their last game. Gordon Hayward was also promoted to doubtful for tonight’s game, which would give the Hornets more firepower if he was allowed to play.
The Hawks lost Clint Capela to an injury, which would allow Charlotte to take control of the Boards. The Hornets offense should be able to unravel the porous Hawks defense, which has been ranked 26th in the defensive rankings over the past two weeks, according to Glass Cleaning.
Atlanta is only 1-6 straight and wide in their six games. Put the points with the Hornets here.
Sacramento Kings vs Detroit Pistons
Austin Wang: It’s Friday night during the holiday season – perfect time to light the beam and get the party started!
The Kings are at the end of a six-game road trip, so natural intuition says they’re at a disadvantage with fatigue. However, the data states otherwise. An interesting trend I found is that in their sixth straight game against a win-win opponent, the Nominees have gone 23-0 SU and 19-2-2 ATS since the 2015-16 season, according to the Sports Data Query at Killer Sports.
The Kings have exceeded all expectations this season. They are 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS as the favorites, 4-0 SU and 3-1 are the road favorites. They’re ranked fifth in the offensive rating, and although there’s been a bit of a dip in recent games, I think this would be a good opportunity to attack the lousy Pistons defense who are ranked 29th in defensive rating.
I love that the Kings control the boards here with a solid rebounding advantage – they’re ranked first in defensive rebound percentage while the Pistons are 25th. Plus, I see another advantage in points scored in the paint – the Kings are 12th in that category while Detroit is 28th. In the discount points in the paint.
The Pistons had a hard-fought win in overtime, which is usually a good place to fade. Home underdogs from an overtime win are 87-125-6 ATS (41%) in the history of the Killer Sports database, dating back to the 2002-03 season. In addition, they had played four of their previous five matches on the road. With all this recent travel and getting that victory on the road, I anticipate a letdown spot at home.
I’d love to see Kevin Hutter in the Kings lineup, but even without him, I see a lot of merit for this Kings team.
Sacramento Kings vs Detroit Pistons
Jessica Gridiron: I’m on the other side of this match. Detroit pulls off a solid win over the Charlotte Hornets and is looking for back-to-back wins for only the second time this season.
Although the Pistons are an 8-22 streak, they boast a record of 15-11-4 against the spread and 10-4-4 since losing Cade Cunningham to an injury, the second-best mark in the league down the stretch.
This should be a fast paced game with both teams ending up with constant trips to the charity bar. If that’s the case, then Detroit should have the advantage because they have the fifth highest free throw average in the league.
As long as the Pistons get out of the gates with their A game, they can easily win this game outright, but I’ll take the points this game as my typical projections show the Kings winning by 0.8 points.
Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Dylan Wilkerson: The Pacers have a win over the Warriors, and the Cavaliers will go home after defeating the Mavericks in Dallas. Both teams will have a rest day, and it looks like we have all the information we need in terms of injuries to make our best bet.
The Pacers have defended poorly against guards this year, allowing for the fifth-most points per game allowed for shooting guards. Donovan Mitchell is averaging 29.2 points per game, and when we just look at December, he’s averaging 32.4 PPG.
He has crossed that streak in four of his last five games, averaging 23 field goal attempts per game. He’s also close to 90% free throw shooting, so he’s likely to make the most of his trips to the line.
Darius Garland is the only guy who can steal points from Donovan, but Mitchell is hitting seven more shots per game than Garland in the month of December. Mitchell is the star of this team and I expect to see him aim and take advantage of every opportunity he gets.
Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Lakers
Chris Baker: That’s way too high of a number for a team that ranks 21st in the offensive rankings. If you adjust for strength of the schedule, the Lakers are 25th in the offensive rankings as they played the tenth easiest opposing defenses.
The common narrative is that this Denver defense is terrible and can’t protect anyone, but I personally don’t agree with it. Given the numbers they actually rank first in the NBA in blocking chances and first in defensive rebound rate. The Nuggets do a great job of forcing teams to play their half of the field and finish off their possessions.
Everyone looks at the raw defensive rating (28th) and presumably gives off easy looks wide open, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. They are ranked 15th in terms of effective field goal percentage, which is basically a statistic that predicts eFG% discount based on shot location and quality. Nuggets are basically 15th in expected tolerated eFG, but 29th in actual eFG%.
This is a disparity that we expect to decrease and is a disparity that matches my eye test. As someone who watches this team a lot, I don’t think they are a bottom 10 defense and I think they are due to some positive slope. This is a great place for this to happen because the Lakers rely heavily on transmission – sixth in transfer rate and second in pace.
The Lakers also live on the rim, ranking first in the NBA in rim rate, with over 40% of their shots attempted on the rim. This is another area where Denver is solid as it ranks 10th in the NBA in reducing edge appearance.
The previous two games between those two teams saw the Lakers finish 99th and 121st. In that 121st game, the Lakers shot 72.7% on long-range attempts and 43.3% on three-pointers. This team ranks 29th in 3-point accuracy (32.3%), so I would call that last game pretty anomalous.
The Lakers total shouldn’t be that high and I’m going to reduce it to 117.
How do you rate this article?
this site Contains commercial content. We may be compensated for links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information provided or the outcome of any game or event.
#NBA #odds #expert #picks #predictions #Top #bets #Friday #including #Hawks #Hornets #Nuggets #Lakers #Dec