Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks:
BET PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (1.62).
The 76ers are in a good buy-low spot due to Harden’s injury. They have the 4th-best offensive rating in the NBA, and adding G De’Anthony Melton to the starting lineup should bode well for them defensively as well.
The Knicks thrive on second-chance opportunities, but the 76ers rank in the top half of the league in defensive rebounding rate and sit first in effective field goal rate, a stat the Knicks are 25th in.
Washington Wizards vs Brooklyn Nets:
BET WIZARDS +2.5 (1.54).
Irving is out, and replacing that production is not going to be easy. Besides Durant and Irving, no player on the Nets team is averaging over 12 points.
The Wizards have a diverse set of scorers and have far more firepower offensively. The Nets also have the worst defensive rating in the NBA and have a -6.7 net rating while the Wizards sit 16th in net rating at -0.8.
Indiana Pacers vs Miami Heat:
BET INDIANA PACERS +9.5 (1.35).
Simply put, without Butler on the court, the Heat take a huge hit on both sides of the court and may not be a better team in general.
The Pacers have a rising star, Haliburton, a rim protector in C Myles Turner and a sharpshooter in G Buddy Hield. That is a solid and diverse collection of talent.
Detroit Pistons vs Cleveland Cavaliers:
BET PISTONS +11.5 (1.35).
The Cavaliers have their best 2 offensive players on the injury report, and even if they play, a knee and ankle injury do not heal overnight. They could see reduced minutes, and that could be the difference in the Pistons covering.
Detroit has the 2nd-worst defensive rating in the NBA, but it has played much better at home and has the 11th-best offensive rebounding rate which should help produce extra opportunities. It also ranks 13th in turnover rate which is a huge advantage. The Pistons are a 3-1 ATS as the home team.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz:
BET UNDER 232.5 (1.60).
The Under is 4-3 in Lakers games this season and would’ve hit Wednesday if Ryan didn’t make a low-percentage shot to send the game to overtime. The Lakers have been playing well defensively and are 3rd in the league in defensive efficiency. The Under is 4-1 in the last 5 head-to-head meetings between these 2 teams and I expect it to hit again Friday as Los Angeles continues to play elite defense.
Carolina Hurricanes vs Buffalo Sabres
BET ON UNDER 7.5 (1.56)
This is the play based on the outstanding play of both Anderson and Raanta. These goalies are going to see a lot of rubber headed their way, as the Canes average 38.1 shots on goal (SOG) per game, while the Sabres are good for 33.1 SOG per outing. However, while there will be plenty of shots, expect both goalies to be equal to the task, keeping this game just under the total.