The Most Important Matchups and Best Bets for Friday’s NBA Slate
The NBA kicks off the New Year with a 10-game slate on Friday. Most teams have played at least four games, and no team is still undefeated. There are a few winless teams, with one of them being in action tonight. The Washington Wizards will try to snap a five-game losing streak when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves. Things haven’t gone according to plan in DC with the arrival of Russell Westbrook. Washington is in the top half of the league in most offensive categories, but it’s been their play on the defensive end that’s been the problem. Per TeamRankings.com, the Wizards are 26th in the league, allowing opponents 122.2 points per game despite playing the 27th softest schedule. Washington’s last four games were played at home, so perhaps a road trip starting with Minnesota could do them some good in developing their chemistry.
The Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets face off again just two days after their last meeting that went down to the wire with Brooklyn winning 145-141. If you were wondering how many overtimes were played in this game, you would be wrong. Both teams combined to score 286 points in just four quarters with 37 three-point baskets. Early bettors expect to see more of a defensive effort this time around as the opening total of 247 has already been bet down to 245.5 at FanDuel.
In the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets will host the Phoenix Suns, who are off to a nice start at 4-1 with Chris Paul’s addition. On the other hand, Denver is off to a slow start at 1-3 despite returning the same starting lineup that carried them to the conference finals last year. The Nuggets are getting the bulk of the action at the betting window after opening as a 1.5-point favorite. The early money is siding with the home team, and Denver is now as high as a 4.5-point favorite in the market.
Notable Line Moves
- Heat +3.5 to +1.5 against the Mavericks
- Clippers -2 to -3.5 against the Jazz
- Suns-Nuggets total 226.5 to 222.5
- Wizards-Timberwolves total 229.5 to 232.5
- Grizzlies-Hornets total 220 to 218
Best Bets from the SportsGrid Betting Model