It is time to ring in 2021 with a 10-game NBA slate. The new season is off to a roaring start, and Friday’s schedule provides a plethora of betting opportunities.
In this piece, I’ll go over some of my favorite bets, and provide my reasoning for all of the picks. All odds provided in this piece are courtesy of FanDuel SportsBook. As always, please play responsibly.
Memphis Grizzlies at Charlotte Hornets (-4), 7:00 p.m.
Best bet: LaMelo Ball over 8.5 points (+108)
LaMelo Ball is coming off of the best performance of his NBA career to date. He dropped 22 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes during Wednesday’s win over Dallas Mavericks, looking confident and composed on the court.
I expect his momentum to keep rolling against a porous Grizzlies team. He is averaging two made three-pointers per game through four outings this season. Combine that with his expanded role off of the bench, and getting plus-money on this line feels like stealing.
Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets (-4), 9:00 p.m.
Best bet: Nikola Jokic over 42.5 points/rebounds/assists (-115)
Few players have played as well as Nikola Jokic to start the season. The 25-year-old Serbian is dominating in all facets of the game, averaging well over a triple-double through four outings.
This line is just way too low. Jokic’s season averages for points/rebounds/assists total up to 49.5. He will be glued to the floor tonight with the Nuggets desperate for a win, and I think he hits this with ease.
Los Angeles Clippers (-3.5) at Utah Jazz, 9:00 p.m.
Best bet: Clippers -3.5 (-110)
These teams are headed in opposite directions. The Clippers, aside from an indescribable blowout loss to the Mavericks, have played quite well through the early season. They have won four of their first five games, and Kawhi Leonard is playing at his usual All-Star level.
On the other hand, the Jazz look a little lost offensively. They rank 22nd in points-per-game and 25th in field-goal percentage through four appearances. Most recently, they put up 95 points in Thursday’s loss to the Suns.
Simply put, I think the Clippers are a far better team and have an extra day of rest to work with. On the second-half of a back-to-back, the Jazz have covered the spread once in their last six tries. Give me the Clippers to cover the spread.