Wow! What a night last night! The banker lost in historic fashion. The injuries tanked that that pick as SGA was a late scratch with no previous news that he was in danger of missing the game. But we still managed to squeak out a win by hitting the two-team parlay. Let’s go for a sweep tonight on a loaded Friday night NBA slate!
Orlando Magic vs Houston Rockets
The Rockets started the season 1-16. With Rockets head coach Stephen Silas feeling the hot seat, he has made adjustments to try and prioritize competing and not just developing the young players. The pressure has led Silas to tighten his rotation and voila…the Rockets have won four games in a row! They have a great chance to win again tonight against an Orlando Magic team that is also in the middle of a rebuild.
The Magic are coming off a win against the short-handed Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night. The Magic have been struck by injuries, but Cole Anthony’s return keyed the victory over Denver. With Anthony back in the lineup, Orlando can be competitive. There are nights the Magic look like they are headed in the right direction. Then there are nights when they lose by 20-plus and the deficiencies on this team are quite obvious.
I like the Rockets to continue their win streak here and cover the short NBA odds of -3. Both teams are in a rebuild, but the Rockets have more talent and have recently put more of a focus on putting their best players on the floor, regardless of age. The Rockets are a young team that will show flashes of their potential while other times showing their youth and inexperience. I expect them to show the potential of this young team tonight as they cover the NBA odds. Tonight’s Banker is the Houston Rockets – 3.
Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers
A Miami Heat team that looked to be one of the best in the NBA has been beset by injuries. Bam Adebayo had to undergo surgery to repair his thumb and he will be out for a significant period of time. Jimmy Butler will probably miss a week at least with an injured back. Miami Heat will still be a tough out with Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro leading the way, but without Butler and Bam, they become a perimeter-oriented team. This does not bode well against an Indiana team that can pack the paint.
The odd pairing of Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner appears to be working as the team’s wings have gotten to almost full strength (still waiting on TJ Warren). I believe this pair will be the big advantage in the game tonight. Both Sabonis and Turner are in line for a big night against Miami’s depleted frontcourt. We will take advantage of a weakened Heat team and a Pacers team that will play with a sense of urgency after a slow start to the season. The first half of the two-team parlay is the Indiana Pacers – 5.5
Boston Celtics vs Utah Jazz
The Boston Celtics have won two in a row including a gritty 88-87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. They had to Utah to face a Jazz team that has won three of their last four, including a 22-point victory over the Trail Blazers on Monday night. The Jazz are well rested, having the whole week off. The Celtics will also have limited minutes for Jaylen Brown who is working his way back into the lineup after sitting out games with a right hamstring strain.
I like the Celtics to keep it close to your even against a Jazz team that likes to win by double-digits. I think the Celtics match up well and could attack the Jazz perimeter defense without directly attacking Gobert. The Celtics have plenty of three-point shooters and players that are willing to pull up and beat you in the mid-range. Gobert is a force around the rim, but if a team can be a strong jump-shooting team, they can keep pace with the Jazz team that relies on the defense to get them easy scores and 3-pointers in transition. The Celtics have strong mid-range jump shooting should allow them to keep the Jazz out of transition. This will force the Jazz to take the ball out rather than a rebound grab-and-go. For the final leg of the 2-team parlay, we will take the points with the Boston Celtics in what I expect to be a close Friday night battle.