Friday night means plenty of NBA action. I’ve gone over the card to find the winning picks. Here is today’s Banker and 2-team parlay.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Portland Trail Blazers
This one jumped out for me right from the start. The Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the best teams in the NBA with one of the best records ATS at 25-12. The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the season’s biggest disappointments. The Blazers are 13-23 ATS. My numbers definitely favor the Cavaliers, but let’s take a look at the match up to make sure it’s the strong play.
Portland is missing his team leaders and two top scorers, CJ McCollum, and Damian Lillard. Anfernee Simons and Norman Powell have stepped in to try to absorb the usage, however they face a tough task tonight against the Cleveland defense, one of the best in the league. The Cleveland Cavaliers are currently third in defensive rating at 104.8. Contrast that with the Trailblazers, who are last in the league in defensive rating at 115.1.
Cleveland uses a big man lineup containing shot blocker Jared Allen and versatile defender Evan Mobley. This has been a huge reason for their success. Cleveland does not give up many points at the rim. This will be a tough task for a Blazers team who have not been shooting the ball well and rely on slashing to the rim to put up points.
This is one of my favorite picks of the week. The numbers and the matchup are aligned. Today’s Banker is the Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5
Atlanta Hawks vs Los Angeles Lakers
The Hawks are coming off a 108-100 to victory or the Sacramento Kings. Hey, this isn’t a big deal, everybody beats the Kings. But what is a big deal is the Hawks returning many missing players to the lineup tonight.
The Hawks have been playing without Bogdan Bogdanovic and John Collins, two of the more integral pieces to their team. The Hawks went through a stretch missing multiple players and now almost everyone has returned.
The Lakers are an interesting team, of course. Because of their popularity they’re constantly overvalued by the NBA market, because casual money is on the Lakers 9 times out of 10. The Hawks are undervalued because they’ve been playing without most of their top players recently, while the Lakers are overvalued because they are so popular. We will take advantage of this with the first pick of our 2-team parlay, the Atlanta Hawks +3.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Brooklyn Nets
The Milwaukee Bucks topped the Brooklyn Nets and the most exciting playoff series of the playoffs last season. Milwaukee was playing at full strength against the weakened Nets roster, and still they were lucky to get away with the victory. The Bucks will not be so fortunate tonight. The Bucks are missing 4 key players at guard. Jrue Holiday, Pat Connaughton, Grayson Allen and George Hill will all be out tonight. These cluster injuries at the guard position are going to make it hard to take on a Nets team that should be geared up for this matchup.
In the playoffs last season, other than an epic game seven, most of the games were blowouts. I believe this will be the case tonight. The Brooklyn Nets will take advantage of the depleted Bucks roster and be able to get into all their sets by attacking the Bucks inability to defend the point of attack. The Nets are as healthy as they’ve been in a while, and I expect their full roster to be able to take advantage of this weakened Bucks squad. The second half of the 2-team parlay is the Brooklyn Nets – 5.