Handicapping the NBA: Friday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Friday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Alex Barutha

Suns moneyline (+110) at DEN – FanDuel (3:05 PM CT)

I think the Nuggets are cooked in this series. They don't have the overall talent to compete with the Suns – an issue that's made worse with Michael Porter's back injury. Getting Will Barton back doesn't swing things too much, especially if he's still playing limited minutes.

Nick Whalen

Suns moneyline (+104) at DEN – DraftKings (12:38 PM CT)

After a pair of beatdowns in Phoenix, it's reasonable to think the Nuggets will bounce back and play better at home. But unlike the Bucks last night against the James Harden-less Nets, the Nuggets are at a significant talent disadvantage. That's only been amplified by Michael Porter Jr.'s back issue, which has to be a contributing factor to his struggles thus far in the series. If Porter can't serve as a reasonable No. 2 option behind Nikola Jokic, it's hard to see a path for Denver to suddenly turn things around – barring an extremely hot shooting night.

Ken Crites

Mikal Bridges OVER 12.5 points (-126) at DEN – FanDuel (1:39 PM CT)

My logic hasn't changed since the last game:  Michael Porter plays terrible defense, plus the Denver forwards need to help defend the Suns' backcourt, due to Denver's injury issues at guard. This will leave plenty of open catch-and-shoots for Bridges, who seems jazzed (not stressed) by playoff pressure. Plus Porter is having back issues. Unlike the Bucks, I don't have faith in the Nuggets to make this a series.  Without Jamal Murray, their will has been broken.

Joe Bartel

Torrey Craig over 4.5 points (-125) at DENDraftKings (2:16 PM CT)

I think Craig is going to continue being a valuable bench asset in this series, to the point where he's probably locked in for 15-plus minutes. He's attempted 15 shots combined in the previous two games, so while maybe his total field-goal attempts slump somewhat, it just seems unlikely he'll suddenly morph back into the guy who took just 23 shots across the six-game series with the Lakers. 

Jacob Lebowitz

Trae Young to record a double-double (-106) vs. PHI DraftKings (12:36 PM CT)

In a crucial Game 3 in Atlanta, Young is going to need to put on a show against the 76ers to help prevent this series from getting out of hand. So far in the postseason, the star guard has been terrific at home, averaging 24 points and 11.5 assists. In this series, Young has gotten a double-double every game. I expect Young to continue to live up to the hype and post another double-double in this important Game 3.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Joe Bartel
Joe Bartel is RotoWire's Operations Specialist and football contributor among many other things. When not at the office, he's probably playing a variety of Gen 4 console games or rooting on his beloved Green Bay Packers.
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's NBA Assistant Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, DraftKings Live and other platforms. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.
Ken
An early RotoWire contributor from the 90's, K-Train returns with the grace of Gheorghe Muresan and the wisdom of Joe Gibbs. Tweet @KenCrites or e-mail at ken@rotowire.com. Ken won the FSWA 2014 Humor Article Of The Year award. He's also the 2016 Champion of the prestigious RW NBA Keeper League and the 2019 Champion of the RW NFL Ottonue Keeper League. Ken still owns a RotoNews shirt.
Jacob Lebowitz
Jacob writes about fantasy sports and sports betting for RotoWire. He's always doing something sports-related whether that's playing NBA 2K, watching a football game or playing a game of pickup basketball.
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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