Handicapping the NBA: Friday Best Bets

Handicapping the NBA: Friday Best Bets

This article is part of our NBA Picks series.

76ers (+5.0) at Nuggets -- FD 11:33 AM CT

We've seen this number come down from +5.5, despite the 76ers being on the road in the thin Denver air and without Ben Simmons. While Philadelphia isn't especially deep, their top-level talent, even without Simmons, is hardly matched. The four-man combo of Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson and Al Horford is +6.4 points per 100 possessions in a solid 53-minute sample. Basketball-Reference's Simple Rating System also gives Philly a mark of 7.5, while handing a mark of 3.5 to Denver. Even if home-court advantage gives Denver a one-possession lean in the spread, there's value to be had in the 76ers here.

Heat (+8.5) at Lakers -- FD 11:59 AM CT

This has moved since opening at +8 for the Heat, which isn't surprising considering they're on the road on the second game of a back-to-back. But the Heat have been too good for me to ignore such a big spread. These two teams are essentially even in terms of SRS, with the Heat winning close games against good teams and the Lakers blowing out subpar teams. Erik Spoelstra-led Heat teams are also 93-85-6 ATS on back-to-backs, which is encouraging. But this is really about the large line for me. I think it's more likely this game is competitive than it is a blowout.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's Chief NBA Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, VSiN and other platforms. He firmly believes Robert Covington is the most underrated fantasy player of the past decade.
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