Handicapping the NBA: Best Bets for Friday's Slate
Handicapping the NBA: Best Bets for Friday's Slate

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

If you like money, you've come to the right place. Every Friday, we'll provide you with some of the juiciest betting opportunities in the NBA to help fatten your wallet. All odds are obtained via the FanDuel Sportsbook. We certainly have plenty of options to consider for this busy eight-game slate, so let's dive.

PLAYER PROPS

Lauri Markkanen, 10.5 Rebounds: Over (+104): Believe it or not, the Bulls actually made a trade at the deadline. Of course they surrendered a second-round pick in the deal. If there are two things you can count on from their front office it's that they like to acquire cash in just about every trade and they have no problem giving away second-round picks despite being in the middle of a rebuild.

I digress. Actually, adding Otto Porter Jr. might be a good move. He's certainly the best small forward they have on the roster and they were going to have trouble attracting big free agents anyway. The positive for Markkanen here is that Bobby Portis was traded away in the deal. The leaves Robin Lopez, who may still be bought out, and Cristiano Felicio at center. Yuck.

Markkanen could spend some time at center going forward when the Bulls play small and he's already shown his rebounding prowess by averaging 13.2 boards across his last five games. That included a 19-rebound performance against the Nets last week, who he will once again face Friday. Considering the odds here, going with the over is a risk worth taking.

Harrison Barnes, 17.5 Points: Under (-124): Give the Kings credit. They are making a run for the playoffs. After the Clippers tore down their team, the eighth seed in the Western Conference is up for grabs. The Kings wasted no time improving their roster, trading for Barnes and Alec Burks. It's also been reported that they play to sign Corey Brewer to a 10-day contract.

While Barnes is a good addition, this trade is not good for his production potential. He was averaging 17.7 points per game with the Mavericks, but that was in 32 minutes a night. De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield are the only two players on the Kings who average more than 29 minutes a game. Barnes is going to have to compete with Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica and Marvin Bagley for playing time, so I expect him to see his workload decrease significantly. It's hard to envision him hitting the over here in his debut with the team, especially considering his opponent will be the Heat, who allow third-fewest points per game (105.6) in the league.

Luke Kennard, 10.5 Points: Over (+102)
Is this a sexy bet? No. Can it be a profitable one? Definitely. Kennard has had a hard time finding consistent playing time, but that shouldn't be a problem in this game since the Pistons traded away Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson at the deadline. Across the last nine games in which Kennard has logged at least 23 minutes, he's averaging 14.7 points. With these odds, I just can't pass up taking the over.

Jordan Clarkson, 1.5 Made Three-Pointers: Over (-190)

Who came up with this one? This might be the slam dunk pick of the night. The Cavaliers dealt away Burks and Rodney Hood at the deadline, two of their better offensive players. Their guard depth chart now includes Clarkson, Collin Sexton, Matthew Dellavedova, David Nwaba and Brandon Knight. Clarkson is going to get all of the shots that he can handle going forward. He drained six three-pointers when these two teams met last week, which is no surprise considering the Wizards allow the highest three-point shooting percentage (37.7 percent) in the league.

SPREAD PICK

Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers: PHI (-4.5)

These are two teams who took very different approaches leading up to the trade deadline. After having already added Jimmy Butler, the Sixers pushed their chips into the middle of the table by acquiring Tobias Harris from the Clippers. The Nuggets, on the other hand, let the deadline pass without making any moves. Honestly, they really didn't need to considering the high-end talent and depth that they already have on their roster.

In terms of this matchup, it's obviously going to take some time for Harris and the rest of the Sixers' stars to gel. However, I still like them to cover. The Sixers are a much better team at home and the Nuggets are just 10-17 against the spread on the road. They will be without Gary Harris (groin) once again and could also be missing Paul Millsap (ankle), who is listed as questionable.

PARLAY

Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers: Over 229 and Miami Heat at Sacramento Kings: Over 217.5 (+264)

Sticking with this Nuggets and Sixers game, it certainly has plenty of potential to be a high-scoring affair. The Sixers play at the seventh-fastest pace (102.7) and average the third-most points per game at home (118.7) in the league. The Nuggets will miss Harris, but they just hung 130 points on the Nets in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

At first glance, taking the over on the Heat and Kings contest might not seem like a wise choice. The Heat play at the sixth-slowest pace, and as I already mentioned, they are a good defensive team. They do struggle to score, but they actually average more points per game on the road (106.2) than they do at home (104.3). On the other side of this matchup, the Kings play at the third-fastest pace (104) and average 114 points scored per game at home. In general, they allow the fourth-most points per game (115.1) in the league, so I'll take the over to complete this parlay.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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