This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
Last week was a productive one for the NBA betting column as I went 4-0 on my player props. Through three weeks, here is where my record stands:
Player props: 8-4
Spread picks: 2-1
Let's try to keep that positive momentum rolling for Friday's nine-game slate. There are a lot of intriguing wagers to consider, some of which include the biggest stars in the league. All odds are obtained from the FanDuel Sportsbook.
Nikola Jokic, 12.5 Rebounds: Under (-136)
This should be a fun game with the Nuggets and Warriors separated by just one game for the top spot in the Western Conference. The Warriors have been struggling, so this is a chance for the Nuggets to tie things up as we head down the stretch. If they are going to pull out the win, it will likely be on the shoulders of Jokic. However, that doesn't mean he's going to have a dominating performance on the glass. Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins are both healthy and well rested. That duo has helped the Warriors to be tied for the eighth-fewest rebounds allowed per game (44) in the league. This is a lofty line, making the under the favorable side to lean on.
Rudy Gobert, 15.5 Points: Over (-112)
Points will be at a premium in this game between the Jazz and Grizzlies with both teams inside the top-five in the league in terms of fewest points allowed per game. The Grizzlies have played well against opposing centers this season, but a lot of their favorable stats came with Marc Gasol manning the middle. Now with Jonas Valanciunas as the starter, they don't present as formidable of a force down low. Gobert is averaging 17.3 points across his last 10 games, so I'll go with him to hit the over here.
Kevin Love, 10.5 Rebounds: Over (-124)
Love logged 31 minutes against the Nets on Wednesday, which was his most playing time in a game since he returned from injury. He certainly took advantage of the opportunity, especially on the boards by pulling down 16 rebounds. Despite his limited playing time, he's still averaged 12.2 rebounds across his last six games. With Tristan Thompson (foot) and Ante Zizic (concussion) out, Love is by far the best rebounder that the Cavaliers have left. Roll with the over.
Luke Kennard, 12.5 Points: Over (-104)
While Kennard is not the flashiest of names, this might be my favorite wager of the night. He's been a big part of the Pistons' recent success, especially on the offensive end since he has averaged 18.3 points across his last six games. It's no coincidence that he averaged 29 minutes a game during that stretch, which is up from his season mark of 22 minutes a night. Even if you take out the Bulls quadruple-overtime win over the Hawks, they've still allowed an average of 114 points across their last 10 games. Kennard has a strong chance to hit the over.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers: OKC (+2)
The Thunder pulled out a huge overtime win over the Blazers on Thursday, a team they were tied with in the Western Conference standings heading into that matchup. Now they will face another team in the Clippers who are currently in the playoff picture in the West. The Thunder are not a bad road team and are 18-16 there against the spread, including 8-5 against the spread as a road underdog. With Paul George healthy and Russell Westbrook on a scoring hot streak, I'll take the Thunder and the points.
Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls: Over 219 and Paul George Over 7.5 Rebounds (+264)
As I already mentioned, the Bulls have not been a good defensive team lately. It should also be noted that they've improved offensively by averaging 111.9 points during that same 10-game stretch. That's even more impressive when you consider they faced the Bucks twice, the Grizzlies twice, the Celtics and the Pacers during that span. The Pistons have been plenty potent offensively in their own right, hitting the over in nine of their last 10 games. With both teams playing so well right now, this game has the potential for plenty of offense.
To no surprise, George was one of the driving forces of the Thunder's win on Thursday against the Blazers. He scored 32 points across 43 minutes and dominated the glass with 14 rebounds. The Thunder play at the third-fastest pace (104.1 possessions per game) in the league and don't have a ton of size up front, which has helped George average a career-high 8.1 rebounds a game this season. The Clippers are also inside the top-10 in pace of play and they allow the seventh-most rebounds per game (45.9), making the over with George an intriguing second leg of this parlay.