NBA Friday is going to be a wild one, with nine games lined up for action across the league. The Cavaliers and Hornets kick off the night on NBA TV. Darius Garland was just named an Eastern Conference All Star reserve and is the first Cavalier to become an All-Star since LeBron James. Even more special, Cleveland is hosting the All-Star game this year, and Garland will be repping for the hometown. Friday night closes out with 76ers and Mavericks playing on ESPN. Let’s dive into the best NBA bets, picks and NBA betting tips for Friday, Feb. 4.
NBA Best Bets: Game Tips & Expert Betting Predictions
Thunder vs. Trail Blazers Best Bet
The Thunder travel to Portland on Friday as they continue along their West Coast road trip. Oklahoma City has managed to win two straight games, both without top scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is sidelined with an ankle sprain. Portland continues to struggle without Damian Lillard in the lineup. The Trail Blazers are back home on Friday and will be desperate to end their three-game skid against a weaker opponent. These two teams just met a few days back in Oklahoma City, with the Thunder beating the Trail Blazers 98-81.
The Thunder are a scrappy team that plays well on the defensive end of the floor but struggles to find consistency on offense. Their offense ranks last in the league in scoring, averaging 101.1 points per game. Gilgeous-Alexander will remain out until the All-Star break, where he will then be reevaluated. Aaron Wiggins will not play Friday due to a sprain right ankle that he suffered in the game against the Mavericks. Luguentz Dort will be tasked to step up and lead the offense alongside rookie Josh Giddey. The Thunder defense is what has kept them in close games throughout the season. Their defense ranks 11th in defensive rating and is allowing opponents 107.6 points per game. The Thunder proved they have the ability to take down the Trail Blazers four days ago, so do not count them out on Friday.
Portland is ice cold right now, losing five of their last six games. They have been unable to find a rhythm on offense with Lillard out of the lineup. The Trail Blazers are averaging 108.1 points on 44.9% shooting and allowing 112.1 points on 47.4% shooting. C.J. McCollum is averaging 20.7 points. Anfernee Simons had a nice January, with 10 games of scoring 20 or more points. He has cooled off over his last three games, and his play will be a key factor in determining the outcome of tonight’s game. The Trail Blazers need anyone and everyone to step up and turn things around after their most recent outing versus the Thunder. Portland ranks sixth in 3-pointers made and is going up against a Thunder defense that ranks 26th in 3-pointers allowed. Oklahoma City was able to hold Portland to 7-for-38 from deep the other night, but do not expect the Trail Blazers to have a repeat performance in tonight’s matchup.
The Thunder are 21-29 over/under on the season overall and 10-15 over/under on the road. The Trail Blazers are 25-26-1 over/under on the season and 13-14 over/under at home. While the Thunder have managed to win back-to-back games for the first time since December, the Trail Blazers will be looking for revenge on their home court on Friday. The under is 5-2-1 in the Thunder’s last eight. The under is 4-1 in Trail Blazers’ last five home games. Even if the Trail Blazers improve their 3-point shooting numbers tonight, this game still has a great chance to finish in the low-200-point range.
Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: Total Under 214 Points
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Bulls vs. Pacers Best Bet
Chicago is coming off a disappointing overtime loss to Toronto 127-120 last night inside an empty Scotiabank Arena. The Bulls will travel overnight to Indiana to take on the Indiana Pacers on Friday. Zach LaVine was questionable headed into Thursday and ended up playing 42 minutes, commenting after the game that his back was hurting. Anticipate him sitting out the second game of the back-to-back, although he is considered game-time decision. This will be the fourth meeting between these two squads, with the Bulls winning two of the first three matchups.
The Bulls are not in an ideal spot, having played extra minutes last night in the first of a back-to-back on the road, and they will now be in their third game in four nights. To make matters worse, if LaVine is unable to go, the injury-ridden Bulls will be down another key starter. Look for Coby White to see an increase minutes if LaVine is a scratch. White finished with 16 points on 6-for-15 for shooting on Thursday. Alex Caruso (wrist) and Lonzo Ball (knee) remain sidelined. Ayo Dosunmu continues to be inserted in the starting lineup, playing huge minutes for the Bulls. Dosunmu has played 30-plus minutes and is averaging 6.6 assists over his last 11 games. The Bulls are averaging 111.3 points on 47.7% shooting, and their defense is allowing 109.3 points on 46.5% shooting.
The Pacers suffered their fifth loss in their last seven games with a loss to Orlando in their previous contest. The Pacers are 19-34, fourth in the Central Division and 14.5 games behind the Bulls. Domantas Sabonis is in the health and safety protocols and is out for Friday’s matchup. Malcom Brogdon (Achilles) is still without a timetable for his return. Oshae Brissett (ankle) and Goga Bitadze (foot) are both questionable and will likely need to go through shootaround before determining their status for tonight’s game. Indiana is 16th in offensive rating and is scoring 109.1 points per game this season. They are also 22nd in scoring defense and are allowing 110.9 points per game.
While the over in the hot trend for both teams as of late, the Bulls are coming into this one with tired legs and both teams are banged up. These two teams rank middle of the pack in both field goal and free-throw attempts. Neither team is known for their 3-point shooting. The potential absence of LaVine and all the injuries on the Pacers roster make it tough for both teams to produce the same offensive efficiency. In their three matchups this season the combined total averaged 206 points per game, with the under cashing in all three games. Expect the combined total to be in the 220- to 225-point range.
Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: Total Under 231.5 Points
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