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One of our expert hoops handicappers gives his best picks for today's games

In Thursday’s NBA action, the Milwaukee Bucks were 137-129 winners against the Portland Trail Blazers while the New Orleans Pelicans edged out the Suns in Phoenix 124-121 in the only two games of the night. Friday has a full slate of games on tap, and here are three matchups to consider betting on.

Here are Today’s NBA Picks:


Los Angeles Lakers @ Oklahoma City Thunder

  • The Los Angeles Lakers will visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. Here’s a key statistic for this matchup: since 2010-11, the Thunder have a 26-11 head-to-head record against the Lakers.

The Lakers enter this matchup 12-2 on the season, which is the best record in the NBA. In their last game, which was also against the Thunder, Anthony Davis finished with 34 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks in a 112-107 win.

LeBron James added 25 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals as he became the first player with triple-doubles against all 30 NBA teams.

Dennis Schroder had a team-high 31 points off the bench for the Thunder while Danilo Gallinari contributed 25 points and six boards.

On Wednesday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Thunder came within two points with 1:24 left in the game, but they couldn't come away with the win. The victory was the fifth straight for the Lakers.

Look for Los Angeles to continue its winning ways tonight in dominating fashion. Take the Lakers minus the 4.5 points in this one.

2u – Lakers (-4.5) @ -105

San Antonio Spurs @ Philadelphia 76ers

The San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers will square off at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia tonight.

The Spurs enter this game having lost seven in a row. On Wednesday night, DeMar DeRozan finished with 31 points, four rebounds and five assists, and Rudy Gay had 18 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench in a 138-132 loss to the Washington Wizards.

The Sixers, on the other hand, are coming off back-to-back wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks. Joel Embiid had 23 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocks for Philadelphia in the 109-104 win over New York.

Ben Simmons added 18 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds, and connected for the first three-pointer of his career.

The Spurs have lost 10 of 12 games since opening the regular season with three straight victories.

I’m not sure if San Antonio is going to pull off the road win here, but I do love the Spurs getting the 7.5 points in this one.

Take the Spurs plus the points.

1u – Spurs (+7.5) @ -105

Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Clippers

Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets and Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers, former teammates in Oklahoma City, will face off against each other in Los Angeles.

The Rockets will look to rebound after a loss to the Denver Nuggets. James Harden had 27 points, seven boards and seven assists, and Westbrook added 25 points and five assists in a 105-95 losing effort.

The Clippers are eyeing a fourth straight victory in this matchup. George and Kawhi Leonard teamed up for the first time this season against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. George had 25 points, five rebounds and eight assists, and Leonard contributed 17 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals in a 107-104 win.

On Nov. 13, the Rockets came away with the 102-93 home win over the Clippers, which included a 47-point performance from Harden. Now that both George and Leonard are on the court for Los Angeles, along with Patrick Beverley, the Clippers have one of the best defensive teams in the entire NBA.

Look for the Clippers to weather the storm in LA. Take the Clips minus the five points here.

1u – Clippers (-5) @ -105

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By Dan Canova

Article Author

Expert handicapper known for his deep knowledge of all things NBA and his ability to pick winners.


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