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

In Thursday’s NBA action, James Harden finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, three assists and five steals for the Houston Rockets in a 119-109 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Russell Westbrook added 19 points, 13 boards and 11 assists in the win. For the Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker had 44 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in a 139-132 overtime victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Here are Today’s NBA Picks:


Denver Nuggets @ Boston Celtics

  • The Denver Nuggets visit TD Garden to take on the Boston Celtics on Friday night. As per Statschecker, the head-to-head record is 9-9 since the 2010-11 regular season.

The visiting Nuggets are coming off a win at Madison Square Garden over the New York Knicks.

Will Barton had 17 points and Nikola Jokic chipped in with six points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets in a 129-92 win.

The Celtics are coming off back-to-back wins over the Knicks and Miami Heat.

Jaylen Brown finished with 31 points, and Kemba Walker contributed 28 points, seven assists and four rebounds in a 112-93 victory.

Boston is the pick here. The Celtics are a perfect 8-0 at home.

Roll with the Celtics minus the 3.5 points in this one.

2u – Celtics (-3.5) @ -110

Los Angeles Clippers @ Milwaukee Bucks

The Los Angeles Clippers will take on the Bucks in Milwaukee in a huge showdown between two of the NBA’s best teams.

This will be the second matchup of the season. They played back on Nov. 7 and it was the Bucks who escaped Los Angeles with a victory.

In that game, Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 38 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and two blocks for the Bucks in a 129-124 win.

Lou Williams finished with 34 points, six rebounds and 11 assists, and Montrezl Harrell had 34 points, 13 rebounds and five assists for the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George did not play in the game.

The absence of Leonard and George was a major factor in the Clippers going down by five, so many expect them to gain revenge in Milwaukee.

But guess again. The Bucks are 9-1 at home this season, and they clearly have one of the best players in the entire NBA.

Take the Bucks minus the 3.5 points at home here.

**1u – Bucks (-3.5) @ -110**

Los Angeles Lakers @ Portland Trail Blazers

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers will square off for the first time this season on Friday.

Some media outlets questioned the Lakers’ strength of schedule thus far this season, so they decided to come away with back-to-back wins over two of the better teams in the Western Conference.

The Lakers topped the Nuggets 105-96 on Tuesday, and the very next night Anthony Davis had 26 points and six rebounds, and LeBron James contributed 20 points and 12 assists in a 121-96 win over the Utah Jazz.

Portland is coming off a win of its own against the Sacramento Kings. CJ McCollum had 33 points, four boards and four assists, and Damian Lillard contributed 24 points and 10 assists for the Blazers in a 127-116 win.

The Lakers won two of last season's final three meetings against the Blazers. But, Portland came away with wins in the previous 15 series matchups.

Los Angeles is on a roll and I don’t see it slowing down in this one. Take the Lakers minus the 3.5 points.

1u – Lakers (-3.5) @ -108

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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