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

In Friday’s action, Jaylen Brown finished with 34 points, nine rebounds and two assists for the Boston Celtics in a 129-117 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a team-high 27 points to go along with four boards and two steals for the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 104-102 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Chris Paul added 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Here are Today’s NBA Picks:


Toronto Raptors @ Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics will host the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors on Saturday.

  • The home team has covered the spread in 10 of the last 11 games between these two teams. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

These teams will square off on Saturday after just playing against each other on Christmas Day.

In that matchup, Brown finished with 30 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Celtics in a 118-102 win in Toronto.

Fred VanVleet led the Raptors with 27 points, four rebounds, six assists and four steals.

The key to this matchup will be Celtics star Jayson Tatum. He has scored 26 or more points in each of their last three home games. He will once again be the most important player for Boston in this one.

The Celtics have won 13 of their last 14 games at TD Garden so take Boston minus the 6.5 points here.

2u – Celtics (-6.5) @ +100

Philadelphia 76ers @ Miami Heat

  • Not only are the Miami Heat 23-8 this season but they have an 18-11-2 record against the spread as well. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker)

These two teams played against each other back on Dec. 18 in Philadelphia.

In that game, Kendrick Nunn finished with 26 points, four rebounds and five assists for the Heat in a 108-104 win. Bam Adebayo added 23 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.

Joel Embiid led the way for the Sixers with 22 points, 19 boards, three assists and two blocks.

You think the Sixers are going to get revenge against Miami, right? But nope. Not so fast.

The Miami Heat are 14-1 at home this season, which is the best home record in the NBA by a landslide.

The Heat are at home and they are getting points. It’s a no-brainer here.

Take Miami.

1u – Heat (+1) @ -117

Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Clippers

  • Since the 2010-11 season, the Utah Jazz have a 13-8 against the spread record against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker)

Donovan Mitchell finished with a game-high 35 points to go along with seven assists and three rebounds for the Jazz in a 121-115 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.

Joe Ingles added 26 points, five boards and four assists and Rudy Gobert contributed 16 points and 15 rebounds for Utah.

The Clippers, on the other hand, are coming off a big Christmas Day win over their crosstown rivals.

Kawhi Leonard finished with a game-high 35 points with 12 rebounds and five assists and Paul George added 17 points, five boards, three assists and three blocks for the Clippers in the 111-106 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Clippers and Jazz split their two meetings this season. The home team has won both games.

On Nov. 3, the Clippers came away with a 105-94 win and on Oct. 30, the Jazz won convincingly 110-96.

The Jazz have won six of their last seven games and they have a legit shot to come away with this game as well.

Take the Jazz plus the 8.5 here.

1u – Jazz (+8.5) @ -105

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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