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

In Friday’s NBA games, Damian Lillard finished with 35 points, and Hassan Whiteside added 23 points and 21 rebounds for the Portland Trail Blazers in a 122-103 win over the Washington Wizards.

For the Boston Celtics, Jaylen Brown had 24 points and 10 rebounds in a 109-106 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Gordon Hayward added 18 points and six boards in the victory.

Here are Today’s NBA Picks:


Oklahoma City Thunder @ Cleveland Cavaliers

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers have a 26-37-2 against the spread record at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse after a loss since the 2017-18 NBA season. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker)

The Oklahoma City Thunder enter this matchup on an impressive four-game winning streak, which includes victories over the Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with a game-high 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Thunder in the 109-103 win over the Spurs on Thursday night.

Gilgeous-Alexander has been instrumental for the Thunder. He finished with 27 points in a 104-102 win over the Hornets, he had 32 points in a 98-97 victory over the defending champion Raptors, and he contributed 19 points and 10 boards in a 106-101 win over the Mavericks.

The team leader in points? Yes, you guessed it. Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 19.9 points per contest this season. He is also averaging 5.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Look for him to be the difference maker in this game against the Cavaliers.

Take the Thunder minus the 6.5 points here.

2u – Thunder (-6.5) @ -105

Charlotte Hornets @ Dallas Mavericks

  • Since 2016-17 NBA season, the Dallas Mavericks have a 25-18-1 against the spread record in games played during January. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker)

The Dallas Mavericks rode their second-year superstar Luka Doncic in a 123-111 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. He had 31 points, 15 of which came in the fourth quarter, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Mavericks, who were without Kristaps Porzingis.

The win put an end to a two-game skid and kept the Mavericks locked into the No. 5 seed in the West.

To be considered one of the elite teams in the NBA, Dallas must take care of games like this one on Saturday. Take the Mavericks minus the 12 points at home. Doncic and the boys will pull away early and often.

1u – Mavericks (-12) @ -110

San Antonio Spurs @ Milwaukee Bucks

  • Since the 2017-18 NBA season, the Milwaukee Bucks have an impressive 40-26-2 against the spread record at the Fiserv Forum. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker)

The best home record in the NBA belongs to the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks are currently on a four-game winning streak, which includes a win on Wednesday night over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 32 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and two blocks for the Bucks in a 106-104 win.

Antetokounmpo has had one helluva encore season so far. The reigning MVP is well on his way to possibly winning back-to-back MVP awards. Look for the Bucks to continue their winning ways against the San Antonio Spurs.

Take the Bucks minus the 11.5 points.

1u – Bucks (-11.5) @ -110

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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