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Jonathan Macri previews Friday's NBA games and gives us his picks

Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics

The Hawks snapped a four-game losing streak with a win over the Celtics on Wednesday behind a 40-point explosion from Trae Young and strong performances from Clint Capela and John Collins. They looked much more together than they have recently.

Boston, meanwhile, has looked lost without Marcus Smart and lacks have much dependable scoring outside of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Kemba Walker should be back in the lineup Friday, but he's been inconsistent as he's battled injuries and load management.

It makes sense that the Celtics are favored in this game, given that they're at home and it's difficult for teams to win twice in a row in these two-game series that are new this season, but the Hawks looked like they figured some things out in their first matchup and it wouldn't be a surprise if they go 2-for-2 here.

The Pick: Hawks ML @ +150 (Click To Bet)

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks are in rough shape right now, having lost five in a row, the latest coming at home to the Raptors on Thursday. Now, they have to turn around and play the next night.

The line of Bucks -11 is way too high here. The Thunder aren't good, but they're the kind of bad team that hangs around and gives better teams fits. Picking the Bucks to win by double digits when they're on this much of a skid is too much to ask right now. Oklahoma City should at least cover.

The Pick: Thunder +11 @ -110 (Click To Bet)

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Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons is expected to be back in the Sixers' lineup after missing a game with the flu, but he could have lingering effects from his illness, which may hinder his effectiveness in what one would presume will be a defensive assignment on Zach LaVine.

Joel Embiid is the heavy favorite to be this game's leading scorer, but in Simmons and Tobias Harris, he has more dependable offensive support than the Bulls do around LaVine, so those two could eat into his scoring. As LaVine looks to make a late All-Star push, this could be another big game for him.

The Pick: Zach LaVine to be leading scorer +155 (Click To Bet)

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NBA Expert Picks

(Click Odds To Bet)

Hawks ML @ +150 (Click To Bet)

Thunder +11 @ -110 (Click To Bet)

Zach LaVine to be leading scorer +155 (Click To Bet)

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Article Author


Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.


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