The NBA season is 82 games long, and a lot of teams are about to hit the 60-game mark. You know what that means: Nearly 75 percent of the season is gone. It’s time for various teams around the Association to sustain momentum in a push for a final few playoff spots.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Friday, 8:05 PM ET
NBA Basketball Betting Odds: Oklahoma City -6
The Thunder are still the team with the best record in the Western Conference, but they’re losing ground because they’re losing games – three in a row, to be specific. Moreover, Oklahoma City really hasn’t come all that close to winning in this three-game losing streak. The Thunder lost by 22 at home to Miami; by eight at home to the Los Angeles Clippers; and by 10 at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Thunder were a mess on offense against the Heat, but their defense has been destroyed by the Clippers and Cavs. The return of Russell Westbrook to the lineup has disrupted the team, as has the All-Star break. Oklahoma City should be good in time but right now, it’s not ready to win. Memphis will prevail here on the betting lines here.
Pick: Memphis +6
Golden State Warriors @ New York Knicks
Friday, 8:05 PM ET
NBA Basketball Betting Odds: Golden State -5
The key source of tension in this game lies in the reality that the Knicks – while suffering through a miserable season – are in a position where they pretty much have to win if they are going to make the playoffs. New York is running out of additional chances. It has to make every game count. Golden State just got roughed up by the Chicago Bulls on a long road trip, so the Warriors aren’t coming into New York with a lot of confidence. It’s an open question as to which version of either team will show up on Friday night. Yet, New York played a Thursday night game in Miami against the Heat. Golden State will have been in New York resting, so the Warriors are probably going to be the fresher team in this game.
Pick: Golden State -5
Chicago Bulls @ Dallas Mavericks
Friday, 8:35 PM ET
NBA Basketball Betting Odds: Dallas -4
This is the best NBA betting matchup on the board this Friday. Chicago just crushed Golden State, 103-83, while Dallas got more than 40 points from its bench in an easy rout of New Orleans. Unlike the Golden State-New York game, this is a meeting in which the two teams are playing well heading into the competition. Chicago’s defense against Dallas’ offense is the matchup within the game that everyone wants to see, but Chicago’s offense against Dallas’ defense is probably what will decide the outcome. The feeling here is that Chicago’s offense blows hot and cold, enough that the Mavericks will be able to contain the Bulls. Chicago is still a team that, on offense, has to get above-average performances from one or more players to win. That won’t happen here.
Pick: Dallas -4