With the month of December here, the NBA season is ready to kick into high gear. There is a big weekend ahead, starting with half a dozen games on Friday night. To open the weekend, we thought we’d put together a parlay for Friday night. Here are three expert picks we like for Friday’s NBA games both individually but also as part of a parlay at FanDuel that could have a big payoff.
NBA Picks & Parlay of the Weekend | December 1
Washington Wizards vs Orlando Magic Best Bet:
The Magic beat the Wizards by 19 points on Wednesday night to score their eighth straight win. However, in the last game of a homestand and a more challenging game in Brooklyn on Saturday, this feels like a trap game for Orlando. The team’s current winning streak happened immediately after a 20-point loss to the Nets, so it’s not farfetched to think that the Magic will overlook the Wizards and struggle to pull away and cover a double-digit spread.
It’s also worth noting the Wizards have beaten the spread in three of their last five games despite going 1-4 during that stretch and being a pitiful 3-15 on the season. Despite having a terrible record, the Wizards rank among the top 10 NBA teams in points per game. If the Magic are complacent, Washington should be able to score enough points to at least stay within 10 points of Orlando.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Dallas Mavericks Best Bet:
Understandably, it’s been a struggle for the Grizzlies thus far without Ja Morant. A tough early-season schedule hasn’t done Memphis any favors either. But the Grizzlies have a little momentum after beating the Jazz at home earlier this week before going back on the road. With the way Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson can score, the Grizzlies are capable of keeping games close.
Similarly, the Mavericks have failed to cover any spread of five points or more this season. Dallas might be at the top of the Southwest Division, but scoring depth behind Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving appears to be a problem. Less than half of the team’s wins this season have come by double digits. While the Mavericks shouldn’t worry too much about losing on Friday, this spread appears to be too big for Dallas to cover.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics Best Bet:
Admittedly, this feels like a big spread for a game between two heavyweights. But something feels off about the 76ers right now after they’ve lost three of their last five games. A few guys are battling nagging injuries, including Joel Embiid, so they aren’t exactly at full strength. Also, despite having a great record against the spread, Philadelphia hasn’t had a lot of success in an underdog role.
Meanwhile, the Celtics appear to have moved past a recent rough patch, covering the spread in back-to-back wins over the Hawks and Bulls this week. They’ll also have one extra day of rest compared to the 76ers without having to do any traveling. We’re deep enough into the season for extra rest to matter. During their last two wins, the Celtics have adjusted to playing without the injured Kristaps Porzingis, getting quality minutes from Al Horford in his absence. Even with a decent amount of points to cover, they’re more reliable right now than the 76ers.
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