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Thunder, Heat Among The Best Bets For Friday Night’s NBA Schedule

Posted by Craig Parsons on 12/4/2014 7:38:12 PM

When the Philadelphia 76ers’ losing streak reached 17 games to open the season they must have looked at the schedule and realized how bad things could really get. Philadelphia rallied for an 85-77 win at Minnesota to avoid matching the worst start in NBA history but don’t expect them to get a heroes welcome when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday before starting a three game road trip. Here is a quick look at the four best bets for Friday’s NBA games.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Philadelphia 76ers

Friday, 7:00 PM ET

The 76ers have scored an NBA-low 91.1 points per game and rank at or near the bottom of the league in nearly every other important statistical category so don’t expect them to match their season win total when they host the Thunder on Friday. Oklahoma City is in tough following a 5-13 start to the season in which they were without their two best players for a long stretch but with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook back healthy there is a feeling that they can still turn things around. A win over Philadelphia should be an obvious first step in the right direction so look for a sense of urgency from the Thunder as they look to begin clawing their way back in to the Western Conference playoff picture.

Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Toronto Raptors

Friday, 7:30 PM ET

For all of the talk about Cleveland as the best team in the Eastern Conference and the Chicago Bulls as their biggest competition it’s the Raptors that are atop the standings through 19 games with a 15-4 record. However, Toronto is now dealing with the loss of All-Star DeMar DeRozan and for as good as its depth is they will be in tough against a hungry Cavaliers team. LeBron James and company has won four straight and they will have this game circled as they look to close the gap behind the Raptors in the East.

Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers

Miami Heat @ Milwaukee Bucks

Friday, 8:30 PM ET

LeBron’s former team has struggled with consistency with a .500 record through 18 games but they will have an excellent chance to get back on track against a Milwaukee team that has lost three straight. Chris Bosh has been excellent this season and Dwyane Wade can still contribute at a high level with rest and that tandem should be able to lead Miami to a win over a young Bucks team that is beginning to slow down following a Cinderella start to its season.

Pick: Miami Heat

Indiana Pacers @ Sacramento Kings

Friday, 10:00 PM ET

Sacramento is another team that has slowed down dramatically following a hot start with four straight losses but they have shown fight even with DeMarcus Cousins out of the line up and they could very well be a playoff team if they played in the Eastern Conference. Indiana is treading hard without David West and Paul George and even though they managed to scrape out wins over Miami, Chicago, and Dallas on the road they won’t be able to steal a win from the Kings as long as Cousins is in the line up.

Pick: Sacramento Kings


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