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Previewing Friday's Crowded NBA Action

Posted by Craig Parsons on 11/27/2014 5:57:39 PM

With zero games taking place on Thanksgiving, 24 teams will take the court the following day to make for a crowded slate of NBA action. Playoff team's as well as those already rebuilding will be taking the court, but the three games below are the ones sports bettors should be keeping an eye on.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Los Angeles Lakers

Friday November 28, 2014 – 10:30 PM ET

Odds: Timberwolves -2

Although both squads have just three victories on the year, the Minnesota Timberwolves are the slight favorite even with swingman Kevin Martin requiring wrist surgery and rookie Zach LaVine starting in his place. The Timberwolves struggled against the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this week, but with Thaddeus Young back in the lineup they're a squad that can both score and defend in the paint. The Los Angeles Lakers have lost three in a row and seven of their last nine including a 34-point blowout at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks. Jordan Hill is the only inside force the Lakers have as Carlos Boozer is well past his prime an averaging just six rebounds per game this season, making it unlikely the Lakers can contend with a balanced Wolves squad that features one of the most rapidly improving rookies in the league, Andrew Wiggins.

Pick: Timberwolves

New Orleans Pelicans @ Atlanta Hawks

Friday November 28, 2014 – 7:30 PM ET

Odds: Hawks -4

The Atlanta Hawks have been struggling as of late but they're finally back at home and taking on another 7-6 squad in the New Orleans Pelicans. Both the Pelicans and Hawks have been involved in some high scoring games, making the over/under point total a bet of interest. The Pelicans have relied heavily on their superstar Anthony Davis as the third-year pro is averaging 25 points and 11 rebounds per game and is slated to take on the undersized Paul Millsap. The down low combo of Davis and Omer Asik has been deadly this season as the two combine to average 4.5 blocks and 2.5 steals per contest. Atlanta will be hard-fought to compete down low, and even with home court advantage will likely fall to the Pelicans from New Orleans.

Pick: Pelicans

Los Angeles Clippers @ Houston Rockets

Friday November 28, 2014 – 8 PM ET

Odds: Rockets -3

The Houston Rockets have continued to look like one of the top teams in the league as they're now 12-3 on the year and 6-2 at home, which is exactly where they will be taking on the 9-5 Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers have turned things on as of late by winning four of their last five games, but the continued decline in rebounding numbers for Blake Griffin should be of concern as he's playing further away from the basket this year, a style of play that won't provide him any advantages over competing power forward Terrence Jones on Friday night. The more room Dwight Howard is allowed down low the more likely he is to score and grab rebounds, which is exactly how this Rockets team gets out in transition and beats opponents by double-digits, an outcome that wouldn't be surprising against a teetering Clippers team.

Pick: Rockets

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