There are some big slates coming up over the next few days in the NBA in the lead up to the monster Christmas Day quintuple header. Friday night offers a fantastic 10 game slate, which is headlined by a monster clash between the 79ers and Mavericks in Philadelphia.
As usual, we have our best bet of the night as well as a best value tip from the 10 game slate below.
NBA Betting Picks – Friday December 20th
Dallas Mavericks at Philadelphia 76ers
8pm ET, Wells Fargo Center
The Mavericks have gotten by okay since losing their star point guard Luka Doncic to injury at the very start of their matchup against the Heat last week. They ended up losing that game to the Heat, and started as big underdogs in their next matchup in Milwaukee. To experts disbelief, they defeated the Eastern Conference leading Bucks by four points on the back of big games from Seth Curry and Kristaps Porzingis.
The Mavs failed to back it up against Boston at home on Wednesday night, going down by six points in a hard fought game which once again saw Curry and Porzingis carry the load on offence. They’ll be back on the road on Friday night as they face the 76ers in Philadelphia, who are now at full strength after battling some injuries in the early parts of the season.
While the play of Curry and Porzingis has been impressive in Doncic’s absence, you have to think there is only so long they can sustain this level of offense, especially against one of the better defenses in the league in Philadelphia. The 76ers allow just 104.2 points per game this season, the fifth fewest in the NBA anda host of fantastic on-ball defenders in the likes of Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson and Al Horford.
The Mavericks are in the bottom half of the league when it comes to points allowed per game, which has been okay this season because they’ve had Doncic’s ridiculous offensive play to fall back on, but against a solid defense & without him, we think they struggle to put up enough points to remain competitive here, especially on the road.
Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics
7.30pm ET, TD Garden
The Celtics captured a good win over the Mavericks in their last game, winning by six points on the road as the two teams combined for just 212 points. In the Celtics 25 games so far this season, the under has hit on 15 occasions, which is the third highest rate in the league behind only the Sacramento Kings and the Denver Nuggets.
Boston has one of the most impressive defenses in the league, allowing just 104 points per game, the third best in the NBA. The total for Friday night’s game against the Pistons currently sits at 214, a figure which has only been hit 3 times in the last 8 games between the Pistons and Celtics.
The Pistons will also be without their key weapon on offence on Friday night in Blake Griffin, who is battling a knee injury and has looked a shell of his former self. We think the Celtics keep the Pistons to under 100 points here and win the game comfortably at home.
Pick: Celtics -5.5/Pistons UNDER 103.5 (+128 at FanDuel)
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