Home » NBA Best Bets Today | Expert Picks for Friday, Dec. 8

NBA Best Bets Today | Expert Picks for Friday, Dec. 8

NBA Best Bets | Friday, Dec. 8

The NBA regular season resumes on Friday night, and we’ve got you covered with five NBA best bets and expert picks for three different matchups on Friday, Dec. 8 including bets for Knicks vs. Celtics, Cavaliers vs. Heat and Warriors vs. Thunder. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

By Bryan Fonseca

Tatum has killed the Knicks in recent games, going over 25.5 points in five of his last six against them, which goes back to the beginning of the 2022-23 slate. This season, Tatum already has a 34 and a 35-point contest against New York, the latter of which was at the Boston Garden on November 13.

Tatum has cleared this line in three of his last five and four of his last seven. He’s always given the Knicks issues, and the two teams often engage in close contests, meaning Boston will need Tatum’s creation for at least much of the game’s 48 minutes, as they did even in a 16-point win last month, where he got 35 on 13-for-23 shooting.

Pick: Jayson Tatum Over 25.5 Points

By Prop Bomb

Since the return of Donovan Mitchell into the starting lineup, Darius Garland is averaging 7.4 assists per game, going over his assists prop in four of his last five full games when the duo shares the court. In this same span, Garland is leading his team in both passes made (58.0) and potential assists (14.0), while the Cavs look to come to form to piece together wins.

Winners of four of their last five games, the Cavs will now travel down to South Beach to face the Miami Heat, but without their defensive anchor in Bam Adebayo. Over their last six games, Miami has the second-worst defensive rating compared to their 16th-ranked average on the season.
Additionally, Miami allows the 2nd most opposing assists when playing at home.

Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen should have their ways against a Miami Heat frontcourt consisting of Kevin Love and Orlando Robinson in Adebayo’s absence. Against a defense trending in the wrong direction, I fully expect Garland to have no trouble collecting dimes tonight.

Pick: Darius Garland Over 6.5 Assists

By Chris Baker

The Cavaliers should be bigger favorites here with Bam Adebayo and Haywood Highsmith remaining out of the lineup for the Heat. The Heat have an awful defensive rating of 120.9 with those two off the court. The Heat also do not have the perimeter guard defenders to contain Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland.

With no Bam in pick-and-roll coverage I expect Garland and Spida to get into the paint at will and create for their teammates. The Heat survived without Bam against the Raptors on Wednesday but it wasn’t exactly an impressive performance, they just got lucky that the Raptors can’t make shots.

The Cavs have the shooters around Mitchell and Garland now and we should see a focused Max Strus in his return to Miami. Evan Mobley and Caris Levert are questionable but Mobley’s absence wouldn’t complete dissuade me from this bet as he has been a huge detriment to the Cavaliers offense. Mobley’s defensive impact has been outstanding but the offense is more than five points worse with him on the floor per 100 possessions this season.

The Heat rank 27th in offensive rim rate on the season and with no Bam their rim rate drops from 28.6% to 25.5% so Mobley will not be contesting as many shots at the rim as he normally does. Ultimately, this line should be closer to Cavs -3 or Cavs -3.5 without the Adebayo so very comfortable grabbing the Cavs at -1.5 here. Play this up to -2.5.

Pick: Cavaliers -1.5

By Jim Turvey

This is a stale line. This Thunder team is not a mere point better than this Warriors team. Both teams are basically healthy for this matchup on Friday, and I have the Thunder -5.5.

The Warriors are 4-9 against teams above .500, and a couple of those wins come with heavy asterisks (Kings no Fox; Thunder no SGA). The Thunder, on the other hand, really don’t have bad losses, with only a road L against the Rockets last time out even coming close to qualifying. This Warriors team isn’t a “bad” team, but they also are a far shout from great.

Gary Payton II would have easily been the best option to throw at Shai, but he’s the lone notable name for either team on the injury report. And on the flip side, the Thunder have SGA (playing like a top 5-10 defender in the league right now) and length to throw at Curry.

The Warriors won the first matchup between these two teams, but there was no SGA for that game. The Thunder have won the two matchups since, and they look poised to do so again on Friday.

Pick: Thunder -3.5

By Joe Dellera

This is a great matchup for Chet who has performed extremely well against the Golden State Warriors this season. The Warriors do not have a natural defensive option to throw at him with Draymond and Wiggins likely being deployed against SGA and Jaylin Williams.

Instead, Chet lines up against Kevon Looney who looks like he clearly has lost a step this season.

This is Chet’s fourth matchup against the Warriors already, and he’s averaged 33.7 Points + Rebounds against them and exceeded this line in two of the three games with 32, 23, and 46 PR. Considering the Thunder are healthy and the defensive assignment I expect him to draw, Chet should be poised to clear this line yet again against the Warriors.

Pick: Chet Holmgren Over 24.5 Points + Rebounds

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