NBA Best Bets: Thunder Host Heat in Battle of Surprise Teams

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It’s another big NBA slate Friday night, but once again another tough night to bet on the Association. With football coming to an end and more sports bettors turning to basketball, I think that's why betting lines are tougher to navigate this week. Out of the seven games tonight, six of them have home favorites of seven points or higher, but I'm not sure any of the favorites are that much better than their opponents. We are halfway through the NBA season, and most of my positions have been on sides while very few have been on totals. After the All-Star break, I will start to bet more totals. The Grizzlies, who I love, are laying eight points at home tonight vs. the Cavs. Memphis is streaking, but I'm not sure I'm ready to lay eight points with them yet. The Raptors are big favorites vs. the Wizards this evening, but Washington normally plays Toronto well. The Hawks look like an intriguing underdog, catching 8.5 points tonight in San Antonio, but the Spurs have played well ATS as of late. Friday night may be a good night to examine the college hoops slate.

Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder -2

Two of the surprise teams of the first half of the NBA season meet this evening in OKC. Coming into the season many thought Jimmy Butler and the Heat would be a playoff team in the East. No one thought the Heat would be the second seed halfway through the season. The Thunder were an afterthought coming into the season. Paul George and Russell Westbrook are gone, and everyone wrote OKC off, but Billy Donovan has done a masterful job with this team. Chris Paul was a perfect fit for this young roster, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is having a breakout season. The Heat come into OKC losers of four of their last five road games, and Miami has done most of its damage on home court. The Heat are 10-11 straight up on the road this season. Oklahoma City has been very good straight up at home but comes into Friday night losers of two straight home games. Although those home losses were to the Raptors and the Lakers, the crowd in OKC will be pretty juiced up for tonight's game. The Thunder are 12-9 against the spread at home this season, and I like them to improve on that number Friday night.

Season Record: 55-47