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Top NBA Betting Expert Picks for 12/13/19

It is a new beginning on RotoBaller as we expand into NBA betting. At first, there will be two short columns a week and the hope is for an expansion of not just NBA betting but who knows what else may come.

I'm here to break down each team's spot, as well as dive into my favorite spreads, totals, team totals, and even money lines for this Friday NBA schedule. My goal is to find the right value for you to be able to make money. Vegas makes you work to find the right picks, but I hope I can make things a little more clear for you every week.

Friday night's slate features nine games on the schedule in all.

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS to chat about basketball and my picks.  


Indiana (-6) at Atlanta

O/U: 222.5

The Pacers and Hawks represent a matchup of contrasts. Atlanta is again one of the bottom dwellers of the Eastern Conference. Indiana currently resides sixth in the East with a 16-9 record. Both teams could not be headed in more opposite directions. Indiana is 7-3 in their last ten games while Atlanta is just 2-8 in that span. 

These two teams last met on November 28th. In that game, Indiana narrowly held on for a 105-104 overtime victory. The Pacers do come off their most defining win of the season -- a 122-117 defeat of the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. Now, do they have a letdown on Friday against an inferior Atlanta team?

However, this will not be as easy as it looks. Atlanta is 6-19 on the season but 11-14 ATS (6-5 at home). Indiana is just 13-11-1 ATS on the season and 6-6 on the road. Trae Young is the key for an Atlanta team that is quite inconsistent and turns the ball over a lot. The Hawks had 23 turnovers in their last game against Chicago (a 136-102 setback). If Indiana can contain Young better than they did in the first meeting, then they should be able to cover. The over/under is another question entirely.

Pick: Indiana -6


Charlotte at Chicago (-6.5)

O/U: 214

The Hornets and Bulls could score some points on Friday. Chicago dropped 136 on Atlanta Wednesday night. That was a breakout performance for a team that has struggled offensively at times (106.6 points per game). Chicago has lost six of their previous ten contests but started 5-11. Gradually, Chicago is showing some signs of improvement.

These are two of the bottom teams in terms of offensive rating. Chicago is 28th and Charlotte is 20th. The Hornets have a slightly better 11-16 record and have won two straight while going 5-5 in their last 10. Charlotte beat Washington and Brooklyn by single digits. Consider they were just 9-16 in those games last season. So, both teams are trending upward. What does this all mean? 

Chicago is 7-7 on the season at home ATS and Charlotte is 7-6 on the road but comes in 1.6 points per game below the projection line. Charlotte only averages 106 points per contest which puts that over somewhat in jeopardy.

From a gambling perspective, this expects to be a close game on Friday night. The key is to watch the spread here. Some betting venues have the number down to -5.5. Remember, any consensus can always change. Seeing Charlotte at a positive number (+105) ATS is encouraging. That means a $10.50 profit if one wagers $10. If the number lowers any more, avoid the best but the 5.5 to 6.5 range should be sufficient to still take the Hornets and the points. If one feels risky, the over is very close but for now, that is one to avoid. 

Pick: Charlotte +6.5


Golden State at Utah  (-12.5)

O/U: 210

It is safe to say that Utah has struggled of late while limping to a 4-6 record over their last ten games. However, Golden State is the worst team in the league (5-21. 2-8 in the last 10). Their point differential is -9 points per game (which is only in the bottom five). The Warriors have played a hair better defensively of late as their points allowed have finally slipped just below 115 (114.8 points per game). This is like brass tacks as Utah has won two of their previous three. In those wins, they averaged 126.5 points a night.

The first half over/under was pondered. On the other hand, this game could turn hot in the second half. The overall over/under carries some intrigue here as it is only 210. That is a reasonable number. Some sites have even gone back as low as 208 or 208.5. That may be viewed as a good sign. If the numbers trend in that direction, then that -129 number may tilt a bit more negative. It is something to be mindful of. 

That is not a bad thing given the over/under projection being as low as it is. Utah is 9-3 at home on the money line but just 5-7 ATS. This is not a pick for the faint of heart yet this game has the look of easily going over. As for the spread, risking Golden State at +12.5 depends on what odds one gets. If one is in the -115 to -125 range, then go all out. If the number tilts towards -13 to -14, stick with the over. 

Pick: Over 210

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