Matt Moore’s Best Friday Bets

It’s a full Friday in the NBA with key games across the league. Typically, I reserve this column for Wednesday nights, but with so many games tonight’s schedule was just too good to pass up.

Here are the four games I bet on, and remember, you can track all of my picks in the Action Network app.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Detroit Pistons

This is a match and a good cash game.

For starters, the Pistons are running the fifth-most pick-and-rolls, including assists per game this season. Their biggest weakness is against screen-level coverage. Their offensive rating against drop defenses is 88.8. Bad, but not horrible (39th percentile). Their offensive rating against teams playing level is 77.5, 18th percentile.

The Cavs play a top 10 level and are one of the best pick and roll teams in the league. It’s a disappointing place, of course, with the Cavaliers coming off a huge win over Boston in overtime. But last season, the Cavs were 10-4, 8-6 ATS as favorites against divisional teams.

This is a short flight to Detroit compared to other road trips. Detroit is 22-16-1 ATS since the start of last season as a home dog, according to Killersports.com.

I make this line 14 based on adjusted preseason power ratings, and regular season small sample numbers have it even higher, even with Detroit’s win over the Warriors.

Even with the first move against me, I’m ready to trust Cleveland. I like them down to -6.5.


Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics

It’s a half unit play of me here. I show about a point advantage here over the Celtics and I like the location. After a loss on Wednesday, at home, against a team they lost to last week.

The Bulls are good and fun, I legitimately enjoy watching them. But the advantage here in Boston is too much. The Celtics defense is starting to look a little better, and that should be the difference.


Toronto Raptors vs. Dallas Mavericks

The Bet: Over 216.5 | Raptors ML +135 (0.5 units)

I have this pattern way above the number, thanks to the Mavericks’ horrible transition defense, which ranks fourth. Dallas is also 20th in half-court defense, which will help the Raptors rank 16th in half-court offense.

Expect Toronto to go down steadily. Luka will do his thing, although the Raptors’ defensive patterns should make it difficult. I will also be looking for Pascal Siakam’s props who have been dynamite this season; the Mavericks really don’t have a power forward to adequately match Siakam.


Utah Jazz vs Los Angeles Lakers

The bet: Jazz +2.5 | Jazz ML +130 (0.5u)

The Lakers have won two in a row. The Lakers figured out how to get more minutes from Russell Westbrook. The Lakers have the No. 2 defense in the league.

Yeah, who cares, I’m ready to fade them again.

If Dyson Daniels makes a free throw and Matt Ryan doesn’t hit an incredible buzzer fadeaway shot, the Pelicans win and cover Wednesday.

This Jazz isn’t a favorite like the Pels were on Wednesday, they’re dogs here. Brandon Anderson wrote about the big mathematical advantages the Jazz are building with every game. The Lakers are anti-math. They allow the eighth most 3-point attempts per 100 possessions and are 21st in their own attempt rate.

It’s a numbers game. I don’t see the Lakers as having taken a big turn. Jazz have been better so far this season, and my number makes this Jazz -4. I’m good with Utah at all costs.

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