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NBA Betting: 3 Upset Picks to Target on Friday, December 8th
Every single NBA betting slate brings at least one upset pick bettors need to consider targeting. Few would have gone for it last night, but Thursday’s big underdog ended up being the Brooklyn Nets.
I didn’t make NBA upset picks for a short 4-game slate last night, and I probably was never going to be on Brooklyn. Of course, there was logic behind it. OKC has struggled all year, but in this particular game they were down Paul George and Jerami Grant and the game was in Mexico City.
There were enough variables to trip up the Thunder and ultimately they lost. The Nets would have returned killer value if you rolled with them, while the Lakers also scored a big upset over the 76ers last night.
On a four-game slate, there were two fun upset picks to be had. On tonight’s 8-game slate, how many can bettors expect? I’m not sure, but there absolutely are a few games worth looking at. Here are my favorite three:
The first potential upset on the docket is Indy over Cleveland. The Pacers creamed the Cavs (124-107) earlier this season and that game was on the road. This time they’ll be hosting LeBron James and company and looking to defend a solid 8-4 home record.
I’m sure LeBron James and co. will be out for blood after being disrespected on their home floor like that, while it’s certainly tough to go against Cleveland’s insane 13-game winning streak. All hot runs end eventually, however, and the Pacers already have proven they know how to beat the Cavs.
Bovada offers some of the best value you’ll see attached to the Pacers, who are solid +160 underdogs. It’s always interesting when a viable pick is being bet against by Vegas on their home floor, while Indiana is a truly explosive team.
Victor Oladipo leads a dynamic attack that ranks 9th in pace and 6th in offensive efficiency. The Cavs have improved defensively during their impressive winning streak, but if they’re going to get tripped up, it makes sense for it to happen on the road against a team capable of matching wits on offense.
If you want a little more upside, look no further than another home team getting disrespected. The Pistons host the defending champion Warriors and are +185 underdogs at BetOnline.
I know the Warriors are tough to beat and come in with a 5-game winning streak behind them, but they’re still on the road against a solid Pistons squad that actually beat them earlier this year. That win came at the Oracle Arena, but this time the Pistons (8-2 at home) get the same matchup on their home floor.
Even better is the absence of star point guard Stephen Curry, who obviously takes a lethal scorer off the table and makes things easier on a solid Detroit defense (14th in efficiency). That will understandably put increased pressure on Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, which could complicate matters for the Dubs in a tough road environment.
Ideally, you’d be getting more value than this when betting against the Warriors, but +185 feels pretty strong considering Curry is out and the Pistons get to play at home. Golden State is never a team you bet against with much confidence, but everything sets up for this at least to be a close game.
Let’s make it three underdog home teams for my NBA upset picks list, as the Grizzlies host the Raptors and aren’t being given much of a chance by NBA betting sites like BetOnline.
Marc Gasol and company are actually pretty healthy these days and are only missing star point guard, Mike Conley. Conley won’t be on hand for this one, but Memphis gets a home game and will try to put their 13th ranked defense to work.
Toronto is not an easy matchup, as the Raptors have stretched their offense out this season and are sharing the ball more and taking outside shots. That makes them more dynamic than ever and it shouldn’t shock anyone that they’re the 4th most efficient offense in the NBA.
The Raptors remain a solid defensive team, too, but they’ll have their hands full with Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans.
The big kicker, of course, is that the Raptors tend to lose some of their focus on the road. Toronto is just 6-6 away from Canada this season and on the road against a solid defensive team, I’m not sure they’re the safe pick the oddsmakers are making them out to be.
Memphis obviously isn’t easy to trust, but there is enough value here to hope the Grizz defend and force Toronto’s road woes to hurt them late.
Overall, I like these three NBA underdog picks just because these are viable threats on their home floor. The value is also tough to pass up, even though all three home underdogs are facing brutal matchups.
Hopefully one of these picks scores you a big win.
Regardless of which way you bet tonight, good luck!