Friday’s NBA Predictions and Betting Tips (April 23, 2021)

| April 23, 2021 4:37 am PDT

The NBA is starting to finally get healthy again. Anthony Davis is back, and LeBron James isn’t too far behind him.

Don’t tell that to Friday’s NBA betting schedule, of course.

The Brooklyn Nets host the Boston Celtics sans James Harden, the Clippers take on the Rockets without Kawhi Leonard, and Denver is still lamenting the loss of Jamal Murray.

Injuries continue to play a huge role in how the 2020-21 NBA season unfolds, and bettors need to keep all of that in mind as they try to make money on April 23rd, 2021.

To gauge how that may impact your bets, join me as I break down my NBA predictions and betting picks for Friday night.

NBA Predictions for Friday, April 23rd

  • Heat to beat Hawks
  • Nets to beat Celtics
  • Clippers to beat Rockets
  • Wizards to beat Thunder
  • Hornets to beat Cavaliers
  • Nuggets to beat Warriors
  • Blazers to beat Grizzlies

I like Miami to get the win in Atlanta on Friday. They’re back to 100%, and they’re in good form (won last three), and they match up well here when they have all of their guys.

Brooklyn should be getting closer to full strength, too, as Kevin Durant is tentatively due back for a showdown with the Celtics. I like the Nets at home there.

L.A. is still down Kawhi Leonard, but they’d have to be missing a lot more than that to keep me off of them against the lowly Rockets.

Washington is on fire right now (six wins in a row), so I won’t bet against them against a stripped-down OKC squad, either.

The Hornets are missing some key players, but I like them on Friday, too. They are still fighting to stay in the playoff mix, and Cleveland typically isn’t a team we need to shy away from.

Golden State will fight hard at home as they continue to shoot for a playoff spot of their own, but they can’t contain Nikola Jokic. I’d suspect the Nuggets get out alive in that battle.

Lastly, Portland could offer value at home against Memphis. Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic are back, and a 100% healthy Blazers team looks pretty scary.

NBA Upsets to Target on Friday

  • Hornets (-115)

This is a smaller slate, so don’t be too shocked if I’m not bending over backward to prop up NBA upset picks.

You should never bet on NBA underdogs just for the sake of doing so. I prefer to feel pretty strongly about upset picks, after all.

Charlotte isn’t technically an underdog here, but BetOnline does list this game as a true pick’em. So, in a sense, nobody is a favorite.

The Hornets are probably the favorite based on their -115 odds, but they’re the closest thing to an underdog that I feel comfortable with on this slate.

I have them winning as part of tonight’s NBA predictions, as they’re simply the better, more cohesive team right now.

That’s even with LaMelo Ball, and Gordon Hayward sidelined. Still, the team did just get back Devonte’ Graham, and they’re getting excellent production out of guys like Terry Rozier, Miles Bridges, and P.J. Washington.

Cleveland is getting healthy, but they play slow, and their offense can be very tough to trust. On the year, the Cavs are third-worst (24-34) against the spread, too, so I see very little reason to get cute and fade the Hornets at such a nice price.

Best NBA Bets for Friday, April 23rd

  • Thunder (+10) -110
  • Wizards vs. Thunder Over 230.5 (-110)
  • Clippers (-11.5) -105
  • Blazers to Win (N/A)
  • Nuggets (-3) -105

OKC will surely lose on Friday against a streaking Wizards team, but let’s not forget who Washington is. They’re a really fast, erratic team that relies on two dudes and plays next to zero defense.

The Thunder are bad, but it wouldn’t be that crazy to imagine them pulling off the upset, and keeping it within 10 points is even less daunting.

Whether you want to bite on that bet or not, you should feel good about this game hitting the Over. The Wizards run faster than anyone in the NBA, and they give up over 118 points per game.

Even sans Leonard, the Clippers are a pretty good bet to smoke the Rockets. Houston is dead last (19-40) against the spread.

The moneyline isn’t out, but the Blazers are 3.5-point favorites at home against Memphis. I think it’s a close game, so the spread isn’t super appealing.

However, the Blazers need to end a three-game skid, and they’re the better team. Based on the spread, their price should be pretty appealing.

Lastly, I like Denver to win, but I think you can get a slightly better price with their point spread.

Golden State can be pesky, but they’re just 13-22 ATS as underdogs this year. With no answer for Jokic inside, I side with the Nuggets.

Like these bets and ready to dive into Friday’s NBA betting slate? Head over to the best NBA mobile betting apps now to get in on the action.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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