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NBA Three at 3: Best Bets for Friday, December 14

Published on 01/15/2022
By Zachary Cohen
Mavericks star Luka Doncic
Mavericks star Luka Doncic is looking to heat up in the second half of the year.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, NBA bettors will have nine games to try their luck on and one of them is a heavyweight battle between the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls on ESPN. After that, you'll then get the Memphis Grizzlies hosting the Dallas Mavericks on the same channel. It's a great night of hoops and we have you covered with our three best bets for the evening. 

1. Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers - The Sixers have covered in each of their last six games against the Celtics and they have to feel pretty good about this meeting tonight. Boston has won three games in a row coming into this game, but two of those victories were against Indiana and the other was against New York. This Celtics team has been a massive disappointment all season long, and it's hard to figure out how they will get the job done against the Sixers this evening. Philadelphia is really playing some good basketball right now, as the team had won seven in a row before losing to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday. Joel Embiid should be able to dominate this game for the Sixers, and Tyrese Maxey is going to be able to help him. With Marcus Smart out for the Celtics, the team really lacks the type of point-of-attack defender it needs on the perimeter against a guy like Maxey. He should be able to get to the rim with ease, which will make things rather simple on Philadelphia in this game. It's also worth noting that Boston is just 8-19 against the spread against division opponents this year. 

THE PICK: 76ers -3.5

2. Golden State Warriors at Chicago Bulls - The Warriors won't have their full lineup when they take on the Bulls tonight, as Klay Thompson will be resting on the second night of a back-to-back and Draymond Green is doubtful with a calf injury. Since December 18, the Warriors are 1-5 in games in which Green has been out and it's just painfully obvious how much Golden State needs him on both ends of the floor. The Warriors are the best defensive team in the league with Green, but they are mediocre — at best — without him. Last night, they were absolutely demolished by the Milwaukee Bucks, losing by 19 in Milwaukee. Now, Golden State has a tough matchup against a Chicago team that will be eager to get back in the win column after losing to the Brooklyn Nets. Against this version of the Warriors, guys like DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic should really be able to play well offensively. And on defense, Lonzo Ball will look to make things tough on Steph Curry. The Bulls are 11-3 against the spread this season when favored by 3.5 to 9.5 points. They've won those games by an average of 9.8 points per game. 

THE PICK: Bulls -2.5 

3. Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies - The Mavericks are 11-2 against the spread when coming off a game in which they scored 100 points or less this season. They're also 9-1 against the spread when coming off a road on the year, and they've won those games by an average of 8.4 points per game. This Dallas team generally tends to get back on track after playing poorly, and the team should be able to go out there and give Memphis a run for its money tonight. Sure, the Grizzlies are one of the hottest teams in basketball right now, but Dallas actually earned a 104-96 win over Memphis when the two teams met on December 8. The Mavericks were a 2.5-point road underdog in that game and they'll be hoping for a similar result here. Look for Luka Doncic to play a great game against the Grizzlies tonight, and the fact that Dillon Brooks is out should help Luka on both ends of the floor. He's a physical player that might have been able to bother Luka. 

THE PICK: Mavericks +2.5

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