Follow Or Fade The Public: Friday's NBA Games

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Warriors vs. Raptors (-2.5) 7:00 p.m. ET

It was only a couple of years ago when these two teams met in the NBA Finals, and now they are both fighting for a chance to make the playoffs. The Raptors are currently the 11th seed and two games back from making the play-in tournament. The Warriors are currently the 10th seed but only have a one-game lead on the Sacramento Kings. These two teams went from competing for the No. 1 seed to the bottom of the league. The public believes that the Warriors are the better bad team, as 56% of the bets are on Golden State. The Raptors are bad when they are fully healthy, and tonight they will be without Kyle Lowry, Rodney Hood, and Patrick McCaw. In their last 10 games, Toronto is 1-9 ATS, compared to Golden State, who are 4-1 ATS in their last 5. These are two teams who are very middle of the pack. The Raptors are 18th overall, and the Warriors are 17th overall. I am putting my belief in the better player, Steph Curry, but be mindful that if Steph doesn't play, these two NBA teams are putting out a bunch of G Leaguers. I'm following the public.  

The pick: Warriors +2.5

Update: Curry has been ruled out of tonight's game vs the Raptors.

Houston vs. Celtics (-9.5) 7:30 p.m. ET     

If you're a casual fan and don't follow the league, this game sounds like it should be amazing. However, the Rockets no longer have James Harden and aren't the Rockets they have been in the past. They have finally broken their twenty-game losing streak and are going against a struggling Celtics team. This Celtics team competed for Eastern Conference Finals, and now they're competing to stay above .500. This is a game in which the Celtics need to blow the Rockets out. The public agrees, as 54% of the bets are on Boston's spread. If you faded the Rockets in every game, you would've gone 32-15 ATS. The Celtics aren't much better, as their ATS record is 22-26. The Celtics are a better team though, and if they want to start competing, they need to start now. The Celtics are finally healthy compared to the beginning of the season when they had to deal with COVID. The Rockets aren't healthy, as Eric Gordon and John Wall are both not playing. The duo of Tatum and Brown will be too much to handle for this Rockets team, and that's why I'm following the public. 

The pick: Celtics -9.5

Knicks vs. Mavericks (-5.5) 7:30 p.m. ET    

The Knicks are one of the biggest surprises of this year since everybody thought that New York would be competing for the first lottery pick and not for a spot in the playoffs. They have exceeded everybody's expectations compared to the Mavericks, who have been a letdown. Luka Doncic just led Dallas to his first playoff appearance and was looking to build upon that. Instead, they are battling to keep themselves in the playoff race, as they currently sit at the 7th seed. I'm not going to pick a team, but instead look at the total, which sits at 213.5. The public is rooting for points, as 68% of the bets are on the over. The under for the Mavericks has gone 26-20, and it's even better for the Knicks, as the under has gone 30-18. RJ Barrett, the 2nd leading scorer for the Knicks, is questionable for tonight's game with a high ankle sprain. Without him, the Knicks will have a hard time scoring since he scores 17.5 ppg and has 3.1 assists a night. There's a reason why betting the under has been great for the Knicks: they are 3rd in defense rating and have a lousy offense with a 23rd offensive rating. They are also dead last in the league for pace to go along with their bad offense and great defense. Even though Dallas has one of the best young players in Luka, they are in the bottom half of the league for points per game, ranked 17th. This is why I'm fading the public.  

The pick: Under 213.5 points