High flying Indiana are on a two game skid but welcome back Danny Granger for the visit of Houston.
This should help get the Pacers back on track, while wins for Brooklyn and Minnesota complete an NBA treble paying out at just under 3/1.
Backing Indiana (20-5) at home has been largely pointless this season with the Pacers offering little value to all but the highest rollers.
However, after a two game skid in the NBA the Eastern Conference leaders offer better returns than they have in a while as 5/12 favourites for the visit of Houston (17-9).
Granger’s return could provide the hosts with just the inspiration they need for a return to winning ways and with the Rockets 2-7 from nine meetings with Frank Vogel’s side confidence has to be placed in the Banker’s Life Fieldhouse outfit.
Jeremy Lin is bordering on a return for the visitors and while that would serve the Rockets with a boost of their own, a court-rusty Lin is still unlikely to prevent a fourth straight loss against the Pacers.
Seeing Minnesota (13-13) as odds-on favourites for a visit to the Staples Center tells you all you need to know about how the Lakers’ (12-13) season is shaping up.
The Timberwolves are outscoring the Lakers by an average of five ppg and will take confidence from the host’s 2-4 record from their last six games.
Minnesota have won just once in 22 meetings with LA but should be backed to improve that record by one on Friday night.
Just as LA’s season looked to be turning round – with the long-awaited return of Kobe Bryant – they lost their star man again for another six weeks.
Kobe’s knee troubles, coupled with the ongoing absence of Steve Nash, will see the T’Wolves – who boast an in-form Kevin Love among their ranks – pumped up for a rare victory in California.
Brooklyn (9-16) are 2-5 from seven on the road and far from firing on all cylinders. However, the Nets are taken to cover the spread by virtue of Philadelphia’s woeful form and their recent thrashing of the 76ers.
Jason Kidd’s side ran out 130-94 winners when Philly went to the Barclays Center on Monday (December 16th) and the 76ers are now staring at an eight-game losing streak for the first time in four years.
Michael Carter-Williams could possibly return for Philly, but again a lack of playing time for the guard means he is unlikely to be able to influence the result.
And, with Brooklyn giving up 10 points fewer than their rivals on average this season, it makes sense that the Nets will pick up a fifth win in seven games – even with the handicap.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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