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Smart Money NBA Picks For Friday 4/16/2021 Action

April 16, 2021by Mike O'Connor0
BasketballBest BetsFeaturedNBA

Smart Money NBA Picks For Friday 4/16/2021 Action

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Smart Money NBA Picks For Friday 4/16/2021 Action: Jimmy Butler - Miami Heat @ Minnesota Timberwolves

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Mike’s Twitter: @MOConnor_NBA

Two steps forward, one step back. After two straight solid performances, I slid back into a 2-4 performance last week. Not to be worried, though: this week is the one that we get back in the winning column. We’ve got a great slate of NBA games to pick from tonight, and here are the lines that have caught my eye.

Smart Money NBA Betting Picks for Tonight’s Action

Miami Heat @ Minnesota Timberwolves: Heat -6.5 (-110)

The story of the Heat’s season this year has been that they take care of business against bad teams, but tend to struggle against teams with winning records. Here in this game, I like the circumstances for Miami – coming off of a loss against Phoenix, going against a bad team, with Jimmy Butler’s Timberwolves history underlying all of it. My bet here is that we’ll see a fully engaged Butler, and it’ll lead to a big Miami win. I also like the Heat’s ability to match up with the Timberwolves defensively. Bam Adebayo is a good matchup for Karl-Anthony Towns, Butler can match up with Anthony Edwards, etc. When Minnesota wins games, it tends to be because one of those two guys went nuts. So take the Miami Heat to cover on this one against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Portland Trail Blazers @ San Antonio Spurs: Blazers -2.5 (-110)

The Blazers have dropped two straight, and my thinking here is that their losing streak has to end tonight. Portland is fully healthy for the first time all season. In addition, the Spurs have been stumbling a bit lately after a strong start to the season. With Portland’s firepower plus their desire to end their losing streak, I’m expecting a blowout win on their part. The key for Portland will be containing DeMar DeRozan. Robert Covington has a bad history against him, so they may have to rely more heavily on Norman Powell to keep him in check. Even if DeRozan pops off for a big night, though, I still like Portland’s chances to cover 2.5 points here.

Denver Nuggets @ Houston Rockets: Nuggets -8 (-120)

In spite of the fact that Denver just lost Jamal Murray, I still think they can continue their strong play of late and ride Nikola Jokić for the rest of the season. In this specific matchup, I think Vegas is dinging the Nuggets a bit too much for having lost Murray. The Nuggets are still a very good team, and the Rockets are abjectly miserable. In this game, we have the league’s fourth-best offense (Denver) going against the league’s fifth-worst defense (Houston). I see no way that the Nuggets don't put up major points against Houston’s porous defense. Jokić will be able to overpower Christian Wood and Kelly Olynyk, and on the other end of the floor, I expect Aaron Gordon to help stifle the Rockets’ pick-and-roll attack when matched up with Wood. Simply put, the Rockets are a miserable, tanking team, and I always feel relatively safe betting against them. William Hill RF500 - 728x90

Memphis Grizzlies @ Chicago Bulls: Grizzlies -4 (+100)

Without Zach LaVine, I struggle to see where the Bulls get the offense to compete in this one. In Jonas Valančiūnas, the Grizzlies have a strong defensive presence to match up with Nikola Vučević. And the rest of the Bulls’ options are simply unqualified to carry the load – are Tomáš Satoranský and Denzel Valentine going to replace LaVine’s scoring punch? Chicago has been in a tailspin of late, having dropped four in a row including an 11-point loss to these Grizzlies on Monday WITH LaVine. So my thinking here is simply that Chicago continues to struggle, LaVine’s absence plagues them offensively, and Memphis takes care of business after a crushing loss to Dallas two nights ago.

Top Player Props for Tonight’s NBA Action

Miami Heat @ Minnesota Timberwolves: Jimmy Butler Over 35.5 Points/Rebounds/Assists (-106)

As usual, I like to double down with one player prop for a team who I bet on. Here, I’m betting on Jimmy Butler’s pettiness to carry him to a monster performance against his former team. That, and the fact that Minnesota is the fourth-worst defensive team in the league. On the season, Butler is averaging exactly 35.5 combined points, rebounds, and assists. I have very little doubt that he can surpass that in a game against an organization that he isn’t the biggest fan of.

New York Knicks @ Dallas Mavericks: Julius Randle Over 23.5 Points (-113)

Dallas’s interior defense is simply not very good. And even with Kristaps Porziņģis back in the lineup, I don’t see how they match up with Julius Randle one-on-one. Randle will be able to bowl through whoever they put on him in the post, and he should also be able to feast on the offensive glass. Randle is also from Dallas, so he could perhaps be extra motivated to play in front of his family and friends. There is no shortage of reasons to take the over here.

Mike’s Year to Date Record: 24-42

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