NBA Best Bets Today (Expert Predictions, Picks for NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play)

How to bet on Friday's NBA In-Season Tournament play
Nov 1, 2023; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) drives to the
Nov 1, 2023; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) drives to the / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA's first night of In-Season Tournament play is on Friday with seven games on the docket.

This is the first of several group stage slates for The Association with some big time matchups, including the Golden State Warriors traveling to Oklahoma City to face the upstart Thunder, who will look to stay competitive without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is nursing a knee injury.

This best bets article is going to attack that game as well as the only winless team left in the NBA, Memphis Grizzlies as the team travels to Portland to face the Trail Blazers and a player prop on Ben Simmons, who has been stuffing the stat sheet for the Brooklyn Nets this season.

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NBA Best Bets Today

  • Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors UNDER 227
  • Memphis Grizzlies -3.5 vs. Portland Trail Blazers
  • Ben Simmons OVER 16.5 Rebounds and Assists

Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction and Pick

The Thunder blew a 20-point first half lead in a loss on Wednesday to the Pelicans, and now won't have its best player in SGA on Friday night to start In-Season Tournament play.

However, I believe the likes of Josh Giddey and Chet Holmgren can lift the team up and put in a defensive effort. It's an incredibly small sample, but the Thunder offense falls off a cliff with SGA off the floor (duh), the team goes from scoring 115.5 points per 100 possessions to 98.6 when he is on the bench.

The MVP candidate has been a monster on offense and takes up a ton of usage, but his defense isn't all that impactful. The Thunder go from allowing 110.3 points per 100 possessions to 113.3 points per 100 possessions, a slight drop-off. However, the team's improving its effective field goal percentage from 52% allowed to 49% when SGA sits.

I believe the Thunder look to lean on its defense against a Warriors team that is potent on offense, but is playing at a bottom 10 pace and locking up on defense, top five in defensive rating through the early parts of the season.

This total is a touch too high with the Thunder set to take a big step back on offense, I'll go under.


Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers Prediction and Pick

The Grizzlies are the last winless team in the NBA, a stunning fall from grace for a Western Conference contender that is dealing with a host of injuries and suspensions.

However, the team will be 1-0 straight up and against the spread in In-Season play on Friday night.

These are the two worst teams in terms of offensive rating so far this season, but I believe that the Grizzlies are owed some shooting regression. Opponents are shooting 43% from beyond the arc against Memphis through five games, a number that can't keep up as the season continues.

While I'm not sure that this Grizz offense will turn it into high gear so quickly, I do trust this defense to round into form with the likes of Marcus Smart, Desmond Bane and reigning Defensive Player of the Year against a Trail Blazers team that is lacking an identity as well in the early stages of its rebuild.

Portland is 28th in effective field goal percentage and turnover percentage. I think we are getting a break on the price for the Girzz, who just closed as a two-point road underdog against the Jazz, to win by two buckets.

PICK: Grizzlies -3.5

Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction and Pick

As a die-hard Brooklyn Nets fan that also has an affinity for betting on sports, I bet on a Nets player prop for every game. They are all overs because I'm a fan and want to root for my team, but am looking to find an edge on what I'm watching.

For Friday against the Bulls, I expect Ben Simmons to keep up his fine play for the Nets as a point-center with the team down its lone playable big man in Nicolas Claxton.

As noted above, the Bulls are bottom 10 in terms of rebound percentage and defensive rating, setting up well for Simmons to crash the glass and create opportunities for his teammates. He has cleared this number in three of four games this season and I believe this matchup sets up for him to go over yet again.

PICK: Ben Simmons OVER 16.5 Rebounds and Assists

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!