BY GEORGE! I THINK HE'S GOT IT
It didn't take Paul George long to find his form since making his debut for the Los Angeles Clippers. After missing the start of the schedule, George has averaged 28.3 points over his first four outings, including 25 points, eight assists and five rebounds in a win over Boston Wednesday. He and the Clippers have a huge showdown in store Friday night, giving five points to the visiting Houston Rockets.
George has dished out an average of 4.8 assists in his first four games, and while that's a small sample size it happens to be a career high in dimes from the small forward, who averaged 4.1 assists while with Oklahoma City last season. Houston will likely turn its attention to slowing down the Clippers' stars and risk the role players doing damage on the offensive end. That means plenty of double teams on George, who will be more apt to swing the ball and find cutters in space. Take the Over on his assist total of 4.5 tonight.
FEEL THE STING
The highest Over/Under total of the night is set for Charlotte Hornets at Washington Wizards, with the number as high as 235 points.
The Hornets are surrendering 112.8 points a game and will struggle to slow down the Association's highest-scoring offensive, with Washington putting up an average 119.7 points per night. Although the Wizards have been able to find offensive success, they’ve been bad on the other end of the court and are giving up a league-high 126.8 points on their home court with opponents shooting 49.8 percent from the field.
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Expect a big night out of Charlotte's Devonte' Graham, who is scoring 18.2 points per outing on 40.4 percent shooting from the floor and 41.4 percent from beyond the arc. Bet Over his points total of 17.5.
The Detroit Pistons are 6-point home favorites hosting the Atlanta Hawks. The last time these two teams met on October 24, Atlanta pulled off the minor road upset, winning 117-100 and shot 51.2 percent from the floor while holding the Pistons to just 41.2 percent shooting.
Both teams are struggling, with just two wins a piece in their last 10 games respectively. Expect Detroit to take advantage of a porous Hawks defense, ranked 26th in holding opponents to 116.9 points a game overall and 122.4 on the road. Bet Over Detroit's team total of 114.5.
TAKE THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD
The Lakers have won nine of their last 10 games and are. 4-point road favorites in Oklahoma City Friday night.
The L.A. defense ranks second in opponent points per game with 101.1 while holding opponents to 42.7 percent shooting from the floor. Los Angeles has held three of its most recent four opponents to 105 points or less (including two under 100).
Give the edge to the Lakers defense as it comes away with another road victory covering the spread as a 4-point favorite.
NO SMALL TASK
The Spurs only have one win in their last 10 games and hope to snap an eight-game losing streak as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers (-7.5) Friday. Philadelphia has won five straight home contests while holding opponents to 105 points or less in three of its last five outings overall. The Spurs can score points, averaging 113.5 a contest, but defense is the issue, surrendering 116.2 points per game on 47.9 percent shooting.
With Josh Richardson questionable with a hip injury and the Spurs particularly poor at defending opposing small forwards, expect a big game out of Sixers SF Tobias Harris. The Spurs defense is surrendering 24.2 points on 48.6 percent shooting and 8.7 boards to rival small forwards to start 2019. Bet Over Harris' points, rebounds, assists total of 26.5.
The Denver Nuggets are 4.5-point home favorites versus the Boston Celtics tonight, fresh off ending Houston's eight-game winning streak Wednesday night. The Celtics are coming off a hard-fought battle versus the Clippers, in which they narrowly pulled off the road upset.
A low-scoring game is projected with the Nuggets surrendering only 102.1 points per contest on their home court, and Boston putting up only 101 average points away from the Garden. With the Celtics holding a cold hand, shooting just 40.7 percent over their three most recent games, expect those offensive struggles to continue versus a tough Nuggets defense. Bet Under the Celtics’ team total of 101.5.