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Sean B’s Best NBA Bets Today: Free Expert Betting Picks | Friday 4/8/22

Sean Blazek

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The home teams cleaned up on Thursday going 7-0 straight up. There are three days left in the regular season and games are becoming more challenging to analyze with all the adjusted rosters. The race is tight in both conferences and seeding is still to be decided for several teams. Friday kicks off the weekend with nine games scheduled across the league. Let’s dive into the best NBA bets today, picks and NBA betting tips for Friday, April 8.

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Best NBA Bets Today: Game Tips & Betting Predictions

Cavaliers vs. Nets Best Bet

The Cleveland Cavaliers make their final road trip of the season to take on the Nets in Brooklyn. The Cavaliers have dealt with a myriad of injuries throughout the season but have still managed to hang onto the 7th seed and clinch a play-in opportunity. As of today, these two teams would be facing off in the Nos. 7/8 seeds play-in game, with Cleveland holding a one-game lead over the Nets. The Nets lead the season series 2-1, so a win by Brooklyn gives the Nets the tiebreaker over the Cavaliers if they were to finish with the same record.

The Cavaliers have struggled over the last two weeks, losing seven of their last nine games. Cleveland’s loss to the Magic in their previous contest was troubling, seeing the Cavaliers’ inability to defend one of the NBA’s worst offenses in Orlando. The absence of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley has proven to be a dagger to the team’s production and a momentum killer after a hot start to the season. Mobley has missed the last five games with an ankle injury and Allen has been shut down for the last 16 games with a broken finger. Mobley will be a game-time decision as the team will see how his ankle responds to practice on Thursday and the Friday morning shootaround. The Cavaliers are averaging 107.4 points on 46.8% shooting and allowing 105.2 points to opponents. Cleveland’s defense has struggled without their two main rim protectors. They rank 22nd in defensive rating over the last 10 games, allowing opponents to score an average of 114 points per game.

The Nets are coming off a sweet comeback victory over the Knicks after erasing a 21-point first-half deficit to win 110-98. Brooklyn finishes their season off with a two-game homestand starting with the Cavaliers on Friday. With only two games left in the regular season, Brooklyn, Atlanta and Charlotte are all battling for positioning in the eighth, ninth and 10th spots. Seth Curry (ankle) is probable and Goran Dragic (COVID 19) has been ruled out for Friday. Kyrie Irving will be facing off against his former team for the ninth time in his career. Irving is averaging 24.9 points in his career vs. Cleveland. Irving and Kevin Durant have been putting on a show for their fan base night in and night out. The two are combining for an average of 57.4 points per game on the season. It is tough to compare the Nets’ offense capabilities to their season averages since Durant and Irving have only played in 15 games together this season. In the last 10 games, the Nets are averaging over 117 points per game.

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This game has direct play-in game implications, and it is honestly tough to trust either team to cover the spread as of late. Brooklyn is 8-30-1 against the spread at home, while Cleveland is 2-8 against the spread over their last 10 games. The Nets have issues defensively, but they are still the more talented team. The Cavaliers are averaging 229 combined points in their last five games, while the Nets are averaging 232 combined points over their last five games. Cleveland is cashing the under in 55.1% of their games this season, while Brooklyn is cashing the under in 56.4% of their home games. If Irving and Durant get off to a hot start at home, it could be an uphill battle for Cleveland. Despite the line movement, it is hard to trust Cleveland’s offense to push this one over the total. Back the under in tonight’s matchup.

Best NBA Bet for Today’s Game: Total Under 232.5 Points

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Hornets vs. Bulls Best Bet

Chicago will host the Charlotte Hornets in an Eastern Conference showdown inside the United Center on Friday night. The last time these two teams faced off, the Bulls won 121-109. The Bulls have slipped to the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference after going 4-6 in their last 10 games. They will need to win this game to avoid the play-in tournament. The Charlotte Hornets are currently in the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference standings. They will need to win their final two games if they want any chance at moving up in the standings. The Hornets will need to be better on the defensive end of the floor in this one if they wish to come out victorious. Their defense let up 144 points in back-to-back games against the Heat and 76ers prior to last night’s game vs. the Magic.

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The Hornets have no trouble scoring the ball, ranking fifth in the league and averaging 114.8 points per game. Their scoring numbers increase when playing on the road, averaging 116.8 points this season. They also have the ninth-highest 3-point shooting percentage in the league. Miles Bridges is averaging 20.3 points and 3.8 assists, while LaMelo Ball is averaging 19.9 points and 6.7 rebounds. Charlotte loves to push the pace and does not care who scores the buckets. It is on the defensive end of the floor where the Hornets need improvement. Charlotte ranks 28th in the league, allowing 115.1 points per game to opponents and shooting 46.6% from the floor.

The Chicago Bulls continue to get crushed by top-tier Eastern Conference teams, but feast on the weaker defenses. Chicago has lost three straight games at home by double digits to the top three teams in the East (Boston, Milwaukee, Miami). Fortunately for them, the Hornets rank 24th in defensive rating and prefer to push the pace, forcing teams to beat them on the offensive end of the floor. The Bulls love to take mid-range shots and have the third-highest shooting percentage in the league. The Bulls also have the fifth-highest 3-point shooting percentage in the NBA. They will look to bounce back and win their final regular-season home game in an effort to build some momentum heading into the playoffs. Lonzo Ball hit a setback with his knee recovering and was ruled out for the remainder of the season. Alex Caruso (back) is questionable for tonight’s contest after missing their last game due to a back bruise. Both Ball and Caruso are leaders on the defensive end of the floor and their absence leaves room for the Hornets to take advantage.

It is a battle of two top-tier offensive teams with bottom 10 defenses, a good combo for an over. Charlotte is 5-1 over/under in their last six road games and 8-6 over/under on no rest. Chicago is 21-18-1 over/under at home this season. These two teams combined for 230 and 250 in their two matchups this season. One thing to be cautious about is that Chicago could have a lack of motivation with them locked into the sixth seed, so there is a chance the Bulls rest some players for this contest. There are no indications at the moment of this happening, but something to be prepared for. It is not the worst idea to wait until lineups are confirmed for Chicago, but it may cost you an extra point or so. Ride the over with confidence in Friday’s contest.

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Best NBA Bet for Today’s Game: Total Over 234 Points

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Sean Blazek (aka SweatBets) has contributed to Awesemo since November 2021 and is currently an NBA Betting Content Creator. His articles can be found on Awesemo as well as OddsShopper under the NBA Betting Articles section. Sean has a knack for identifying value in spreads and totals using an analytical approach to find his Best Bets. Follow him on Twitter @SweatBets and get ready to cash.

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