Good morning, Pickswise Nation and welcome to a fantastic Friday of sports. We have a big NBA slate tonight, plus NHL, college basketball and FA Cup soccer to enjoy today, while NFL Week 18 is just one day away, so let’s get straight to making your next bet better!
About Last Night
NBA Best Bet cashes easily
There were only 4 NBA games on Thursday, but our handicappers found a great 3-star play on the Nuggets -5 against the Clippers as they stomped LA 122-91. There were also wins for the Grizzlies, Celtics and Jazz.
Perfect night for NHL props
There were some odd results in the NHL last night, but our props expert Ryan Hodges had a 2-0 night on hockey player props. The Hurricanes, Devils and Maple Leafs were all strong teams who suffered losses, although the Golden Knights and Bruins both added late 5-2 wins to boost their impressive records.
Purdue holds off Ohio State
#1 Purdue moved to 14-1 on the season with a 71-69 win over Ohio State in Thursday’s NCAAB action, while #2 Houston won far more comfortably, 87-53 over SMU.
Big slate in the NBA
There’s an 11-game slate in the NBA tonight, featuring Nets vs Pelicans at 7:30 pm ET on ESPN and Heat vs Suns at 10:00 pm ET on the same station.
6 games in the NHL
It’s a smaller slate in NHL today with 6 games, featuring Lightning vs Jets at 8:00pm ET and Islanders vs Flames at 9:00 pm ET.
There’s College hoops and soccer too
Stanford vs California is the top college basketball game today (9:00pm ET, ESPNU), and you can check out our coverage of today’s college basketball plus our soccer picks, which include a play for today’s Everton vs Manchester United FA Cup game (3:00pm ET, ESPN+).
Best Bet of the Day
NBA: Chicago Bulls ML vs Philadelphia 76ers
7:00pm ET, NBCS
After ending Brooklyn’s 12-game win streak, the Bulls now have an opportunity to end a long streak of their own. Chicago has lost the last 12 regular-season meetings with the Philadelphia 76ers, a streak that goes back all the way to the 2018-19 season. Joel Embiid is a perfect 12-0 against the Bulls, however he will not play in tonight’s game due to a foot injury that caused him to miss the Pacers game. The Sixers were able to pull that one out in front of the home fans in overtime, but they were pretty close to losing in regulation. This might be Chicago’s best chance of beating the Sixers in a while and after beating a surging Nets team, they should be up for the challenge.
In the news: Bills vs Bengals game cancelled
The NFL announced that the postponed Week 17 MNF game between the Bills and Bengals that was stopped in the first quarter due to the medical emergency of Bills safety Damar Hamlin will not be resumed or replayed. The teams will end the regular season having played 16 games each. The NFL has proposed that if that decision has a major impact on the playoff picture once the Week 18 slate has been played, the AFC Championship game could be played at a neutral site and home advantage for any Ravens vs Bengals playoff game could be decided by a coin flip.
The Week 18 edition of Pickswise Playbook, our weekly NFL preview show, is also available, featuring former NFL star Tank Williams, so be sure to check that out too!
Stat of the Day
The Clippers have won 7 of their last 9 games against the Timberwolves.