Good morning, Pickswise Nation, and welcome to a fantastic Friday of sports. We have NBA and NHL slates tonight, plus FA Cup soccer and Australian Open tennis to enjoy, while the build-up continues to the NFL’s Conference Championship games, Let’s get straight to making your next bet better!
About Last Night
NBA parlay cashes at +612 odds
Our NBA parlay of Mavericks +1.5, Clippers -13 and over 226 in Knicks vs Celtics cashed comfortably on Thursday night. The Mavs beat the Suns outright, 99-95, the Clippers crushed the Spurs 138-100 and the Knicks-Celtics game went to overtime, where New York won 120-117. The Clippers pick was also our only 3-star play on the slate and gives us a 5-2 record with our last 7 NBA Best Bets.
Dominant NHL props run continues
It was another 2-0 night for our NHL player props, extending our red-hot run to 15-3 in our last 18 picks! The Lightning beat the Bruins 3-2 in the big game of the day.
Bruins upset by Trojans
Ranked teams Purdue, Arizona and Florida Atlantic all won on Thursday, but there was an upset as #8 UCLA lost 77-64 to USC.
Doubleheader on NBA TV
There’s just a 5-game slate in the NBA tonight, but there’s a doubleheader on NBA TV, which is showing Grizzlies vs Timberwolves at 7:30 pm ET and Raptors vs Warriors at 10:00 pm ET.
Red Wings vs Islanders on ESPN
We have a solid 8-game slate on the ice to sink our teeth into, featuring the Islanders hosting the Red Wings live on ESPN at 7:00 pm ET.
There’s soccer and tennis too
Two of the top EPL teams are in FA Cup soccer action today and you can read our soccer picks for Manchester City vs Arsenal (3:00 pm ET, ESPN+). Also, the Australian Open tennis has reached trophy time and red-hot tennis expert Ricky Dimon has 3 tennis picks for the women’s final between Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina.
Best Bet of the Day
NBA: Milwaukee Bucks -7.5 over Indiana Pacers
7:00 pm ET, Bally Sports
The Bucks have beaten the Pacers 9 times in a row overall and in 5 of the last 6 meetings at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. They have won 27 of their 36 games as favorites this season. The Pacers are 2-8 SU in their 10 games without Tyrese Haliburton this season and after ending a 6-game losing streak against Chicago, they reverted to losing at Orlando in their next game. They have covered the spread just once in 7 games and could also be without Myles Turner, who left the last game with an ankle injury.
Must-watch: Geoff Schwarz is today’s Let’s Bet It guest
NFL news: Panthers appoint Frank Reich as head coach
The NFL coaching carousel has been slow to crank into action since the end of the regular season, but we finally had an appointment on Thursday as the Carolina Panthers named former Colts coach Frank Reich as their new leader. The Broncos, Cardinals, Colts and Texans still have head coach vacancies.
Stat of the Day
The under has cashed 6 times in the last 7 games between the Grizzlies and Timberwolves.
Quote of the Day
“These guys believe in me, these guys trust in me to go out there and do what I do. And I wouldn’t be here without my teammates, my coaches.”
Donovan Mitchell was happy after being named as an NBA All-Star starter for the first time following his trade to Cleveland.