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Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig (3) shoots in front of Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig (3) shoots in front of Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)|Associated Press
NBA

NBA Friday: Greg Frank picks the Sixers vs Nuggets and Heat vs Lakers

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

0-1 Thursday, 14-12-1 overall.

Sixers (+5) @ Nuggets (218)

Pick: Nuggets -5

It’s a tough spot for the Sixers tonight in the Mile High City. They finish up a west coast trip with the 5-2 Nuggets. Denver has been one of the NBA’s better home court advantages dating back to the beginning of last year with the Nuggets covering the spread at just below a 58% clip, a rate bested only by Sacramento in the Western Conference. Ben Simmons’ shoulder injury doesn’t appear to be serious for Philly, but he won’t go in this one as the road trip concludes. Denver turned in its best performance of the young season earlier this week blowing out Miami 109-89. The Sixers have now lost back-to-back games after a 5-0 start and I question if they’ll come with the same fight they did to start this road trip in Portland when they made a massive comeback in the second half. If Philly gets behind, expect the Sixers to mail in the fourth quarter and get ready to come back home. If that’s the case, five points won’t matter. Take Denver.

Heat (+8.5) @ Lakers (217.5)

Pick: Under 217.5

Both these teams have gotten off to good starts and have been covering spreads at a good clip. Miami comes in at 6-1-1 ATS and the Lakers are 5-2 against the number. ATS records often regress to the mean, but it’s difficult to say whose ATS record will regress first here. It might seem easy to run to the window with Miami catching all those points with the way the Heat have started the season. However, it’s the second night of a back-to-back for the Heat which makes the handicap a little more difficult as far as the side is concerned. It’s a steep number to lay with the Lakers, but like the Sixers, Miami finishes a west coast trip tonight before hosting Detroit on Tuesday. I’d bank on the Heat wearing down in the second half and having to grind one out defensively to have a chance. Only twice in eight games so far has Miami allowed more than 108 points. Considering we don’t expect the Heat to score as much tonight, under the total feels like a safe wager.

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