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Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside (21) interrupts a shot by New York Knicks guard Reggie Bullock (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020.
Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside (21) interrupts a shot by New York Knicks guard Reggie Bullock (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020.|Kathy Willens | Associated Press
NBA

NBA Friday: Greg Frank picks Heat vs Magic and Knicks vs Suns — is it safe to bet on New York now?

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

0-2 Thursday, 61-60-1 overall.

Heat (-2) @ Magic (208)

Pick: Under 208

Miami stays in Florida for the second leg of a back-to-back on Friday after defeating Toronto on at home last night. While it is simply an educated guess, which is basically what all bets are, our hunch is that taking unders involving teams on back-to-backs will be particularly profitable in the month of January. In the dog days of winter, especially before the All-Star Break, we think we’ll see the physical toll of a back-to-back kick in. Additionally, Orlando does not score much at all as the Magic are last in the NBA in points per game. The Magic have won low-scoring games against Eastern Conference contenders Philadelphia and Toronto this year and they’ll have to do the same on Friday with the Heat coming to town. The side is tricky as this game should be tight the whole way, but I don’t think the winner scores 100.

Knicks (+6.5) @ Suns (225)

Pick: Suns -6.5

This line jumped off the screen to me this morning when I looked at today’s NBA card. The Knicks are actually playing well recently having gone 6-4 in their last 10 and covering the spread in 7 of those 10 games. Phoenix has been a mess of late having won just two of its last 10 and the Suns are now down to 13-21 entering tonight’s game after a promising first month of 2019-2020. So why are the Suns favored by 6.5 here? I’m not entirely sure but this certainly feels like a trap that’s begging you to take the Knicks. While New York has been playing better, the Knicks are definitely not a team you should ever feel super confident wagering on and so when they feel this easy, there’s probably more to it than that.

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