Friday night’s NBA slate features seven games, including a potential NBA Finals preview as the Denver Nuggets visit the Boston Celtics. This is the game I’m looking forward to the most. The Celtics have been on a hot streak, with four wins in their past five games, and boast an impressive 20-game home winning streak. The Nuggets hit a bump in the road with a loss to the 76ers on Tuesday, halting their two-game win streak. Now all eyes are on Nikola Jokic. Can he bounce back after Joel Embiid stole the spotlight?

Let’s get into my recommendations for Friday.

Moody’s favorite plays for Friday

Nikola Jokic over 25.5 points. The Nuggets are 7.5-point underdogs on the road against Boston. Jokic should be eager to help his team get a win after losing to the 76ers on Tuesday night. Jokic has scored 25 or more points in four consecutive games and has had great success against Kristaps Porzingis in the past, averaging 30.3 points per game in his past four games against Porzingis.

Joel Embiid over 50.5 points, rebounds and assists. Embiid has surpassed this line in two consecutive games. Orlando ranks fourth in points allowed per 100 possessions, but Embiid is talented enough to deliver another outstanding performance. He has averaged 31.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in his past six games against the Magic. Embiid also has a chance to join elite company Friday night. He has scored at least 30 points in 18 consecutive games, tying Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor for the sixth-longest streak in league history.

Grayson Allen over 19.5 points, rebounds and assists. Allen has gone over this number in two straight games. He has carved out a defined role in the Suns’ rotation and commands minutes (33.4 MPG) alongside Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal. Phoenix has benefited from his tough defense as well as his clutch shooting from beyond the arc. Allen should be busy against New Orleans. The Pelicans’ defense has given up the fourth-most assists per game and fourth-most triples to shooting guards this season.

CJ McCollum over 23.5 points and assists. McCollum has cleared this line in three of his past five games and has had success against the Suns since last year, averaging 22.8 points and 7.3 assists per game in his past four games against Phoenix. The game has a total of 237.5 points, and McCollum gets the benefit of playing at home.

LaMelo Ball over 33.5 points and assists. Since returning from a lengthy absence, Ball has averaged 26.0 points and 5.6 assists per game. The Spurs have given up the most points per game and seventh-most assists per game to point guards this season. San Antonio will also be without talented rookie Victor Wembanyama, who has been ruled out for Friday’s game.


Daily lines, BPI projections and injury reports

Odds provided by ESPN BET. Basketball Power Index by ESPN Analytics. Injury aggregation by Rotowire.com.


San Antonio Spurs at Charlotte Hornets

7 p.m. Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC


Records (Against the Spread)
Spurs: 7-33 (17-22-1)
Hornets: 8-30 (14-24-0)

Line: Hornets (-4.5) Total: 235.5
Money Line: Spurs (+150), Hornets (-175)
BPI Projection: Hornets by 1.9, straight up 57%, 235.8 total points.

Injury Report:
Spurs: Zach Collins, (GTD – Ankle); Sidy Cissoko, (OUT – Ankle)
Hornets: Brandon Miller, (GTD – Back); Bryce McGowens, (GTD – Hip); Gordon Hayward, (OUT – Calf)


Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic
7 p.m. Amway Center, Orlando


Records (Against the Spread)
76ers: 26-13 (26-13-0)
Magic: 22-19 (27-14-0)

Line: 76ers (-5.5) Total: 222.5
Money Line: 76ers (-220), Magic (+190)
BPI Projection: 76ers by 5.7, straight up 70%, 224.6 total points.

Injury Report:
76ers: Jaden Springer, (GTD – Ankle); Kenneth Lofton Jr., (GTD – Shoulder); De’Anthony Melton, (OUT – Back); Robert Covington, (OUT – Knee)
Magic: Franz Wagner, (OUT – Ankle); Gary Harris, (OUT – Calf)


Denver Nuggets at Boston Celtics
7:30 p.m. TD Garden, Boston


Records (Against the Spread)
Nuggets: 28-14 (18-23-1)
Celtics: 32-9 (21-18-2)

Line: Celtics (-7.5) Total: 234.5
Money Line: Nuggets (+220), Celtics (-270)
BPI Projection: Celtics by 6.9, straight up 74%, 232.4 total points.

Injury Report:
Nuggets: Aaron Gordon, (GTD – Shoulder); Julian Strawther, (OUT – Knee); Vlatko Cancar, (OUT – Knee)
Celtics: None reported


Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat
8 p.m. Kaseya Center, Miami


Records (Against the Spread)
Hawks: 17-23 (10-30-0)
Heat: 24-17 (19-21-1)

Line: Heat (-6.5) Total: 227.5
Money Line: Hawks (+200), Heat (-240)
BPI Projection: Heat by 5.4, straight up 69%, 227.7 total points.

Injury Report:
Hawks: Vit Krejci, (OUT – Shoulder); Wesley Matthews, (OUT – Calf); Mouhamed Gueye, (OUT – Back)
Heat: Jaime Jaquez Jr., (GTD – Groin); Dru Smith, (OUT – Knee)


Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans
8 p.m. Smoothie King Center, New Orleans


Records (Against the Spread)
Suns: 22-18 (14-25-1)
Pelicans: 25-17 (24-17-1)

Line: Pelicans (-1.5) Total: 237.5
Money Line: Suns (+105), Pelicans (-125)
BPI Projection: Pelicans by 6.4, straight up 72%, 237.4 total points.

Injury Report:
Suns: Damion Lee, (OUT – Knee)
Pelicans: Dereon Seabron, (GTD – Undisclosed); Matt Ryan, (OUT – Elbow)


Indiana Pacers at Portland Trail Blazers
10 p.m. Moda Center, Portland


Records (Against the Spread)
Pacers: 24-17 (24-16-1)
Blazers: 11-29 (18-22-0)

Line: Pacers (-5.5) Total: 238.5
Money Line: Pacers (-200), Blazers (+170)
BPI Projection: Pacers by 5.1, straight up 67%, 234.2 total points.

Injury Report:
Pacers: Aaron Nesmith, (GTD – Lower Leg); Andrew Nembhard, (GTD – Back); Isaiah Jackson, (GTD – Head); Pascal Siakam, (GTD – Not Injury Related); Tyrese Haliburton, (GTD – Hamstring)
Blazers: Shaedon Sharpe, (OUT – Abdomen)


Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers
10:30 p.m. Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles


Records (Against the Spread)
Nets: 16-24 (19-19-2)
Lakers: 21-21 (18-24-0)

Line: Lakers (-7.5) Total: 227.5
Money Line: Nets (+230), Lakers (-280)
BPI Projection: Lakers by 3.4, straight up 62%, 226.6 total points.

Injury Report:
Nets: Mikal Bridges, (GTD – Lower Leg); Ben Simmons, (OUT – Back); Dariq Whitehead, (OUT – Lower Leg)
Lakers: LeBron James, (GTD – Ankle); Cam Reddish, (OUT – Knee); Gabe Vincent, (OUT – Knee)

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