Here at SportsIntel we are always anxious to give you the hottest picks and parlay options  This Week’s NBA action consists of plenty of exciting matchups, and we have the pleasure this evening of having Matt de Saro break these down for us. Check out Matt’s latest breakdown and see for yourself if his handicapping skills are as good as he claims they are.

Here are Matt’s Picks for tonight’s NBA action

We start off the day with a look a the Pacers and Knicks game, tipping off at 7:30 ET at MSG.  There have been a lot of rumblings lately about how the Knicks are tanking recently, but I think the reason for their horrid record is even worse than that for NY fans.   They really are this bad. The Knickerbockers are currently 17 and 38 on the year, 8 and 19 at home, and are as close to an auto fade as we are going to find tonight.

The Pacers are dealing with their own set of problems, despite their 32-23 record on the year.  I thought that when Oladipo returned that he would light a fire under this team and they would make a big push toward the playoffs.  This, however, has not been the case as Indiana has gone just 2-6 since his return on January 29th.
While this is certainly worrisome, I just have to think the Knicks are that much worse.  5.5 points worse to be exact, as that is the spread for tonight’s game.  It is just too difficult to back a team like NY, who seems to find new and exciting ways to lose and lose badly, on a nightly basis.

Additionally, I am tempted by this total of 211.  Post-All-Star Break totals are always shaded ever so slightly to the under, and with Oladipo having extra time to reacclimate to daily player life, I think we could see him finally break out of his slump and help nudge this game over.  Indiana has played over the total in 8 of their previous 10 games and has also seen their  3-pt percentage on the road rise to just under 40% on the season.

Next up on our Friday betting card is the New Orleans Pelicans heading up to Portland to take on the Trailblazers.  The spread in this game is four points in favor of New Orleans with a full game total of 235.5.

Zion Williamson has been the biggest story out of New Orleans since his return to action. Who are we kidding, he is the biggest NBA story this team has had in years.  He is averaging 28 points per game which is even more amazing when you consider he is also averaging just 28 minutes. Turns out he might just be as special as we all hoped he would be.

The Trailblazers, meanwhile, will be without the services of their best player in Damian Lillard who is out with a groin injury.  This explains why New Orleans is a four-point favorite in this road game, as Lillard is in the seventh-ranked player in the league as far as efficiency goes.  Portland is in fact dealing with a number of injuries that have left this with CJ McCollum as their main scoring threat tonight.  While I would recommend a look at him in DFS formats, it’s just not enough for me to trust Portland in this spot.  The Pelicans are just too uptempo and high scoring of a team for Blazers to keep up with them with the healthy players they do have.  Let’s not forget, these teams just met before the ASG and the Pelicans beat Portland by over 20 points.  I’m happy to lay the Pelicans in this spot and watch them flirt with 130 points.

In fantasy new today we have one huge story to go over. News broke yesterday that the Nets’ Kyrie Irving will miss the remainder of the season for the Brooklyn after undergoing surgery on his shoulder.  This leaves a big spot open for Nets players to fill in some gaps and for you to do the same if your fantasy team is struggling.  If you need help down the stretch, take a look is Caris LeVert is still on your waiver wire.  I myself dropped him about two weeks ago and sure would like to have him back with his new scoring opportunities. Other roster able players to consider are Joe Harris and to a lesser extent, Jarrett Allen.
Also, as mentioned above, CJ McCollum could be a great addition to DFS teams until Lillard returns.  He has proven the ability to put up huge nights in games where Dame is out and tonight could be one such occasion.

That is all for us today, we wish you a good weekend and will be back next week for more free picks here at SportsIntel.com