Odds, picks, betting tips for Friday’s Game 6s

ESPN’s fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data, featuring ESPN’s proprietary Basketball Power Index (BPI) to help you make smart daily fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds for Friday, May 12, are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

What you need to know for Friday’s games

Friday features another duo of crucial close-out games. The eighth-seeded Miami Heat are positioned as 5.5-point favorites as they host the New York Knicks, while Los Angeles Lakers are just 2.5-point favorites with the reigning champion Golden State Warriors coming to town.

It’s become repetitive at this stage, but in staying faithful to value, Draymond Green continues to emerge as a top DFS starter in my model whenever his team is active. The premise is fairly simple; his unique ability to build diverse statistical lines affords him a relatively high floor for fantasy points, while his pricing (just $6,700 on DraftKings) remains modest. His teammate Andrew Wiggins is also intriguing given a recent upswing in offensive opportunities, but is questionable due to a rib injury sustained near the end of Game 5.

The top overall player of the slate for me is Anthony Davis, who thankfully avoided serious injury in the last game and actually registered his highest usage rate in that game since the series opener versus the Memphis Grizzlies.

In the matchup in Miami, Bam Adebayo is a solid play for both tournament lineups and for double-double props given his upswing in home production this postseason. Of the bargain tier, D’Angelo Russell and RJ Barrett make for sound complementary options. For this night of marquee matchups, there are some creative paths to building lineups and props tonight.

— Jim McCormick

Breaking down the slate

Records (Against the Spread)
Knicks: 47-35 (45-35-2)
Heat: 44-38 (30-49-3)

Line: Heat (-6) Total: 207.5
BPI Projection: Knicks by 4.3
Money Line: Knicks (210), Heat (-260)

Injury Report:
Knicks: Immanuel Quickley, (GTD – Ankle); Jericho Sims, (OUT – Shoulder)
Heat: Caleb Martin, (GTD – Back); Haywood Highsmith, (GTD – Knee); Jimmy Butler, (GTD – Ankle); Tyler Herro, (OUT – Hand); Victor Oladipo, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Heat -4.5 points. The Heat have the better defense and home-court advantage both working in their favor. They blew the Knicks out in Miami in Game 3 by a score of 105-86 and after what we saw happen to the Suns last night, a Heat blowout is not out of the question. Miami simply can’t afford to lose this game and I don’t think they will. And Erik Spoelstra should have a better plan for slowing down Jalen Brunson tonight. — Steve Alexander

Best bet: Jimmy Butler over 28.5 points. Jimmy Buckets burned me Wednesday when the Knicks won at home to force Game 6 in Miami and led the Heat with just 19 points. Prior to that dud, Butler scored 25, 28 and 27 points and this is going to be looked at as a must-win game for Miami in order to avoid a Game 7 in the Garden. In short, Butler is going to have to step up tonight and while I wish his total was more in the 26-point range, the entire state of Florida will be looking to Butler to put the team on his back and carry them to the ECF. And as we’ve seen, playoff Jimmy is a different guy than regular-season Jimmy. Hopefully, he’ll remind us of that with a monster game tonight. — Alexander

Records (Against the Spread)
Warriors: 44-38 (39-42-1)
Lakers: 43-39 (39-41-2)

Line: Lakers (-3) Total: 220
BPI Projection: Lakers by 3.5
Money Line: Warriors (122), Lakers (-145)

Injury Report:
Warriors: Andrew Wiggins, (GTD – Ribs); Patrick Baldwin Jr., (GTD – Toe); Andre Iguodala, (OUT – Wrist); Ryan Rollins, (OUT – Foot)
Lakers: Anthony Davis, (GTD – Head); LeBron James, (GTD – Foot); Mo Bamba, (GTD – Ankle)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Lakers -2.5 points. Anthony Davis avoided a concussion Wednesday and should be good to go, especially after playing just 32 minutes before leaving with the injury. LeBron James didn’t get as much rest as he probably should have (39 minutes), but he’s proven that he can still log big minutes and be effective despite being 38 years old. The Warriors have struggled on the road all season and the Lakers blew them out in Game 3 in L.A. before escaping with a three-point win in Game 4. The Lakers are still in control of this series with a 3-2 lead but the last thing they’ll want (or need) is to play a Game 7 on the road in front of a frenzied Warriors crowd. The Lakers have to finish this series out tonight and everyone should be relatively healthy. — Alexander

Best bet: Anthony Davis over 38.5 points + rebounds. Davis was fairly dominant Wednesday before the injury and finished with 23 points and nine rebounds before leaving Game 5 with a head injury. AD scored 30 points with 23 rebounds in Game 1 at Golden State and while he has yet to explode in either of his home games in this series, he’s averaging 24 points and 14 rebounds in them. And if the Lakers are going to close this series out tonight, Davis will have to have a big night. He’s due. — Alexander

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