Two NBA picks for Friday night: Best Bets for Nov. 18

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Philadelphia 76ers' Tyrese Maxey, right, celebrates with Joel Embiid after an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Friday, Nov. 18:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA, 76ers -1 over Bucks

The odds/bet: -110 ($33 to win $30)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Our take: A 7-7 team being favored over an 11-3 squad seems strange, but this is a case where you have dig deeper to understand the line.

Milwaukee will be without Jone Ingles (knee injury — out for season), Wes Matthews (hamstring) and Khris Middleton (wrist) on Friday night, and Jrue Holiday (ankle) is questionable. Even as great as Giannis Antetokounmpo is, he’ll need some help against a good defensive team like Philadelphia.

That brings us to the 76ers, who are better than their .500 record. All of their losses have come by 10 points or fewer, and they’ve rounded into better form over the past week or so. This is a good spot for them, getting a wounded Bucks team that doesn’t have to push players into action because they’ve already built up equity in the standings.

AN UNDERDOG IN NEW ORLEANS

The play: Pelicans money line over Celtics

The odds/bet: +120 ($10 to win $12)

The book: FanDuel

Our take: Speaking of the right spot, the Pelicans are in the middle of a long homestand and likely will get Zion Williamson (bruised foot) back after he missed two games midweek.

Even if he doesn’t, New Orleans has been shooting the ball well and has the pieces to compete with Boston’s strong defense, especially with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart out for this one. The key may be limiting Boston’s offense, which has put up at least 117 points in five straight games. But the Pelicans’ perimeter defense, led by Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado, tends to cool off hot teams.

We’ll take a chance on some plus odds in a game that won’t see the bright lights of national TV but is a matchup of two talented rosters that should play deep into the spring.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Thursday’s best bets

NFL: Titans +3.5 over Packers (WON $30)

NFL: Titans-Packers single-game parlay (LOST $11.10)

Thursday’s profit/loss: +$18.90 (1-1)

Total for the week: +$34.40 (4-4)

Total for November: +$202.20 (19-14)

Total for 2022: +$218.50 (298-320)

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, a $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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