There are just a couple of days left in the 2022 NBA regular season; teams are queuing up for the postseason, some with their positions already consolidated, while others are trying to improve their standing in the conference.
The Miami Heat locked up the top spot in the East a couple of days ago. They joined the Phoenix Suns as the top dogs in their respective conferences. All eight teams competing in the play-in tournament have been decided. But their route to the real bracket is still up in the air.
Here are the best bets for the final Friday night in the 2022 NBA regular season.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Detroit Pistons +5
The Milwaukee Bucks are playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Although they still need to win to hold onto a better seed, they are unlikely to play their stars for heavy minutes and risk them getting injured ahead of a long playoff push.
On the other side, the Detroit Pistons have been playing solid basketball as of late. They are stacking more wins than they did during the first half of the season. They are also remaining competitive in their losses.
Cade Cunningham has gotten better as the season has progressed. He will enjoy the opportunity to play a high-profile team and potentially deal them an important blow.
Assuming the Bucks’ main men do not sit the entire game, they still have a very strong chance of pulling out the final result in the closing minutes. However, the Pistons should find success against the spread on a night where Milwaukee will be out of touch.
Atlanta Hawks -1 vs Miami Heat
The Miami Heat, unlike the other contenders in the East, have solidified their spot as the number-one seed in the conference. This means that there is a decent chance their impact players do not feature for very long, if at all.
Atlanta is also not as bad as everyone thinks, even if they did not manage to earn the fifth seed like they did last season. Trae Young has also been playing spectacularly well as of late. Now that he is going against a mentally compromised team with nothing to play for, he should be able to find a way to lead his team to a road victory.
Houston Rockets +11 vs Toronto Raptors
The Houston Rockets’ backcourt of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. has been posting extremely impressive numbers lately. While many teams around the league are in cruise control until the playoffs, they will be itching to ball out in one of their few remaining games in the season.
Toronto is on the second night of a back-to-back. They will not love having to play at the rapid pace the Rockets typically operate at. Especially after a long duel with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.
Houston’s chance of covering the spread is pretty strong here, even if the Raptors’ advantage in overall ability leads them to a win.