Today's Top Picks: Why Pelicans will cover on the road against 76ers and more NBA best bets for Friday

Before I get to my picks for Friday night, I'd like to offer my sincerest condolences to anybody out there going against Lamar Jackson in their fantasy football playoffs this week. There are few feelings worse than knowing your team is dead before Thursday night is finished, but a lot of fantasy players went to bed knowing it last night.

Perhaps making some money on NBA games will raise your spirits? I've got three plays for tonight's NBA slate that I'm quite fond of. Your football season is about to end, anyway, might as well pivot to the hardwood.

All odds via William Hill.

1. Pelicans at 76ers: Pelicans +7

I feel bad for Pelicans fans who came into this season anxiously awaiting the chance to watch Zion Williamson play every night only to find themselves nearly a third of the way through the NBA season without a minute of Zion and a 6-19 record. The Pels have been nearly as bad against the spread as well, going only 9-16 to start. Only the Spurs have been worse against the spread this year. Still, I like New Orleans' chances of getting a cover here tonight. They're facing a Philadelphia team playing its fifth game in the last seven days. This is also the second leg of Philly's second back-to-back this week. Since the start of last season, the Sixers are 6-11 ATS on the second leg of a back-to-back.

DFS millionaire Mike McClure has been a cashing machine for his followers this year, with 60% of his lineups at SportsLine finishing in the money. He's released his tournaments lineups for Friday's slate, and you can see his picks over at SportsLine.    

2. Pacers at Hawks: Pacers -5.5

This is an Atlanta team that is tired. The Hawks return home tonight after a road trip that had them going from Charlotte to Miami and to Chicago this week before a return trip home. On Wednesday night in Chicago they looked like they just wanted to take a nap, losing by 34 points to a bad Bulls team. Now they'll be facing a Pacers team that is better than them, as well as better-rested. Any time I can fade a tired team that's already in the bottom third of the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency, it's hard to pass up.

Who should you back against the spread, on the money line and the total in every Week 15 NFL game? And which Super Bowl contender gets stunned? Check out the latest NFL odds above, then visit SportsLine to see their Week 15 NFL cheat sheet, all from the model that is up over $7,000 on its top-rated NFL picks. 

3. Hornets at Bulls: Under 213

While the Hornets are better offensively than the Bulls, they only rank 19th in the NBA in offensive efficiency. The Bulls rank 27th. What may come as a surprise given recent history is that the Bulls aren't bad defensively, as they rank 13th in defensive efficiency. They've been even better at home where they'll be tonight. So combine two mediocre-to-bad offenses with a good Bulls defense at home, toss in two teams who have played a lot of games and done a fair bit of traveling this week, and we could have some tired legs in Chicago. This is also the third time they've met this season, so both teams are familiar with one another and know what the other is trying to do. This has all the makings of an ugly game.

SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley is up more than $19.000 in the past year on his MMA selections, and he's released his plays for Saturday's UFC 245 card that you're going to want to see. Get his picks and analysis over at SportsLine. 

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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