NBA weekend best bets: Can Cunningham, Pistons upset Lakers?

Logan Riely / National Basketball Association / Getty

We came within one point of finishing 2-1 on our NBA picks against the spread Wednesday. Here are our favorite plays heading into the weekend:

Suns (-3.5, 216) @ Knicks
Nov. 26, 7 p.m. ET

It's been 30 days since the Suns lost a game, winning 14 straight after Wednesday's 120-115 comeback victory over the Cavaliers. Phoenix has covered eight of those 14 contests and won 13 of them by at least four points, outscoring its opponents by an average of 11.4 points.

On the other side, the Knicks haven't won consecutive games since Oct. 30 - the day the Suns' winning streak started - and have posted a 4-8 mark against the spread in November. With multiple starters questionable for Friday's tilt, don't expect New York to build upon its Tuesday win over the Lakers with a win here.

Pick: Suns -3.5

Timberwolves (-2.5, 225.5) @ Hornets
Nov. 26, 7 p.m.

It's been a season of inconsistency so far for the Timberwolves, who lost seven of their first eight contests in November before ripping off a five-game winning streak - punctuated by Wednesday's win over the Heat as home underdogs.

The catalyst has been Minnesota's stellar defense, which has now held six consecutive opponents to 101 points or fewer and ranks fourth in defensive rating (104.0). That's the perfect antidote for these Hornets, who can put up gaudy offensive performances behind LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, and Co. but give most of it back on the other end.

Charlotte has followed a similar path to Minnesota this season, with mediocre stretches followed by a recent winning spell, but it's been an inferior team to the T-Wolves this year on a per-possession basis despite a better outright record. That'll show on Friday.

Pick: Timberwolves +2.5

Pelicans @ Jazz (TBD)
Nov. 27, 9 p.m.

Can the Pelicans keep their brief momentum going against one of the league's best teams? New Orleans blew out the Wizards on Wednesday as a home 'dog for just its third outright win in its last 16 games and fourth of the season.

This could be a favorable spot to build upon that against the Jazz, who are coming off consecutive ATS losses for the first time all season. Utah is 8-12 ATS in its last 20 games after an ATS loss and nearly lost outright to the lowly Thunder before a late run Wednesday. Don't be surprised to see another suspect performance Saturday.

Pick: Pelicans (TBD)

Pistons @ Lakers (TBD)
Nov. 28, 9:30 p.m.

The Pistons have been one of the league's worst teams, but the tides might finally be turning. They've won four of their last five ATS behind inspired efforts from No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham, who recorded his first career triple-double in Sunday's game against the Lakers.

He should be due for an encore performance against Los Angeles, which has lost three of four ATS and still ranks 24th in net rating (-3.1) despite having LeBron James active for almost half of its games. The Lakers will be favored in this one, but don't be shocked if the Pistons threaten the outright win.

Pick: Pistons (TBD)

C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at cjackson.cowart@thescore.com.

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NBA weekend best bets: Can Cunningham, Pistons upset Lakers?
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