Expert NBA Best Bets and Player Props Today – Thursday, February 22nd

Zachary Cohen runs through his NBA best bets for February 22, which features plays on Knicks-Sixers, Celtics-Bulls and Lakers-Warriors.

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Jan 15, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) shoots beside Cleveland Cavaliers guard Max Strus (1) in the third quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 NBA season is in full swing and we’re tackling it hard at VSiN. As always, Jonathan Von Tobel will be providing you with his exceptional coverage of the greatest league in the world. Just click here for all of his content. However, all of my picks will be featured in this daily column, which will combine my NBA best bets and NBA player props. So, keep reading to find out how I’m playing the NBA slate on Thursday, February 22. Also, check out our NBA Odds page for the latest line movement. 

MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for everything our experts have on February 22

 

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2023 Record: 202-180-2 (+11.01 units)

NBA Best Bets Today – February 22

New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers – 7:00 pm ET

I’m extremely high on this Knicks team and I went into that in our NBA At The Break Betting Guide. However, New York is still extremely banged up. Julius Randle and OG Anunoby are still out for Tom Thibodeau’s group. Until one of them returns, it’s hard to trust the Knicks against solid teams. They went into the break having lost five of their final six games, and they were 0-6 against the spread in that span. So, even without Joel Embiid, I like Philadelphia to handle its business here. 

The Sixers have taken their licks without Embiid in the lineup, but they have still been a bit better than this current version of the Knicks. This New York team just lacks an identity without Anunoby, which is a little crazy considering he’s a newer acquisition. But the Knicks are known for their ability to defend, and they haven’t been defending without him. That puts a lot of pressure on Jalen Brunson to go out and try to win shootouts. And New York doesn’t have enough firepower to do that without Randle. 

I also think the Sixers will get a little extra juice from Kyle Lowry’s debut tonight. His return to Philadelphia has been a long time coming, so I’m expecting him to provide his team with infectious energy. That said, let’s rock with the Sixers and look to back the Knicks with our NBA best bets once they’re healthier.

Bet: Sixers ML (-112 – 1.5 units)

Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls – 8:00 pm ET

I don’t want to make a habit of riding the Bulls with my NBA best bets down the stretch. However, I do think Chicago is getting too many points here. The Celtics had two players that were part of the NBA’s All-Star festivities: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Those are the two most important players for Boston. Fresh legs shouldn’t be much of a concern in a game like this. But the Bulls will have a slight edge in that category, with Tatum and Brown having had less time to rest than anyone else. Chicago will also have homecourt advantage here. The Bulls are 15-12 straight-up and 14-12-1 ATS at home. 

It’s also just hard to overlook the fact that this Bulls team continues to be a great ATS squad. Chicago went into the break having gone 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games. This team has been very competitive since Zach LaVine went down. And I like the matchup here quite a bit. The Bulls have the length on the wing required to slow down the Celtics offense. I also generally trust Chicago to defend the 3-point line with purpose. That will go a long way in keeping the Celtics in check. They shoot more of their shots from 3 than anyone. 

These are also the types of teams that Boston struggles with. Under Joe Mazzulla, the Celtics are 5-19 ATS against teams with winning percentages between 40.0 and 49.0%.

Bet: Bulls +8.5 (-108)

NBA Player Props Today – February 22

Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors – 10:00 pm ET

For tonight’s NBA player props, I’m looking at Rui Hachimura to come up big for the Lakers. LeBron James is out for Los Angeles tonight, so that means more opportunity for the other guys. Well, Hachimura had scored at least 15 points in the final three games before the break. One of those games was a 36-point explosion against the Utah Jazz. It just feels like Hachimura has finally earned a big spot in this rotation, and he’ll be a go-to offensive option with LeBron out. That should mean a decent amount of points for the 26-year-old. It helps that Draymond Green will likely be handling the Anthony Davis assignment. Look for Hachimura to score 16 and don’t be afraid to sprinkle some alternate numbers.

Bet: Hachimura Over 15.5 Points (-120 -1.5 units) & Hachimura Alt Points 20+ (+180 – 0.75 units)

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