NBA: Best bets and analysis for Wednesday, February 28th

Jonathan Von Tobel (92-71-2 | Units: +16.00) gives his daily NBA best bets and analysis for Wednesday, February 28th

Nov 1, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) moves the ball against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the second half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to my daily column of NBA best bets! Here at VSiN we have a ton of NBA content daily, so make sure to keep tabs on Zach Cohen who is doing an excellent job handicapping the league on a daily basis.

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Record: 93-72-2 | Units: +16.00 | ROI: 8.9%

*Dallas Mavericks (-3.5, 245) at Toronto Raptors

Dallas finds itself in a negative schedule spot tonight. Not only are the Mavericks playing on no rest, but it is also the third game in four nights. Meanwhile, the Raptors had Tuesday off and is playing just its second game in five nights. That is a massive rest advantage for the home team, but there is more to this play than just the spot.

Toronto is a fast team. It leads the league in transition frequency (17.6%) and scores the fourth-most points per 100 plays in transition off live rebounds (129.5). Dallas ranks 27th in both overall defensive efficiency in transition (133.0) and off live rebounds (129.5).

This matchup works for the Raptors, and they have the advantage when it comes to rest. Jakob Poeltl is questionable to play, but even without him Toronto’s prowess in transition should be enough to get by tonight.

Best Bet: Raptors (+3.5)

Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers (-4, 236)

Poor play and an inflated power rating have combined to form quite the slump for the Los Angeles Clippers. In their last seven games the Clippers are 3-4 SU/1-6 ATS. Paul George has missed time with knee soreness as well, and that has led to a dip in defensive efficiency for Los Angeles. George will miss the contest tonight, but the Clippers have had two days off to prepare for a matchup they have had immense success in.

James Harden will play a massive role tonight. The Lakers do not have a true defender for Harden along the perimeter. He should be able to thrive while picking on either D’Angelo Russell or Austin Reaves on defense. The Clippers also have an edge when it comes to their depth, as the Lakers are outscored by 3.8 points every 100 possessions without LeBron James on the floor and rank in the 25th percentile in defensive efficiency.

Best Bet: Clippers (-3.5)

NBA Best Bets

Raptors (+3.5)

Clippers (-3.5)

Remaining Schedule

*New Orleans Pelicans at Indiana Pacers (-5, 239)

Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum and Zion Williamson are all questionable to play tonight. With their status in question there is no way one could jump in and wager on this contest. Indiana lost to Toronto on Monday, and it is 6-5 SU/4-7 ATS in February. Should the Pelicans have all three of their stars on the floor this number should close at about 2.5 in favor of Indiana. Bettors should keep their eye on social media and their finger on the trigger if they want to get involved in this contest.

Memphis Grizzlies at *Minnesota Timberwolves (-12.5, 220.5)

This is a funky schedule spot for Minnesota. The Timberwolves are playing no rest, and it is also their fourth game in six nights. They had a back-to-back situation on Friday and Saturday, but they had two days off between that back-to-back and this one. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies are playing with a day of rest, but coming off an ugly showing against the Nets. Rudy Gobert is also questionable to play, as he was yesterday against San Antonio. His absence could mean a swing back on this total which dropped from the overnight opener of 220.5 at DraftKings to 208.5 before Gobert’s status was reported.

*Cleveland Cavaliers (-4, 220) at *Chicago Bulls

Chicago lost to Detroit last night, but it is 6-4 SU/7-3 ATS as a home underdog. That could come in handy tonight. Cleveland is in a dicey spot. It is the second leg of a back-to-back, but the Cavaliers are also coming off a massive comeback win over Dallas in which Max Strus absolutely obliterated the Mavericks in the fourth quarter before nailing a halfcourt buzzer beater to win. Is this a massive letdown spot against a plucky home underdog?

Sacramento Kings at Denver Nuggets (-6.5, 230.5)

Sacramento got a massive win over Los Angeles on Sunday night, but followed that up with a loss to Miami on Monday. That sequence of results speaks to the inconsistency of the Kings, who are 6-5 SU/5-6 ATS in the month of February. Meanwhile, the Nuggets have come out of the All-Star break with sights set on the top seed in the Western Conference. Denver has won and covered all three games, and has outscored its opponents by 16.9 points per 100 possessions in that span. It is no wonder that the market has moved in their direction tonight.