NBA Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Saturday, February 25th

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Welcome to the daily NBA best bets page, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to the Hardwood Handicappers podcast!

All game lines via the VSiN NBA odds page

 

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*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
**Lines are opening numbers

Best Bets

Record: 49-54 | Units: -7.05 | ROI: -6.07%

Denver Nuggets at Memphis Grizzlies (-2, 233.5)

In the loss to Philadelphia on Thursday night Memphis averaged just 1.071 points per possessions overall and 0.939 per possession in the second half. Offense has been hard to come by for some time now for the Grizzlies, and over the course of this 5-10 SU/4-11 ATS slide they have put up just 111.9 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. Even their transition offense, once a dominant facet of their game, is the least efficient transition unit in the league over this time. Still, Memphis adds the fifth most points per 100 possessions (3.3) through transition offense this season and that could go a long way here against Denver. 

The Nuggets have struggled against opponents that can speed them up, coming into this game 23rd in opponent points added through transition offense (3.1), 26th in overall defensive efficiency in transition (131.1) and 30th in defensive efficiency off live rebounds (132.2). The Grizzlies will run as often as possible here, and without one of their better defensive players in Aaron Gordon the Nuggets will likely struggle to put the clamps down on a struggling offense.

There is the question of Memphis’ defense matching up with Denver’s offense, but even over the course of this poor run they have only allowed 114.1 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time. There is no containing the MVP favorite, Nikola Jokic, but there is a case to be made that the on-ball defenders the Grizzlies have in Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane can match up with the perimeter threats like Jamal Murray.

Bet: Grizzlies (-2)

Best Bet Recap

Grizzlies (-2)

NBA Games & Odds

Toronto Raptors (-7, 227) at Detroit Pistons

Fred VanVleet will miss his second consecutive game due to personal reasons, but his presence should not be worth more than a point to the line. Toronto has won six of seven, but it is 3-4 ATS in those contests which shows us the market might be somewhat high on its rating of this team. One of those games was at home against this Pistons team. The Raptors needed 30 points from VanVleet to hold on for a 119-118 win. Neither team could keep the other off the offensive glass, and Detroit did most of its damage in those possessions, averaging 1.333 points per putback play with a 33.3% offensive rebounding rate. However, Jalen Duren is not going to play tonight which is a blow for the Pistons on the glass. Toronto closed -11 when it hosted Detroit before the break which would equate to -5 on the road against the same opponent. Initially that would seem to indicate value on the home team here, but the loss of Duren and the return of OG Anunoby to the lineup puts this number right where it should be.

*Miami Heat (-4.5, 226.5) at *Charlotte Hornets

Miami’s tendency to allow 3-point attempts burned them last night, as Milwaukee went 16-of-39 in non-garbage time in a blowout win that dropped the Heat to 1-7 ATS in their last eight. One would think they should have an easier time with the Hornets tonight, but that is not certain. These two met on Jan. 29 here in Charlotte and it was the Hornets that walked away with an outright win as a 6-point underdog. Charlotte killed Miami in transition, averaging 1.667 points per play off live rebounds while going 21-of-24 at the rim for the game. The Heat should be a better defensive team, but their last three opponents have all put up offensive ratings of at least 122.2 and their offense continues to struggle. This number opening at 4.5 shows a clear adjustment on the market rating for Miami, and the market is already starting to buy back and this number is -5 at multiple shops this morning. 

Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic (-3, 232)

The last time these two teams met it was in Orlando back on Jan. 25 and the Magic pulled out a high-scoring win as a 5-point favorite. However, Tyrese Haliburton was not available that night, and with him back on the floor these two teams are much closer to equals, and that is represented in the spread adjustment. The Magic have been a much better defensive team since the start of the new year, and over that span they have the sixth best defensive rating in transition off live rebounds (110.1). However, this is an elite transition offense with Haliburton on the floor, ranking in the 95th percentile in points added per 100 possessions, according to Cleaning The Glass. Without Haliburton the Pacers put up a 125.3 offensive rating in the loss, but were average in transition. Haliburton’s presence makes all the difference in the world, and the market seems to agree. This number is off the opening line and now -2 consensus, telling us the market believes this version of Indiana is better than Orlando on a neutral.
 

 

 

New Orleans Pelicans at *New York Knicks (-3, 225.5)

New York improved to 6-1 SU and ATS in its last seven games with its comeback win over Washington on Friday night. With Mitchell Robinson back in the lineup the Knicks limited the Wizards to 1.124 points per possession, and Robinson himself provided a block, a steal and eight defensive rebounds while posting a team-best +13 for the game. However, with this being a back-to-back it would be wise to confirm Robinson’s status for tonight, as there is certainly a possibility of him resting while working his conditioning back up. The market is pushing this total down as of this morning, but should Robinson not play his absence is worth more for the total and it should find its way back toward the opening number if he is indeed resting. If he is playing this total move is apt. The Pelicans’ offense showed life for a three-game stretch before the break, but since losing Zion Williamson they are the sixth-worst offense in non-garbage time (111.9).

Boston Celtics (-1.5, 226.5) at Philadelphia 76ers

Boston has not only won six of seven and eight of 10 contests heading into this game, but it is also 2-0 SU and ATS against Philadelphia this season with a +8.6 net rating. The 76ers have had few answers for the Celtics offense which has averaged 124.1 points per 100 possessions in the two games. However, the two games in this series have both been played in Boston, and Philadelphia has been an absolute machine at home with a 24-8 SU/22-10 ATS record this season. This number would indicate that the Celtics have a 4.5-point edge on a neutral court which seems fair, and the matchup is one that works in Boston’s favor. Philadelphia does not have much defensive talent along the wing, and while PJ Tucker can take on either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum defensively that leaves either Tobias Harris or De’Anthony Melton to face the other which is a mismatch. The side has not budged here, but the total has dropped to 225 consensus. The two previous contests averaged 93.5 possessions, and if this game matches that pace with an improved play from Philadelphia on defense that tracks with the movement.