The 2019-20 NBA season is back from the all-star break, and we have a great slate this Monday.
On every big slate this season, PlayPicks is providing our top bets against the spread and against point totals for all the NBA games.
Injuries can always play a factor into the point spreads listed by US sportsbooks like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook in the NBA. Keep an eye on the status of star players with any sort of nagging injury or “load management” concerns as well.
In this column, we will list three of our best bets against the spread with data to support our picks. Then, we will list the following games on the NBA slate in order of our confidence in analyzing the matchup.
Keep in mind that lines can often shift when players are announced out due to rest or injury.
NBA February 24 Best Bets
Miami Heat (-6) at Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami handled the Cavs in a 19-point home win on Saturday without Jimmy Butler (personal), who will remain out tonight. But Cleveland is simply one of the worst teams in the league and should continue to regress after getting that initial win (over Washington) once Jon Beilein was fired.
The Cavs’ redundant roster creates a weird competition between Tristan Thompson and Andre Drummond, who was held to just 6 points by Bam Adebayo and company on Saturday. Cleveland allows a league-high 53 PPG in the paint in home games and Miami allows the sixth-fewest PPG (45) down low in road games. The Heat’s backcourt dominated the inexperienced duo of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, who have both been defensive liabilities all year. Look for Miami’s depth to shine through once again as they look to right the ship with consecutive wins over an ECF cellar dweller.
Brooklyn Nets (-3.5) vs Orlando Magic
While the end result was a push (if you got the Nets +8), Brooklyn nearly handed the Sixers what would’ve only been their third home loss of the season last Thursday. The Nets are still one of the hottest teams in the league with the best net rating (12.0) over their last 6 games. With Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert carrying the offense, they’ve dominated bad teams and gone down to the wire against the best of the best.
Orlando, right now, looks like a bad team. The Magic ranks 25th in net rating (-6.4) during that span and their usually stout defense has tanked with a 114.7 defensive rating over their last 12 contests. That’s led to a 3-9 record both straight up and against the spread. Orlando’s wins during that span have come against the tanking Pistons, struggling Hornets, and a Hawks team that was typically poor on the second half of a B2B set. They haven’t won in Brooklyn since 2016 and are not on the same level as the Nets right now, creating excellent value on this modest spread.
Memphis Grizzlies (+9.5) at Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have had a really difficult time defending the Grizzlies in two matchups this season and missing Pat Beverley (groin) and Paul George (hamstring) won’t help tonight. The Clips are still trying to integrate buyout additions Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson with poor results, as they dropped a third straight on Saturday at home to the Kings. They’re now 2-4 with a modest 0.7 net rating over their last 6 contests.
Memphis had a legitimate shot of covering an 11-point spread at the Lakers on the second half of a B2B on Friday, but missed by a point while dribbling out the final shot clock. They’ve been off all weekend and didn’t have to travel, so perhaps they can overcome their recent road woes. Memphis still leads the league in PPG (57.2) in the paint and the Clippers have coughed up 52.7 PPG in the paint over their past 3 outings. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke should thrive alongside Ja Morant and help the Grizzlies keep this one close throughout.
NBA February 24 Picks Against The Spread
Philadelphia 76ers (-8) vs Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks should become the object of Philly’s frustration after the Sixers took a whopping in Milwaukee.
Houston Rockets (-14) vs New York Knicks
Small ball looks great against opponents that can’t match its firepower or score efficiently down low. New York falls into that category with the league’s 29th-rated offense.
Milwaukee Bucks (-13) at Washington Wizards
The Bucks are rolling through the bad teams as they often do with a 35-1 record against teams below .500. Washington can’t compete even with Bradley Beal lighting up the scoreboard.
Utah Jazz (-8) vs Phoenix Suns
While their meeting earlier this season was close, the Jazz still won an eighth straight over the Suns and are playing much better offensively at this juncture.
Minnesota Wolves (+13.5) at Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs will have well-rested stars in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, while the Wolves are missing Karl-Anthony Towns. But Minnesota is capable of competing in a fast-paced game with their new-look roster.