The 2019-20 NBA season is in full swing after the all-star break, and we have a huge slate this Wednesday.
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 26 Best Bets
Miami Heat (-10) vs Minnesota Wolves
With Jimmy Butler (personal) out, the Heat let a 19-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter to suffer an embarrassing loss at the Cavs Monday. Suffice to say they’ll be looking to bounce back tonight at home against Butler’s former team, with their leader expected to return. Miami is a league-best 18-7-1 ATS at home this season and while they’ve only had two home games this month, they’re rocking an absurd 136.6 offensive rating and 27.3 net rating in those contests. On the season, Miami is second with a 116.3 offensive rating and 10.4 net rating at home, while the Wolves are 23rd in defensive rating (113.4) with a -4.0 net rating on the road.
Karl-Anthony Towns (wrist) remains out and the Wolves don’t have a viable replacement down low with Gorgui Dieng now in Memphis. Bam Adebayo should have a field day against a team that coughs up the fourth-most PPG (53.1) in the paint on the road. Miami ranks second in 3pt shooting and 3pt defense, so the Wolves new-look sprawl ball offense likely won’t work tonight. Minnesota has dropped 18 of its last 19 overall and 16 of its last 18 road games. They’re in line for a whopping tonight down in South Beach.
San Antonio Spurs (+5) vs Dallas Mavericks
While the Spurs are down this year, you’re clearly getting value if they’re 5-point underdogs at home. The Silver and Black have long been more reliable defensively at home and this season is no exception. The Spurs posted an excellent +17.2 net rating with a 101.6 defensive rating over their final home games at the turn of the month before embarking on their annual rodeo road trip. This is their first home game since Feb. 1 and it comes against a rival that edged them twice this season in Dallas.
The Mavericks have been great on the road this year. However, they haven’t been great down the stretch lately with a -16.5 net rating in fourth quarters on the road this month. San Antonio also struggled to close out on the road with DeMar DeRozan (back) injured and the team obviously exhausted during an 8-game trip. The Spurs are 5-3 ATS in division games and 17-15 ATS when listed as underdogs. The Mavs are a stellar 10-3-1 ATS when listed as road favorites, but seem to be getting more credit after beating up on some bad teams lately.
Los Angeles Clippers (-6.5) at Phoenix Suns
It’s not just the fact that the Clippers are at full strength with Pat Beverley (groin) and Paul George (hamstring) back in the lineup, it’s the idea that they’re at full strength. A 3-game losing streak combined with the return of those players has given the Clips the urgency that they procrastinated against finding all season. They responded by dismantling the shorthanded Grizzlies, 124-97, Monday and they could certainly do the same tonight in Phoenix.
The Suns are coming off an impressive win in Utah, but this young team has suffered typical letdowns with a 9-14 record ATS following a win. Phoenix is just 11-17 ATS at home and 6-19 straight up against teams with winning records. Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio ran past the rapidly aging Mike Conley on Monday, but will have a much tougher time finding space against Beverley and company. Even with their struggles, the Clippers rank fifth in defensive rating (107.3) this month. They lost in Phoenix in October, then crushed the Suns in December and are playing at a similar level now at the end of February.
NBA February 26 Picks Against The Spread
Brooklyn Nets (-2) at Washington Wizards
The Nets are due for regression at some point, but this is a tiny spread to back them at a Wizards team that should be gassed after losing to Milwaukee in OT on Monday.
Boston Celtics (+4.5) at Utah Jazz
The Celtics are 9-4 ATS as road underdogs and 4-3 ATS on 0 days rest. They’re a decent bet on the moneyline with +155 odds at DK Sportsbook.
Orlando Magic (-4) at Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are good at home but Trae Young (illness) is now a game-time decision and Atlanta will be very vulnerable without him.
Memphis Grizzlies (+11) at Houston Rockets
Memphis might not miss Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr. as much against a Rockets team that doesn’t use big men.
Philadelphia 76ers (-7.5) at Cleveland Cavaliers
Joel Embiid has owned Andre Drummond throughout their respective careers and the Sixers are feeding their big man relentlessly with Ben Simmons (back) out.
New York Knicks (-1.5) at Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are playing on 0 days rest and the Knicks get PG Elfrid Payton back in the lineup tonight.