It’s Groundhog Day in the NBA and we’ve got your best picks to help you see a big win. Our NBA picks have been hot lately and we want to keep that going. There’s a battle of two of the NBA’s best defensive teams in Minnesota, so what does that mean for the total? The Pelicans have beaten the Spurs eight straight times, can they make it nine on the road?
NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | February 2
LA Clippers at Detroit Pistons Best Bet
Wednesday we smartly figured the Pistons would keep it close against Cavs and they did until late in the game before losing by seven.
Cade Cunningham is back in the line-up for Detroit and the Pistons are 7-0 in their last seven games against the spread as the underdog. Detroit is 6-41 and last in the East, but are 2-2 in their last four games. The Clippers have beaten the Pistons eight times in a row.
LA has soared to third in the West at 31-15. They should get Paul George back for this one after he sat out Wednesday’s win over Washington (although LA just might rest him figuring this one is cake). LA is the No. 1 team in the NBA in three-point percentage and when they beat teams, they beat them badly. They beat the Wizards by 16, the Celtics by 18 and Toronto by 20.
Some NBA teams let weaker teams hang around. The Clippers go for the kill early and then pour it on.
Orlando Magic at Minnesota Timberwolves Best Bet
Playing defense in the NBA is so hard - the players are so talented and skilled, but here are two of the best defensive teams in the NBA. The T’Wolves lead the NBA in defense, allowing 107 a night, while the Magic is fifth at giving up 110.
I can’t remember a lower number as a total in the NBA in a little while, but I think it’s too low. Minnesota has been scoring around 110 a night even though their last five games have all hit the under. Paolo Banchero continues to play well, scoring 23 a game. The first meeting between these two teams hit the under (set at 218) in a 113-92 win for Orlando.
And that’s another reason why I like the Over. Orlando weirdly has the T’Wolves number. They’ve won four in a row in Minnesota, but Minnesota has been the best team in the West all season. I expect Minnesota and Anthony Edwards to come out ready to go and win.
New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs Best Bet
How’s this for a great betting nugget. New Orleans has beaten the Spurs seven times in a row and covered the spread in all seven. New Orleans clobbered San Antonio by 36 just before Christmas when the spread was eight points.
New Orleans is one of the hardest teams in the NBA to figure out. Some nights they look like real contenders, some nights they look disinterested. Zion Williamson is questionable for this one (he’s injured a lot) but the Pelicans almost seem to play better without him. Brandon Ingram is one of the best players in the NBA no one talks about.
San Antonio ranks last in the West with 10 wins, but they have won three of their last seven…so progress? They’re still a fun watch. Rookie Victor Wembanyama is averaging a double double, and Devin Vassell has been on a bit of a hot streak averaging 25 points in his last three games.
I admit the spread gives me a little pause, but the Pelicans are the type of team that always beats teams they should beat.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.