NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | February 22

NBA Picks and Best Bets
NBA Best Bets 2023-2024

The NBA All-Star Game was a critical failure - I hope you bet the over like I said - but these games count on Thursday as the second half of the season picks up, so we will finally get some defense. The Pistons still have the worst record in the NBA, and now one of their players is in trouble with the law. What else can happen in Detroit? There’s a great clash out west between the Suns and Mavs.

Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers Best Bet

Pacers -11.5 (-112) at FanDuel

Just before the All-Star break, the Pistons season veered off into weird territory with injured big man Isaiah Stewart getting arrested for punching the Suns Drew Eubanks before a game. We’re still waiting for the suspension of Stewart, but the Pistons should probably just release him.

The Pistons are 8-46 over all but 27-27 against the spread. They retooled the roster before the trade deadline and the thing to watch now is how Simone Fontecchio meshes with Cade Cunningham - or not.

Indiana hosted the All-Star festivities and were a little up and down before the break. They overhauled their roster this season, bringing in Pascal Siakam from the Raps and shooter Doug McDermott. The Pacers still like to run and gun, just not as much as we saw in November and December.

Indiana already beat the Pistons by 8 and 23 points this season. They have too much firepower.

fanduel sportsbook
Pacers -11.5

Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks Best Bet

Suns +2.5 (-105) at BetMGM

Remember these two teams played in one of the marquee Christmas games and the Mavs won big. Then a month later, they met again in a scrappy game and the Suns got revenge.

Phoenix had won five of six before the break, while Dallas had won six in a row, including a 35-point win over OKC. Mavs star Luca Doncic leads the NBA in scoring with 34.2 points a game, and 36.4 in his last 10 games. He’s just unstoppable.

But the Suns are one of the few teams that has match-up problems for the Mavs (no one can guard Doncic, put a big man on him and he’s too quick, put a small guy on him and he’s too strong). Kevin Durant and Devin Booker are each averaging about 28 a game. The Suns think they’re tougher. I think they cover.

betmgm sportsbook
Suns +2.5

Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls Best Bet

Under 226 (-110) at DraftKings

Before the All-Star break I was having fun spotting the lowest total on the NBA board and betting the over. The Over in the NBA has been hitting higher than the under by a small margin.

Boston has been the best team in the NBA, but is 17-9 away from home. Jaylen Brown is questionable for this one with an injury. The Celtics are 26-28-1 over/under this season.

Chicago is fighting for a playoff spot. Six of their last seven games have hit the over - but two of those went to OT. Coby White has been on fire for the Bulls with 23.3 points in his last 10.

Each of the last five Boston/Chicago games in Chicago have gone under. And the last time these two played the total was 221. I think both teams start slow after the break and the under is the move.

draftkings sportsbook
Under 226

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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.