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NBA betting picks & best odds – Thursday, February 17

NBA odds and tips

Tonight is the last slate of NBA games before the All Star break. At this point, we understand who is for real – for the most part, at least. It will be an entertaining stretch and the title race is as wide open as it has ever been. Thursday brings a bunch of interesting games that will help guide us into a couple days without hoops.

Miami Heat at Charlotte Hornets

The Heat have quietly put together a strong season and have a 37-21 record which puts them in second place in the East. They have done this for a couple of years, now, but have yet to really garner the respect that most title challengers have. That being said, they have a very deep team full of players who contribute on both sides of the floor. Their best player, Jimmy Butler, is currently a game-time decision, but even without him, this Hornets team doesn’t possess the talent the Heat have. Miami is 4-1 against the spread in away games in their last 5 so we expect them to stay hot and head into the all star game with a nice win.

After a hot start, the Hornets have faltered and are now 1-8 in their last nine. Despite elite play from sophomore LaMelo Ball, they have a lack of depth and defensive prowess that will hurt them in this game. Throughout the season, the Hornets have been mediocre at home and all the praise they earned from their hot start has left them. This is a pretty straightforward pick as the Heat are just better in all facets of the game. Take the Heat -4.5 in a game that shouldn’t be too stressful for the South Beach boys.

Miami Heat -4.5


Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets

Even before their onslaught of injuries, the Wizards were not a very good team. They are 22nd in defensive efficiency this season and give up an average of 110 points a game. They possess a lot of skill that can get hot and keep them in games but their offense hasn’t been enough to mask their defensive woes thus far. They will be tired from playing last night but this over under is so low and both teams have defensive ineptitudes that should allow the number to go over.

The story of the Nets ever since their signings of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were defensive concerns. They traded for former DPOY contender Ben Simmons but he will not be available for this game. They have a 19th-ranked defense and give up 110.7 points per game. Both teams have shooters that will keep the game close but in a battle between two struggling teams with bad defenses, the over is a very good bet.

Over 215.5 total points


Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Pelicans

The Mavericks, much like the Heat, have sneakily had a very good season. Led by superstar Luka Doncic and a surprisingly stout defense, they have a respectable 34-24 record. Luka has been on fire in recent games and is currently dominating. Behind 27 PPG, 9 RPG and 9 APG he is doing it all for the Mavs and lighting up opposing defenses. Despite a pedestrian away record, the Mavs are hot and 5-1 against the spread in their last six. Expect them to keep it up and enter the all star break coming off another good win.

The Pelicans cannot seem to figure it out. After a multitude of offseason moves that upset fans, they sit in a pool of mediocrity. With a record of 23-35, they have disappointed everyone who bought into the young talent they possess. Of course, Zion Williamson hasn’t played and that has contributed to their failures, but they should still be better than they have been. They do not have a guard that can cover Luka, so expect the Mavs to easily cover this number and coast past a bad Pelicans team.

Dallas Mavericks -2.5


Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers

Obviously, this is a bit of a longshot but it should be a close game where there is value in this bet. It may be difficult to find a sportsbook that offers it, but if you find it, it is worth tossing beer money on this line. The Bucks are a very good team but the 76ers are coming off a crushing loss that should be a motivating factor in this game. While we wouldn’t count on this hitting, it is a fun bet for the best game of the night. In a match up that should be closer than the line suggests, this number is too good to pass on.

Game to go to overtime


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