Our free NBA picks are out for Saturday, February 26th, 2022! Make sure you check our NBA picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA picks for the best five games on today’s schedule!
Boston Celtics @ Detroit Pistons – 12pm ET
The Boston Celtics are in the middle of their three game road trip on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Detroit and take on the Pistons. The Celtics were on a nine game winning streak before the Pistons beat them two games ago. Now the Celtics will be looking for revenge over the Pistons team that has just won two games in a row for only the third time this season.
The Boston Celtics have not trailed in any of their last five road games heading into this game Saturday afternoon in Detroit. In those five wire-to-wire victories, they have outscored the opposition by 148 points, the largest point differential in a five-game road span in NBA history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. They came out of the All-Star break and demolished the Brooklyn Nets 129-106, shooting 54.1% from the field and holding Brooklyn to just 41.5% shooting. They had six players reach double digits in scoring, with Jayson Tatum’s 30 leading the way.
Interestingly enough, the only team that has beaten the Celtics since January 29 is the Detroit Pistons, 112-111. Jermaine Grant had 24 points, including the game winning bucket in that one. On Thursday, Grant was limited to 16 points on 4-15 shooting, but the Pistons were still able to edge out the Cavs 106-103. New Piston Marvin Bagley contributed 16 points off the bench and helped push their record to 14-45. The Celtics are smoking hot right now and they are taking down anybody in their path. The Pistons will become the next team they take out in this run, especially with this being a revenge game after losing to Detroit a few games back. Give me the Celtics easy.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Boston Celtics -10.5 (-110)
The Boston Celtics had no problem with a hobbled Nets team on Thursday as they dominated Brooklyn 129-106. The C’s had seven players score in double digits with Jayson Tatum recording the team high of 30. It is Boston’s 10th win in 11 games as they continue to move up the Eastern Conference standings after a slow start to the season. They’ll look to keep that streak going against the only team that’s beaten them in the last 11 games, the Detroit Pistons. Detroit are 14-45 and are just 1.5 games ahead of the Orlando Magic for the worst record in basketball.
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) February 25, 2022
Still, they’ve pulled off some big surprises this year, including that win against the Celtics right before the All-Star break. They’re happy to see some of their young talent blossom as Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey are proving their worth as first-round draft picks. Still, the Pistons win over the Celtics was a close call; I just can’t see a team as hot as the Celtics falling to one of the league’s worst two straight teams again so soon. I’ll pick the Celtics to cover.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Boston Celtics -10.5 (-110)
The Boston Celtics have played much better basketball as of late, as they had won nine straight before being knocked off by this same Detroit team just a few nights ago. After being a team that many thought had the potential to be legitimate contenders in the East, but early on they simply didn’t look like the team that was expected. However, they finally look like that team, and that’s largely due to the fact that they’ve picked up the defensive energy just a bit. We’ve all known they had the talent to make things happen, it was just a matter of that talent starting to perform at a high level, which it now looks like they’re doing.
Detroit, on the other hand, is one of the worst teams in the league, and are in a really good spot to be in contention for the number one pick yet again. They’re extremely young, though they do have a bit of talent, and they’ve shown flashes of improving, which they showed in their win over Boston in the last game before the All-Star Break. As for this one, I still think the talent disparity is too great in this one, especially when you have to assume that the Celtics are going to come out with more energy, after having already lost to this team. Give me Boston in relatively easy fashion in this one, as even on the road, I think they decide to make a statement and get a bit of revenge.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Boston Celtics -10.5 (-110)
Washington Wizards @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 8pm ET
The Washington Wizards have just one game on the road on Saturday when they travel to Cleveland and take on the Cavaliers. The Wizards are playing on back-to-back nights after a game with the Spurs, and in yesterday’s game they lost, 153-157, in overtime. The Cavaliers are currently on a three game losing streak, after going down to the 76ers, Hawks and Pistons.
After a surprising start to the year, the Cavs have appeared to hit a wall mid-season. They are being ravished by injuries and are now losers of three straight after an inexcusable loss to bottom-dwelling Detroit on Thursday. To make matters worse, they’ve already announced Darius Garland, Ramon Rondo, Caris LeVert, and Dylan Windler out for this Saturday matchup with Washington. Guys like Brandon Goodwin are going to play bigger roles as they try to stay afloat in the Eastern Conference. They will be facing a very tired Wizards team who had a heartbreaking loss at home to the Spurs in double overtime. During the 153-157 defeat, the Wizards had to go on an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to force OT.
They got bailed out by Dejounte Murray missing potential game winning buckets in regulation and the first overtime but eventually just didn’t have enough Friday night to pull it out. They now sit at 3-3 since Bradley Beal went down with his season ending injury. Injuries and fatigue are the main factors in this game. The Cavs home court will also play a part of course as the crowd will be electric after hosting All-Star weekend. Due to the Wizards being on the back to back after having all their key guys logging heavy minutes I’ll have to side with the Cavs who should still have enough to get by this weak Wizards roster.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-300)
The Washington Wizards left it all out on the floor last night, but they still came up a bit short, losing to the San Antonio Spurs in double-overtime, 153-157. This was a tough blow for a Wizards team that’s still in the hunt for a play-in spot, despite Bradley Beal being out for the season. They’re thrilled to be getting plenty of scoring from Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but their lackluster defense is definitely a concern. Also, playing a back-to-back while coming off a double-overtime game is never easy on the legs. Luckily for Washington they should have a chance as the Cleveland Cavaliers are going through some injury issues themselves.
We battled but came up short in 2OT.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) February 26, 2022
The Cavaliers are the NBA’s surprise team this season; just one year after having one of the worst records in the league, the team is 35-24 and fifth in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, they’re a bit hobbled coming out of the All-Star break as All-Star guard Darius Garland and scoring machine Caris LeVert are both injured and will miss this one. Additionally, the team will be without guard Rajon Rondo, leaving their backcourt pretty depleted. When the team was without these three on Thursday night, they lost to a lowly Detroit Pistons team. While Washington has a better record, they aren’t much better on paper. The Wizards already hobbled roster will be feeling even more fatigue Saturday after they played a grueling double-overtime game against the Spurs just one night before. I’ll pick the Cavaliers to sneak by in a close one.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-300)
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the most surprising teams in the NBA all year long, as they’ve just laughed in the face of injuries over the course of the season, on their way to being a reasonably high seed in a wide open Eastern Conference. However, it looks as if they may be changing, as they’ve now lost three straight, and their roster is still decimated by injuries. They’ve announced that they’ll be without Darius Garland, Caris LaVert, and Rajon Rondo for this matchup, and even against a Washington team that has simply collapsed after a good start to the year, I’m not sure that they’ll be able to get the job done.
If they do manage to get the win in this one, even without multiple players due to injury, I think it’s largely due to the fact that the Wizards come into this one with it being the second game of a back-to-back, and their game last night ended up being a loss in double overtime to the San Antonio Spurs. After a great start to the year, Washington has imploded, and I don’t see it getting any better anytime soon. As for this matchup, despite the ridiculous number of injuries, I’m going to take the Cavs, as I think the Wizards end up just being too fatigued to get things going.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -7 (-110)
San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat – 8pm ET
Both the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat will be on the second leg of a back-to-back in this Saturday night clash. The Spurs are coming off a huge double overtime win last night, against the Wizards, 157-153. The Heat have pushed their winning streak to two in a row, after beating the Knicks, 115-100, last night.
The Spurs had an epic game on Friday night in Washington D.C. that they won 157-153 in double overtime. Keldon Johnson had a career-high 32 points and Dejounte Murray had another triple-double to lead the way. They have now won five of seven games to get Gregg Popovich within 1 win of Lenny Wilkens’ NBA record of 1335. Miami also had a game Friday night, as they come up against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. They overcame a 46 point bomb from RJ Barrett to escape with the 15-point victory. Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 16 rebounds to go along with Jimmy Butler’s 23 points.
Their main spark though, was their electric young 6th man Tyler Herro, who went off for a team-high 25 points with four three pointers. It was an important win to get them back even with the Bulls atop the Eastern Conference standings. The Heat travel back home for a date with a Spurs team that will surely have tired legs. Miami Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson had the worst game of his season, going scoreless on 0-5 shooting and was in foul trouble throughout the game. Look for him to have a bounce back in the return home against this Spurs team that just allowed the Wizards to shoot 42% from deep. It’s a spread small enough for me to take the bait and I love this spot for Miami.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat -7.5 (-110)
Last night, the Spurs won an absolute shootout against the Wizards, 157-153, in double-overtime. Dejounte Murray further proved his worth as an All-Star, as he scored 31 points, had 14 assists, and grabbed 13 rebounds. The Spurs also got 32 points from another blossoming star in Keldon Johnson, and got a double-double from Jakob Poeltl down low as the big man scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Hopefully the Spurs didn’t leave it all on the floor in D.C., as they have to pick right back up tonight and face the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat.
one for the books!📚 gg, @WashWizards 🤝
college connections all around pic.twitter.com/OeKd84kKLa
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) February 26, 2022
Miami also played last night—but things sailed a little smoother for them. They got to play the lowly New York Knicks and had no issues, riding to a 115-100 victory. Now, they’ll jet back down the Atlantic Coast to play on their home court and take on a Spurs team that has plenty of firepower. San Antonio’s young squad looks hungry to make the play-in game as they now sit one game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the tenth seed—so the Heat cannot take them for granted. Still, I think this one not only comes down to home-court advantage, but turning around and playing less than 24 hours after a double-overtime game is a lot to ask for this Spurs squad. It’s even more of a burden when you have to face the likes of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro the next night. So I think the Heat end up fending off the Spurs with ease on Saturday night.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat -7.5 (-110)
This is a matchup between two teams who will be on the second night of a back-to-back, and both teams managed to get wins in their games last night. The Miami Heat went to MSG and took care of business against the New York Knicks, while the San Antonio Spurs had to go to double overtime to take down the Washington Wizards. With those being the only similarities between these two right now, the difference is that the Spurs simply aren’t a very good team all the way around, while the Miami Heat are currently leading the Eastern Conference.
San Antonio has been virtually solely reliant upon the play of Dejounte Murray to get them even as far as they’ve made it this year, while the Heat have a roster that is simply loaded with talent, including one of the best trios in the league, with Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Jimmy Butler leading the way, and that’s without throwing in Kyle Lowry, who has played well, or Victor Oladipo, who is yet to make his season debut. With this being the second night of back-to-backs for both teams, depth is going to end up playing a huge part, which is why I’m taking Miami in a blowout here, especially as this is them returning home.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat -7.5 (-110)
Memphis Grizzlies @ Chicago Bulls – 8pm ET
The Memphis Grizzlies hit the road on Saturday night in the NBA when they head on over to United Center to take on the Chicago Bulls. The Grizzlies will be looking to get back on track after losing their last two games in a row, to the Trail Blazers and Timberwolves. The Bulls are currently on a six game winning streak, and this brings their season record to 39-21.
After a 6-0 start to the month of February, the Grizzlies have dropped two straight and are in danger of making it three straight against the top seed in the East, the Bulls. Their last game was a 114-119 loss to the Timberwolves on the road. Ja Morant had a game-tying three in the air with 5 seconds left but it fell way short and they started the second half of the season with a loss. Memphis was up by as much as 15 in the first quarter but lost the lead for good with 7:11 left in the game, when D’Angelo Russell made a layup in the lane. They out rebounded Minnesota by 17 but their lapses on defense are ultimately what led to this loss.
The Bulls played the Hawks that same night and gutted out a 112-108 victory on the back of none other than DeMar DeRozan and his 37 points. He made 15 of 21 shots, with 5 points in the final minute, helping the Bulls rally from 3 down to get their sixth consecutive victory. If DeRozan can score 30 points in this game, he’ll tie Michael Jordan for the Bull’s franchise record of most consecutive 30 point games (10). It’s hard to bet against either of these teams right now. They’re both fun teams but also very professional groups that don’t take their opponents lightly. Both offenses are elite so we will get a lot of points here and that includes surely another 30 point performance from DeMar DeRozan. This game comes in as an even pick ’em and I’m going to take the home side in this one. I like how they’ve been playing and with Memphis, we could see them starting to regress to where they really should be and drop some games after running so hot to begin February.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (-106)
DeMar DeRozan continued his excellent scoring run as he scored 35 points or more in his eighth straight game. This included a go-ahead shot with 15 seconds left in the game as the Bulls were able to squeeze by the Atlanta Hawks 112-108. This win temporarily put them in first in the Eastern Conference (the Heat won last time putting them back in first), Chicago would prefer to stay there and eventually, have the Eastern Conference playoffs go through the “Windy City”. But after a close call against the Hawks, the Bulls next opponent only grows more difficult.
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) February 25, 2022
The Memphis Grizzlies have been the breakout team in the 2021-22 season. They currently sit third in the Western Conference and continue to mature in front of our eyes. Unfortunately on Thursday, they started their post All-Star break with a loss against another up-and-coming team in the Minnesota Timberwolves. After a strong first quarter, the Grizzlies allowed the Timberwolves to continue to climb back in the game, as they were outperformed every quarter after the first. Ja Morant had a tough time in that game going 7-25 from the field with 20 points. It won’t get any easier for him and the Grizzlies on Saturday as they face a Chicago team that can pile up the points and is getting some key defensive players healthy again. As much as the Grizzlies don’t want to lose two in a row, I think it’ll be hard for them to beat a thriving Chicago team—whose best player is breaking records—on the road.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (-106)
This has the potential to be the best matchup of the night, as we get the surprising Memphis Grizzlies traveling to the Windy City to take on the almost as surprising Chicago Bulls. The Grizz sit at third in the Western Conference right now, despite having lost two straight coming into this one, largely due to the MVP-level play of Ja Morant and the help he’s been getting from guys like Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. This offense that they court night in and night out is one of the best in the league, but the one huge concern is that their defense is virtually nonexistent at times, which is the main reason for most of their losses.
Now they take on a Chicago Bulls team that has been nearly as surprising this season, as they sit just off the Eastern Conference lead, although they did it in a slightly different manner. The Bulls reached this point primarily due to trades they made, one of which included them acquiring DeMar Derozan, who has proceeded to play like an MVP-candidate as well this year. This is one that is almost certainly going to be a high-scoring affair, as both teams have tremendously efficient offenses most of the time, but defenses that are hit or miss. In the end, I think Chicago has a better, more consistent defense, and with this one being in Chicago, I’m going to lean Bulls in a close one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (-106)
Brooklyn Nets @ Milwaukee Bucks – 8.30pm ET
The Brooklyn Nets are on the road for just one game before returning home again, and tonight they will go toe-to-toe with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Nets have lost 13 of their last 15 games, including their last two in a row against the Wizards and Celtics. The Bucks have lost three of their last four, with their only win in this period coming against the Pacers, 128-119.
The final stretch of the regular season starts Saturday at home for Milwaukee as they’ll look to defend their championship in a few months. After a 4-0 start to the month, they’ve sputtered a bit going 1-3 in the four games before the All-Star break with losses to Phoenix, Portland, and Philadelphia. The loss to Philly was their last game, and this was not even with the Sixers’ newly-acquired James Harden. The Bucks trailed by 15 early in the third quarter, but then clawed back, even taking the lead with 5:47 left, but then they had six straight missed shots and committed turnovers on consecutive opponents. Those empty possessions allowed Philly to sneak away with the win despite Giannis’ near triple-double.
The Nets also stumbled into the All-Star break, losing two straight to the Wizards and Celtics. Now at 31-29 and 8th place in the East, they’ll need a good run to get out of the play-in tournament. They most likely won’t have Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons and newly-acquired Goran Dragic for this one, but with it being a road game they will have Kyrie Irving at least. The Bucks will see this as a chance to make a statement to the entire NBA that you still have to go through them. The Nets won’t be fully assembled but the point still stands. Seth Curry has been a great addition and him alongside Kyrie will do major damage together, but until they get all their guys back I can’t back the Nets in a spot like this. Give me the Bucks by double digits at home.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -10 (-110)
While the Nets continue to wait for Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons to return to action—and Kyrie Irving to return to full time—they suffered another lengthy defeat on Thursday as the Celtics ran through them while the above names sat. Things won’t get any easier for the Nets as they play another Eastern Conference juggernaut in the Milwaukee Bucks. Durant and Simmons still won’t be there, but Kyrie Irving should be, which should give the Nets a little boost compared to recent games.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 26, 2022
Despite Giannis Antetokounmpo’s mind-boggling numbers night in and night out, the Milwaukee Bucks struggled a bit going into the All-Star break. They lost three of their last four, and while Giannis missed one of those games, they still will need to be a bit more consistent if they want to finish with a high seed in a competitive East. Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently the league’s second leading scorer and is shooting 54% from the field as he just continues to become even scarier by the week. But Giannis can’t do it alone, when the team doesn’t have Khris Middleton and/ or Jrue Holiday, they don’t appear to be a team that can compete with the top teams in the East. They’ll hope to continue to stay healthy and take advantage of a Nets team that’s not. I think they will and I’ll pick the Bucks to cover.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -10 (-110)
When this one got announced as being a primetime, nationally televised game before the season, I think the NBA was expecting both of these teams to be playing much better than they are currently. The Brooklyn Nets have been an utter abomination since Kevin Durant went down with an injury, as they’ve lost 13 of their last 15, and now they take on the defending champions, which generally shouldn’t be any easier, even though they have also been struggling greatly of late. This Brooklyn team will get Kyrie in this one, but I’m not sure that that does much to quell some of the concerns that Nets fans have at this point.
As for Milwaukee, they come in as losers of three of their last four, with the only win in that stretch being a victory over the somewhat lowly Indiana Pacers. It’s worth pointing out that they were absent Giannis in one of those games, but that doesn’t explain the poor play from everyone else on the roster. The one issue I’ve had with the Bucks all year is that they haven’t gotten as much help as expected from the supporting cast, and they showed this through this latest stretch, including when they’ve been without their superstar. Despite the questions surrounding Giannis’ help though, I’m still going to take Milwaukee at home in this one, as I just don’t see how Brooklyn can guard the “Greek Freak” without Durant on the floor. Give me the Bucks to get a relatively easy win.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -10 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.