We have some mouthwatering matchups tonight and our free NBA picks have all of the winners right here for you! Our experts have the best in depth analysis of every game, providing you with everything you need before placing your bets!
Can the Rockets snap their league worst eight game losing streak against the Cavs tonight? Will Utah give the Lakers a fourth straight loss or does the King have other ideas?
We have all the answers for you below in our free NBA picks!
Boston Celtics @ Atlanta Hawks – 7:30PM ET
The Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks should be very familiar with each other after playing a two game set in Boston last week. The two teams split the matchups but Boston won the second leg and should bring confidence from that performance into Atlanta tonight. However both sides have a point to prove and will be looking to turn things around after suffering final second defeats last night.
Atlanta led for most of the last quarter against Cleveland and despite leading by a point for most of the final minute, Trae Young missed three shots that would have iced the game, allowing the Cavs to make a final second dunk for the win. Young finished with 28 points and 12 assists but shot just 33.3% from the field and added five turnovers.
They will need a much more efficient game from their young star, who was snubbed of an All Star reserve selection, if they are able to overcome the Celtics, who had two players selected to play in the All Star game, Jayson Tatum (second appearance) and Jaylen Brown (first appearance).
The Celtics are the only team below .500 with multiple All-Stars this season. pic.twitter.com/OClryKdWYW
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 24, 2021
Brown top scored for Boston with 29 points on 60% shooting while Jayson Tatum had 28 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks, but the Celtics couldn’t shut down Luka Doncic down the stretch. The game had 25 lead changes and six ties, including after Brown hit a layup with just 9 seconds remaining but the defense broke down and allowed Doncic to hit a step back three as time expired.
Both sides should be disappointed in their efforts last night and come out hard from the jump, but we are taking the home side to get back on track in this one. Kemba Walker hasn’t been playing on the second night of back to backs since returning in January and after his 21 points in 34 minutes last night, he is doubtful to suit up. This should allow Young to thrive against a reserve player and have a big game like he did in the Hawks win over Boston last week.
NBA Pick – Atlanta Hawks (+115)
NBA Spread – Atlanta Hawks +2 (-105)
Total Points Pick – Over 224 (-110)
Houston Rockets @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 7:30PM ET
This was going to be the battle between the two biggest losing streaks in the league, but the Cleveland Cavaliers had other ideas. Ahead of their matchup with the Houston Rockets tonight, the Cavs managed to steal a victory from the Hawks last night, winning 112-111, thanks to a Lamar Stevens open dunk with just seconds remaining.
That win now means that Houston owns the league’s longest losing streak, currently at eight games. The Rockets have played just one game in the last week, a 100-120 loss to the Bulls on Monday. John Wall managed just 15 points on 4/14 shooting in a contest that was never really close but blown out of the water in a 26-46 third quarter.
The positive is that Houston had more bench points in that one, led by David Nwaba’s 22 off the bench. That depth will be needed against a Cavaliers side on the second night of a back to back and that is 3-4 in those situations so far this season.
Cleveland was engaged in a battle of runs against Atlanta, leading by as many as 13 but also trailing by as much as eight, despite neither team winning a quarter by more than three points. With scores tied heading into the last, the Cavaliers needed every last second in order to get on top for good. Collin Sexton led all scorers with 29 points, shooting 56.3% and adding five assists.
This is a tough one to gauge as both teams have been playing terribly lately, but given their win last night and the fact that they are at home, we like the Cavs to come out on top. Jarrett Allen should have a massive game against a Houston side that is still missing Christian Wood and just released DeMarcus Cousins, while Sexton is well and truly ready for the duel with Wall.
NBA Pick – Cleveland Cavaliers (+150)
NBA Spread – Cleveland Cavaliers +4 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Under 212.5 (-110)
Golden State Warriors @ Indiana Pacers – 7:30PM ET
The Indiana Pacers will be eager to get back on the court when they host the Golden State Warriors tonight, as their scheduled contest with San Antonio was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Spurs camp. Their last game was last Wednesday, a 134-128 overtime victory over the Timberwolves and should be very rested against a Warriors side that had a tough 114-106 win in New York last night.
Steph Curry returned from a one game absence to light up the scoreboard with 37 points, shooting 7/14 from deep and adding six rebounds and six assists. Draymond Green had another Draymond Green-like game, finishing with 12 assists, nine rebounds, seven points, three steals and two blocks.
After trailing by four at halftime, the Warriors used a 39-26 third quarter to take back the lead and they never gave it up. Will they be able to carry that momentum into Indian on the second night of a back to back though?
Grabbed the dub in The Garden ✔️ pic.twitter.com/nvj6qlD4Ex
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 24, 2021
They could get the jump on a Pacers side that hasn’t played in a week, but that performance saw the Pacers rally from down six heading into the last quarter to even things up and then take over in the extra period.
Domantas Sabonis, who is one of the biggest All Star snubs of this season, had a monster 36 point, 16 rebound, 10 assists and three steal night in his sides win, their 15th of the season which is good enough for 4th in the East. Malcolm Brogdon continues to excel as the second fiddle, putting up 32 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, but his defense will be needed most against Curry and the Warriors.
Golden State is just 2-3 on the second night of back to backs and just 6-9 on the road as well. However we like them to get the win here. Green will pose as one of the toughest tests that Sabonis will face all season and Curry will want to continue his hot shooting. The Warriors also have the extra motivation of Indiana beating them in their house in mid January, so we like Golden State, as slight underdogs, to get the job done here.
NBA Pick – Golden State Warriors (+110)
NBA Spread – Golden State Warriors +2 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Over 228.5 (-110)
Toronto Raptors @ Miami Heat – 8PM ET
The Miami Heat return home from a massive seven game West Coast road trip that some them recover to 4-3 after winning their last three games. They now host a Toronto Raptors side that couldn’t keep up with the Sixers last night. Toronto is just 1-4 on the second night of back to backs this season, and given they will be without Kyle Lowry again, it will be interesting to see if they can back it up tonight and turn things around to get the win.
Last night saw the Raptors get into a 18-37 hole after the first quarter and they could never recover. Fred VanVleet managed just 12 points on 4/14 shooting as Norman Powell led all scorers for the game with 24. Toronto will be hoping to shoot the ball better in Miami, going just 11/37 (29.7%) from deep, however the Heat’s eighth ranked defense might slow them down again.
Miami trailed by as many as nine in Oklahoma City on Monday but used some tenacious defense and a 63-40 second half to pick up the 108-94 win. Kendrick Nunn keeps making the most of Goran Dragic being out of the lineup, putting up 20 points, nine assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks in what is one of his best stat lines of the season.
Duncan Robinson poured in six threes to lead the team in scoring with 22 points while Bam Adebayo had a 19 point, 13 rebound double double in the win.
The Heat have a taste for winning, shown in their last three games and should be able to take care of the Raptors at home tonight. Nunn’s overall play combined with Adebayo and Jimmy Butler’s defensive efforts should be enough to give the Heat the edge.
NBA Pick – Miami Heat (-125)
NBA Spread – Miami Heat -2 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Under 216.5 (-110)
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Chicago Bulls – 8PM ET
The Chicago Bulls will be looking for their third straight win when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight. Wins over Sacramento and Houston might not look impressive but the Bulls have climbed to eighth in the East and they will want to continue on their ascension.
Minnesota may have other ideas, as they will be looking to bounce back from an embarrassing 112-139 loss in Milwaukee last night. Karl-Anthony Towns and Malik Beasley both shot over 50% from the field and scored 26 a piece while combining for seven from behind the arc, but no one else could eclipse 50% shooting and get anything going offensively.
THAT’S OUR ALL-STAR.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 24, 2021
Coby White led the scoring for the Bulls in their 120-100 over Houston, finishing with 24 points on 62.5% shooting while adding 10 rebounds. Zach LaVine, who was just named to his first All Star game had a low scoring night but still managed 21 points, along with five rebounds and a team high six assists.
The Wolves will need to tighten up defensively as 139 is far too many points to be allowed and Chicago is the eighth best scoring team in the league this season. To compound this, Minnesota are just 3-14 on the road season and we will be taking the Bulls confidently in this one.
NBA Pick – Chicago Bulls (-180)
NBA Spread – Chicago Bulls -4 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Over 227.5 (-110)
Detroit Pistons @ New Orleans Pelicans – 8PM ET
After their thrilling comeback over the Celtics on Sunday night, the New Orleans Pelicans will be looking to keep the momentum going when they host the Detroit Pistons tonight. Despite trailing by as much as 24 in the third quarter, the Pels managed to force overtime and then go on to win 120-115, giving them confidence and momentum into a matchup with a Detroit side that is glued to the bottom of the East and has a 3-14 road record this season.
Detroit actually managed to pick up a road win last night, defeating the Magic 105-93. The Pistons controlled that one from the jump, getting a 10 point lead after the first quarter and then using a 26-14 third quarter to put the game on ice. Saben Lee, in just his 10th career game, led all scorers with 21 points off the bench, shooting an incredible 8/11 from the field and 3/3 from deep.
They will need everybody to play near their best if they are able to back it up again tonight in New Orleans. Their win over Boston saw contributions from their regulars, Zion Williamson ending up with 28 points and 10 rebounds while Brandon Ingram top scored with 33 points. The pair that came with Ingram from the Lakers, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, combined for 33 points and 16 rebounds, helping the Pels get over the line.
Detroit may have won last night but Orlando is inconsistent at the best of times this season. New Orleans stays at home and have had a couple of days to prepare for this one, something that works for them as they have a 3-1 record when going in with a rest advantage. We like the Pels to win and win pretty comfortably here.
NBA Pick – New Orleans Pelicans (-500)
NBA Spread – Detroit Pistons +10 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Over 222.5 (-110)
San Antonio Spurs @ Oklahoma City Thunder – 8PM ET
The San Antonio Spurs finally get back on the court after 11 days on the sidelines due to a COVID-19 breakout, but who will actually be able to play? The Oklahoma City Thunder might have caught a lucky break as six Spurs are already confirmed OUT, led by DeMar DeRozan who will miss due to personal reasons.
The Spurs last game, all the way back on Sunday 14th, was a 122-110 win in Charlotte where the Spurs rallied from a 17-33 first quarter deficit to win quite comfortably in the end. Derrick White and Dejounte Murray combined for 51 points and six steals while the latter added 12 rebounds and six assists.
SPURS CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: San Antonio updated their injury report, and coach Popovich spoke at practice for first time since positive coronavirus tests postponed games https://t.co/E4mMmeRdzX
— KENS 5 (@KENS5) February 23, 2021
San Antonio might not even have enough numbers to suit up, especially if LaMarcus Aldridge can’t return from a hip injury that has kept him out the entire month. Oklahoma City should be looking at this game as a perfect opportunity to bounce back from their 94-108 home loss to the Heat on Monday.
OKC actually held a nine point lead at halftime but were outscored 40-63 after the main break and never looked like winning in the second half. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was once again the lone bright spot for the Thunder, scoring 27 points on 66.7% shooting along with five assists, but none of his teammates could eclipse 13 points in their terrible offensive performance.
The Thunder would normally be nowhere near favoritism in this matchup but given San Antonio’s outs, they have their noses in front in the odds and we tend to agree. DeRozan is a big loss for the Spurs and with their limited player availability and lack of match fitness, the Thunder should be able to run them off their feet.
NBA Pick – Oklahoma City Thunder (-110)
NBA Spread – Oklahoma City Thunder -1 (-105)
Total Points Pick – Under 218.5 (-110)
Charlotte Hornets @ Phoenix Suns – 9PM ET
The Charlotte Hornets will be looking for a much better outcome in the second game of their West Coast road trip tonight, however things might not go their way as they face one of the in form teams in the comp. The Phoenix Suns have won three straight and nine of their last 10, with their only loss being by four points to the red hot Nets.
The Suns’ most recent performance was a demolishing of the Trail Blazers, using a 37-17 third quarter to propel themselves to a 132-100 win. Devin Booker led all scorers with 34 points on 12/17 shooting, Deandre Ayton finished with 19 points on 72.7% shooting along with five rebounds and two blocks however freshly named All Star Reserve Chris Paul could manage two points.
They should be looking to pile on another massive home win against a Charlotte side who, despite holding a three point halftime lead, ended up losing 110-132 on the back of a 20-41 final period. LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward had 21 points a piece while Malik Monk put in 20 off the bench but their terrible defense gave the game away.
Phoenix is one of just three teams to be in the top 10 for both offensive and defensive ratings through the first two months of the season and Charlotte is in the bottom half of the league for both categories. The Hornets are just 4-7 as road underdogs this season and this Phoenix side should take care of them easily.
NBA Pick – Phoenix Suns (-450)
NBA Spread – Phoenix Suns -7.5 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Over 225.5 (-110)
Los Angeles Lakers @ Utah Jazz – 10PM ET
In what was supposed to be a battle of the best in the west, is now a lopsided matchup that should see the Utah Jazz hand the Los Angeles Lakers their fourth straight loss. Monday night saw the Jazz bounce back from a loss to the Clippers with a 132-110 pounding of Charlotte while the Lakers fell to the Wizards in overtime.
LeBron James had a massive game with 31 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds but shot just 2/10 from deep and had eight turnovers in the contest. Montrezl Harrell had a big 26 points and nine rebounds off the bench while Kyle Kuzma had a 14 point, 11 rebound triple double. James and Kuzma both missed game tying threes in the dying seconds of overtime, resulting in the Lakers third straight loss, all at home.
They have been without Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder for all three of their losses, so they have some excuses, but they will be without them both again tonight and Utah should prove to be too much for the Lakers to handle. The Jazz are ranked third for offensive rating and second for defensive rating and have now won 21 of their last 23 games.
On February 5th, the Utah Jazz set their franchise record for three-pointers made (25) in a single game, against the Charlotte Hornets.
On February 22nd, the Utah Jazz set their franchise record for three-pointers made (28) in a single game, against the Charlotte Hornets.
— Luka Wobčić (@WorldWideWob) February 23, 2021
Donovan Mitchell was just named an All Star reserve for the second straight year and his play Monday justified the selection. He led four Jazz players to reach 20 points with 23 of his own, adding eight assists and four rebounds with it. Joe Ingles, Georges Niang and Jordan Clarkson all came off the bench to score 20+, combining to shoot an absurd 19/27 from deep.
This is a battle between the top two defensive ratings in the league but where Utah are third for offense, LA is just 17th. Especially with Davis and Schroder out, this one could be ugly for the Lakers.
NBA Pick – Utah Jazz (-350)
NBA Spread – Utah Jazz -8 (-115)
Total Points Pick – Over 220 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of Bet365.