NBA Picks Today – Free Expert Picks (2/23/2021)

Tuesday’s nine-game NBA schedule has some great matchups and opportunities to make some money. If you’ve been following along this season, you are profiting quite a bit – my 23-13-1 ATS record (56.5%) has been doing well for the people.

Luckily, both national TV games (on TNT) will be covered in this space: Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks & Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets. In addition to those two, there are two more games that I’ll be writing about.

Here are my four NBA picks for Tuesday night:

Atlanta Hawks (-7) at Cleveland Cavaliers – Total: 227.5

ATL: normal rest, front-end b2b (vs. BOS tomorrow)
CLE: normal rest, front-end b2b (vs. HOU tomorrow)

Well, DraftKings went ahead and jinxed it…

It’s actually funny, because I had already fixated on the Cavs +7 tonight before even seeing that tweet. This is a perfect opportunity for Cleveland to get back to playing competitive basketball, against a Hawks team that really isn’t anything that special.

ATL probably gets the win but I do think this game stays close. Lost in the midst of that Cavs’ stat is the quality of opponents they played over the last 12 games- Bucks (2), Suns, Nuggets (2), Trail Blazers, Clippers (2) and Warriors all in that stretch.

Betting Pick: Cavaliers (+7)

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Boston Celtics (-1) at Dallas Mavericks – Total: 224.5

BOS: normal rest, front-end b2b (@ATL tomorrow)
DAL: back-end b2b (vs. MEM yesterday, 7 days rest before that)

If you have been paying attention to sports media recently, you’d think the sky was falling down on top of the Celtics. Some of it is deserving- the team hasn’t won consecutive games in a month and has now fallen to an underachieving mark of 15-15. Whenever you see a team getting trounced in the media, we can probably expect them to at least come out spirited in that next game.

The Mavericks did play last night, and they are 1-4 ATS on no-days rest this season. In addition, Dallas has very poor ATS numbers at home (4-11 ATS) and as a home favorite (3-10 ATS), so there’s plenty of reasons to feel confident here. The Mavs had a full week off before last night’s game and only scored 102 points against a defensively-inept Grizzlies team. Look for them to struggle against Boston’s gritty style.

Betting Pick: Celtics (-1)

Sacramento Kings at Brooklyn Nets (-7) – Total: 242

SAC: 3 games in 4 days, 4 games in 6 days
BKN: normal rest

These two teams squared off last week and it was the Nets coming away with a convincing 136-125 win. That final score isn’t even really indicative of how much in control Brooklyn was that night, at one point holding a 22-point lead in the fourth quarter.

The Nets just completed a perfect 5-0 West Coast road trip with wins over teams like the Clippers, Lakers and Warriors, and are also now owners of a six-game winning streak. Look for them to continue their winning ways back at home over a Kings team that has now lost seven straight. Brooklyn ranks first in the NBA in offensive efficiency while Sacramento ranks dead last in defensive efficiency.

Betting Pick: Nets (-7)

Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets (-7) – Total: 230.5

POR: back-end b2b (@DEN yesterday), 3 games in 4 days
DEN: normal rest

The Trail Blazers got absolutely boatraced in Phoenix last night, and it could very well happen on the back end of a B2B in the NBA’s toughest environment. For opposing teams, traveling into the league’s highest altitude after playing the previous night just isn’t a winning recipe.

The Nuggets are 5-1 SU in games against division opponents this season, so that adds some more optimism to the situation. This could very well be a huge individual night for both Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic taking aim at a Trail Blazers’ defense that ranks second worst in defensive efficiency (113.9).

Betting Pick: Nuggets (-7)

Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer