NBA Picks Today – Free Expert Picks (2/10/2021)

Wednesday’s nine-game schedule is setting up to be a dandy with some of the league’s best teams in action. Unfortunately, here in the NJ/NY area, only one of the teams (Brooklyn Nets) will be in action tonight.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of other great games to take advantage of. There’s a great individual matchup between Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks; you can catch that game on ESPN. The second game of that primetime doubleheader will be between the Milwaukee Bucks.

Unfortunately, neither of those two games made the cut, but here are the four best NBA picks I like for tonight’s games.

Indiana Pacers at Brooklyn Nets (-2)

-IND: 2 days off
-BKN: back-end b2b

The Pacers always have a knack for being a thorn in the Nets’ side; I know this as a life-long New Jersey/Brooklyn fanatic. Adding up to the upcoming show of horrors, Indy has a significant rest advantage over Brooklyn coming into this one.

Speaking of horrors, let’s talk about the Nets defense. The team has now lost each of its last three games and four of the last five. In that span, Brooklyn is allowing an average of 127.6 points. Yikes. Not to mention, this is the back-end of a b2b for the Nets, so you never know if Kyrie gets the night off.

If you’re a fan of offense, make sure you tune into Nets’ games. In an unbelievable series of events, 16 of their last 17 games have gone over the total- including each of the last five. Pacers games are about as average as it gets on totals this season, with 51.3% of them going over the total.

Betting Pick: Pacers +2

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Charlotte Hornets at Memphis Grizzlies (-4)

-CHA: 3 games in 4 days, 4 games in 6 days
-MEM: normal rest

This probably won’t be an exciting game, but that’s ok- it’s not what we’re looking for. We’re going under, mate. (horrible Aussie accent)

The Grizzlies have numerous injuries and already have their games play to the second-lowest rate over the total (44.6%) this season. That’s great news for us, considering Hornets’ games play to the ninth-lowest rate going over the total (47.7%). It’s also worth noting the team (Golden State Warriors) with the third-lowest rate (46.2%) here. We can easily see the difference of third and ninth place, those spots are only separated by exactly 1.5%. Point being, Charlotte could easily be much lower on the list.

Early on, about 70% of the bets are on the over while nearly all of the money is on the under.

Betting Pick: Under 225 points

New Orleans Pelicans (-3) at Chicago Bulls

-NO: back-end of b2b
-CHI: 4 games in 6 days

With the scheduling scenario for both teams, I can see why Vegas has lowered the team totals slightly for each team. However, I gots to go against the grain here.

Both teams rank slightly below average in defensive efficiency (CHI: 20th, NO: 22nd) and Chicago’s No. 3-ranked pace (104.8) should help New Orleans push the temp… like it really needs any help with that. Not to mention, both teams rank in the top-10 of the NBA in turnover differential (CHI: 6th, NO: 8th) and that could lead to some extra fast-break points.

I feel like this will be a close game that goes down to the wire. Over the last 10 games, the two teams have a lot of similarly eerie stats. Heaven help us with some overtime just in case!

Betting Pick: Over 229 points

Cleveland Cavaliers at Denver Nuggets (-9.5)

-CLE: 4 games in 6 nights
-DEN: normal rest

The Cavs have lost five straight games, and now find themselves playing their fourth game in six days at the toughest road venue in the NBA. All I can say is, “Good luck.” The Nuggets, meanwhile, come into this game on perfectly normal rest playing a game every other day

Even though they have the fourth-slowest pace (99.4) in the NBA this season, the Nuggets now have the highest percentage of games going over the total (74%). It’s quite the anomaly, considering how those two stats almost never add up. Meanwhile, the Cavs aren’t too far behind the Nuggets in pace, playing the fifth-slowest tempo in the league (99.6).

It’s also important to note that each side’s TT has decreased by -2.2, dropping the game total from 224.5 to 221. I feel like that game total is basically telling us that the Nuggets are going to kick some ass tonight. The under is probably a great play here as well, but Denver is the one getting my love and affection this evening. While the number of bets is split early in the day, the Nuggets are getting 85% of the money.

Betting Pick: Nuggets -9.5

Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer