NBA Picks Today – Free Expert Picks (2/11/2021)

Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer

Thursday’s five-game schedule has some interesting scenarios, with a few teams dragging their feet coming in. Of the 10 teams playing, four of them will be playing on the back end of a back-to-back set. In addition, two teams will be playing on the front end of a B2B set while many others will be playing either their third game in four or fourth in six.

Only one of the local teams, the Philadelphia 76ers, will be playing this evening; that game will be played on national TV (TNT) on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers. The first game of the TNT doubleheader will be the Miami Heat at Houston Rockets.

Here are my best NBA picks I like for tonight’s games:



Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics

Total: 223
Celtics (-3)

-TOR: back-end b2b (at WSH last night), 3 games in 4 nights, 5 games in 7 nights
-BOS: normal rest, front-end b2b (vs. DET tomorrow)

Just look at the scheduling in this situation- yikes! I don’t get it why the Celtics aren’t favored by more, but they should roll in this one. The Raptors don’t have many games on B2B nights, but they are 1-2 SU/0-3 in that scenario this season.

Boston is a well-coached team and will be prepared for this matchup. Look for this team to take advantage of Toronto tonight, and then possibly play down to its competition tomorrow night against Detroit.

It’s also worth noting that the game total dropped off a cliff from 224 to 220.5. The value is gone there, so you can take that original total of 224 at -150 and parlay that with an easy winner on the moneyline tonight… like, the Celtics?

Betting Pick: Celtics -3


Indiana Pacers at Detroit Pistons

Total: 218
Spread: Pacers (-3)

-IND: back-end b2b (at BKN last night)
-DET: normal rest, front-end b2b (at BOS tomorrow)

This is an interesting matchup, considering the Pistons have been some talented teams (Lakers, Nets, 76ers) over the last 2-3 weeks but have lost four of their last five games. The Pacers got absolutely rocked in Brooklyn last night, making that four straight losses, possibly setting them up for a spirited effort this time around.

So which way do we go, with two teams that are in a bad way? As evidenced by the spread on the game, I do believe we’ll see a tight contest. I’ll take the Pacers tonight, as they did play very well in the second half last night; that momentum should carry over to tonight.

Betting Pick: Pacers -3


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Orlando Magic at Golden State Warriors

Total: 224.5
Spread: Warriors (-7.5)

-ORL: normal rest, front-end b2b (@SAC tomorrow night)
-GS: 3 games in 4 nights, 4 games in 6 nights

Let’s go with the underdog here, considering the favored Warriors might not be up to the challenge this evening with a lot of games played already this week. The Magic just got throttled in Portland the other night, making this an opportunity (like the Pacers above) to redeem themselves and play some quality basketball.

Betting Pick: Magic +7.5


Philadelphia 76ers at Portland Trail Blazers

Total: 229.5
Spread: 76ers (-5.5)

-PHI: normal rest
-POR: front-end, front-end b2b (vs. CLE tomorrow night)

We already saw each TT increase by +0.8 early on today and the total hasn’t moved on some books. Other books do have totals higher than the one you see below, so make sure you do some smart shopping and find the most profitable total for yourself.

This should be a fantastic matchup between two of the NBA’s best point guards… albeit, one of them (Ben Simmons) being much taller than the other (Damian Lillard.) Nevertheless, this is a national TV spot here on TNT, so I’d expect the boys to show out and get some help from their teammates along the way.

Betting Pick: Over 229.5