Playoff races in both conferences are starting to take shape, and there are contenders galore featured in our best bets tonight.
The Mavericks just impressively beat the Bucks in Milwaukee, although the Pistons have been a cover machine. Boston and Chicago are fighting for seeding in the East, while Phoenix is just trying to stay healthy. The Suns get the Clippers, though, who are looking like a dangerous sleeper in the West.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Dallas Mavericks vs. Detroit Pistons||7 p.m. ET|
|Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls||8 p.m. ET|
|Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers||10 p.m. ET|
Dallas Mavericks vs. Detroit Pistons
|Tipoff||7 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Matt Moore: I’ve been wondering when betting the Pistons would become square, and it is not this game. The Pistons are 20-2 ATS since Valentine’s. Even in their tanking efforts, they’re covering the numbers.
Sure, the Pistons are resting Jerami Grant and Kelly Olynyk and Marvin Bagley and Cory Joseph and you know what? I don’t care! They’ve still got the young guys and that’s what matters to me.
Plus, the Mavericks are suspiciously weak vs. bad teams. They’re lights out vs. the great teams but are just 8-9 against the spread (ATS) as more than a 6-point favorite (two possessions) vs. teams under .500.
Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls
|Pick||Al Horford Over 3.5 Assists, 5+, 6+ and 7+|
|Tipoff||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Joe Dellera: The Boston Celtics take on the Chicago Bulls tonight in a game with significant seeding implications for both teams. The Bulls do not want to slip into the play-in tournament, and the Celtics are in a three-way tie with the Bucks and 76ers for the No. 2 seed.
I spoke about why I like the Celtics and Jayson Tatum already in this game in today’s Prop Edition of Daily Action Picks, but another Celtic that should perform well is Al Horford.
With the injury to Robert Williams, the Celtics have leaned on Horford a bit more of late. In 16 games without Robert Williams, Horford is averaging 10.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. The prop I’m targeting tonight is his assists line.
Currently, his prop is set at 3.5 assists (+110 DraftKings), a number he has cleared in 10 of 16 (63%) without Robert Williams this season. Looking specifically at his last five games, Horford has hit this line in all of them with total assists of six, six, four, seven and seven for an average of 5.98 actual assists on 8.6 potential assists per game, per NBA Advanced Stats. Additionally, during those five games, his assist rate is at a lofty 21.7% — this would be second best on the team following just Marcus Smart, per Cleaning the Glass.
The Bulls’ defense is 23rd ranked in Adjusted Defensive Rating, and the Celtics should be able to score effectively and efficiently against them and Horford should play a large role in that.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers
|Tipoff||10 p.m. ET|
Raheem Palmer: With the playoffs a week away, it’s tough to imagine the Suns playing their starters for this matchup, so it feels like a good situational spot to take the Clippers, who have won three out of their last four games since the return of Paul George.
Over this four-game stretch, the Clippers are scoring 131.4 points per 100 possessions. While some of that skewed due to them putting up 153 points against a Bucks team that was resting its starters, it’s clear this isn’t the same Clippers team we’ve seen much of the year which has struggled to score.