NBA Betting Lines Picks
Washington Wizards (-5) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (+5)
Bovada has the Wizards as five-point favorites at home against a Pelicans squad that’s been scrappy of late. That’s too much. Anthony Davis is working off a 59-points, 20-rebound explosion and the Wizards are still trying to integrate Markieff Morris into their offense.
Bet on the Pelicans with confidence.
Utah Jazz (-5) vs. Houston Rockets (+5)
Two weeks ago, the Jazz would have been the easy pick. But they were sluggish coming out of the All-Star break against the Portland Trail Blazers and have had problems holding leads all season. The Rockets, meanwhile, are as healthy as they’ve been and are coming off a 16-point shellacking of the Phoenix Suns. Their team chemistry is an issue, but the Jazz play a slow style that will bend, and potentially break, when going up against Houston’s frenetic-paced attack.
Bank on the Rockets covering the spread.
Storylines to Follow
Chris Bosh Still Out for the Miami Heat
Chris Bosh is dealing with yet another blood clot issue, and it’s unclear when he’ll return to Miami’s lineup. The Heat have won each of their first three games out of the All-Star break, during which time they’ve taken over third place in the Eastern Conference.
Still, it would be foolish to believer they’re better off without Bosh. Their week includes matchups against the heavily favored Golden State Warriors (Feb. 24) and understatedly tough Boston Celtics (Feb. 27). It’s best to steer clear of betting in their favor for now.
The Fall of the Chicago Bulls
Yes, the Chicago Bulls are on the right side of two straight victories, including one over the Toronto Raptors, the East’s second-best team. But Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic are still banged up, and Derrick Rose, for all he’s done recently, is still a wild card.
The Bulls have a tough stretch coming up to finish out this week, when they’ll play three games in four nights against the Wizards (Feb. 24), Atlanta Hawks (Feb. 26) and Portland Trail Blazers (Feb 27). Avoid wagering on them no matter the spread until they return to semblance of healthy.
The Rise of the Portland Trail Blazers
Speaking of the Blazers, they continue to throw everyone for a whirl and rank as one of the NBA’s more intriguing bets. Damian Lillard is thriving as the team’s lone star, and Portland is beyond scary at home, as we saw in their February 19 drubbing of the Golden State Warriors.
Three of the Blazers’ remaining four games this week will come against playoff teams: They host the Brooklyn Nets (Feb. 23) and Rockets (Feb. 25) at home, and will travel to see the Bulls (Feb. 27) and Indiana Pacers (Feb. 28).
Bovada has Portland as an 11-point favorite against Brooklyn, and you should buy it. The Blazers have one of the league’s four-best point differentials at home over the last 10 games.