The start of the weekend is upon us with another slate of great NBA matchups for Friday. Listed below are a few free NBA basketball picks and analysis for tonight from our expert handicappers.
Washington Wizards @ Charlotte Hornets
Fri, Feb 22 ’19, 7:05 PM ET
Both these teams need wins for a chance at the playoffs so I’m expecting a spirited game. But it must be noted that the Hornets are 19-9 at home, while the visiting Wizards are 7-23 on the road.
With Charlotte expecting to get back previously injured veteran point guard Tony Parker for this tilt they have an edge and my backing in this spot.
WASHINGTON is 0-11 ATS in road games after scoring 120 points or more this season with the average point diff clicking in at -12.8 ppg.( Before the break the Wizards lost 129-120 at Toronto)
WASHINGTON is 7-22 ATS in road games versus teams who make 6 or more 3 point shots/game on the season this season.
The Hornets are 14-0 ATS/SU as a home favorite with rest after playing as a road dog facing an opponent with an assist-to-turnover ratio greater than 1.5 with he every victory coming by 5 points or more.
Hornets -5 (-105) at Pinnacle
Chicago Bulls @ Orlando Magic
Fri, Feb 22 ’19, 7:05 PM ET
I’ll take my chances here with Chicago getting 8-points on the road against the Magic. I could be completely wrong here, but I’m just not buying the Magic being as good as they looked in their 5-game winning streak going into the All-Star break. A stretch in which they outscored their opponents by 22.8 ppg. They only legit win during that run was a road victory at Milwaukee and the Bucks were without Antetokounmpo (rest).
It’s now been a full 7 days since Orlando last played and a long break like that is the last thing you want when you are on a roll. Well-rested has certainly not been a good thing for the Magic at home, as they are a mere 3-12 ATS at home over the last 2 seasons when playing 4 or less games in 10 days.
No denying the Bulls are a bottom tier team, but I think this team has some really nice pieces with Markkanen, LaVine and now Otto Porter Jr. It’s really not asking a lot for them to keep this competitive and it’s not out of the question they win the game.
Orlando is just 14-15 at home this season and the Bulls have won 3 of their last 4 trips to the Amway Center.
Chicago is also 4-1 ATS last 5 on the road and 11-5 ATS last 16 when playing on 3 or more days of rest. Give me the Bulls +8!
Pick: Bulls +8 (-100) at Pinnacle
Denver Nuggets @ Dallas Mavericks
Fri, Feb 22 ’19, 8:35 PM ET
After being idle for a week due to the All-Star break, the NBA resumed its season last night. There were six NBA games played Thursday. Of those games, five of the six went Under the total.
None of the five Unders were close to going Over the total. So it’s reasonable to conclude there is a rust factor.
Now Denver and Dallas get back in action. Each team has gone nine days without playing. But there is more than a rust factor that also point to an Under in this matchup.
The Nuggets get back guard Gary Harris, who had missed the previous seven games due to a groin injury. Harris is a very good defensive player. So is big man Paul Millsap, who also is back from injury for the Nuggets.
Denver gives up 4.2 fewer points per 100 possessions when Harris is on the court, according to research compiled by BasketballReference.com.
The Mavericks have shaken up their roster making a rebuilding commitment by trading off four of their starters while getting little in return for this season.
Dallas is averaging fewer than 103 points per game in its last five games since dealing those players. Dallas been a below-the-radar Under team for a while now with the Under going 15-5-1 in its last 21 games.
Pick: Under 219.5 (-110)
Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Fri, Feb 22 ’19, 9:35 PM ET
1* Free NBA Pick on Jazz/Thunder UNDER 226
I just think the total here has been set way too high for this division showdown between the Jazz and Thunder. We saw 5 of the 6 games played on Thursday out of the break go UNDER the total and all 5 UNDERs cashed by more than 10 points. I believe we will see a very similar outcome here.
The first meeting between these two teams this season saw a combined score of 235, but that was back when Utah wasn’t playing their best and the Jazz were on the backend of a back-to-back set on the road. They rematched almost two weeks later and combined for a mere 213 points.
I think that’s where we are going to see this one finish up around. Note that both of these teams trend towards the UNDER when playing a quality opponent.
UNDER is 21-10 in Utah’s last 31 vs a team with a winning record and it’s 15-7 in OKC’s last 22 vs a team with a winning record.
UNDER is also 17-7 in the last 24 meetings in the series. Take the UNDER!