NBA Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Rockets vs. 76ers, Heat vs. Warriors (Wednesday, Feb. 17)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors.
- Wednesday night features another jam-packed NBA slate with 10 games and two national TV matchups.
- Check out how our NBA analysts are betting three of Wednesday's games, including their analysis and picks on Knicks vs. Magic and Rockets vs. 76ers and a prop on one Warriors player.
It’s Wednesday in the NBA, which means we’ve got a big slate of games and two national TV matchups on the schedule: Houston Rockets vs. Philadelphia 76ers (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) and Miami Heat vs. Golden State Warriors (10 p.m. ET on ESPN).
With 10 games to choose from, four of our NBA analysts have zeroed in on bets in three games, including both ESPN games, that they think provide betting value tonight. Check out their analysis and picks for those matchups below.
NBA Odds & Picks
New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic
Malik Smith: Few teams have been as unlucky as the Orlando Magic when it comes to injuries this season. The team reported that Cole Anthony will be out until the All-Star break and Evan Fournier has been in and out of the lineup all season with back issues. Fournier, James Ennis and Al-Farouq Aminu are all questionable to play, which means the bulk of the scoring will come from Nikola Vucevic as it has all season.
Meanwhile, the Knicks are on a roll with Julius Randle making his case to be an All-Star and Derrick Rose stabilizing the bench after landing in New York via trade. They aren’t a flawless team by any stretch of the imagination, but they are distancing themselves from the teams at bottom of the East and sit in the No. 6 spot in the conference standings.
The Magic are just 2-6 against the spread as a home underdog this season and Knicks have covered their past three games as favorites after starting the season 0-2 in that spot.
With all the Magic’s injury issues, I think there’s value on the Knicks as road favorites here and I’d bet them up to -5.5.
Houston Rockets vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Raheem Palmer: According to Bet labs, the Houston Rockets are 17-10 to the under this season and given their statistics, it’s not much of a surprise. The Rockets are fourth in Defensive Rating holding teams to a mere 109.4 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes, according to Cleaning the Glass.
The biggest issue with this team has been their complete mess of an offense. The rank 26th in Offensive Rating (107.7) and over the past two weeks they’ve fallen even further scoring just 103.1 points per 100 possessions which is 30th among NBA teams.
In addition to the absence of Christian Wood, they’ve had injuries to Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon both of who are doubtful for tonight’s game and for a team lacking depth they simply find themselves fighting an uphill battle to score points.
The Rockets shooting percentages from all over the floor are downright depressing to say the least. They’re 20th in eFG%, 28th in 3-point field goal percentage (34.7%) and 29th in the midrange (35.5%) shooting percentage.
The only area of the floor where they rank higher than 24th is at the rim where they’re shooting 63.9%, which would be fine except they’re playing a 76ers team that ranks third in shooting percentage at the rim, holding opposing teams to just 59.7%.
While the Rockets are sixth in pace this season, I’m not sure that’s enough to get them over this total as they’re playing a 76ers defense that ranks seventh among NBA teams.
While my numbers project this game at 223 — well under the total of 227 — I like the under on the Rockets’ team total without Wood, Oladipo and Gordon.
Houston Rockets vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Kenny Ducey: The Sixers are in desperate need of a win, seeing their momentum slow with a three-game losing streak chock full of heartbreak. In Wednesday night’s game against the Rockets — the Daryl Morey revenge game — I expect “The Process” to come out on top against the originator.
Houston already had its fair share of issues in the frontcourt, and now without its anchor in Christian Wood, things have gotten a bit messy. The Rockets rank second-to-last in the league in rebounding rate this season, and since losing Wood six games ago they’ve allowed a weak 65.6% shooting in the restricted area, a considerable jump from their pretty solid 60.7% mark for the season.
Embiid is listed as probable for this game, I don’t see any reason why he should sit or be limited in this one after missing Monday’s game. JoJo has gone for 35 points in each of his past two games and is averaging of 33.7 over his past seven.
While I’m expecting another 30-point night going against either P.J. Tucker or DeMarcus Cousins in the post, I think the rebounds should be there too considering how awfully Houston attacks the glass. This should give Embiid a very good chance to hit this over.
There is the slight concern about a blowout here, but I’ll remind you that Embiid scored 37 points in just 26 minutes against the Timberwolves in Philly’s last blowout win — a 24-point victory. He also scored 33 in 31 minutes against the Nets a few games back, which Philly dominated by 16.
He’s incredibly efficient, and gets to the line plenty, so the points should be there, and with a decisive edge on the glass we should see him get his 15th double-double of the year.
Miami Heat vs. Golden State Warriors
Brandon Anderson: Tonight, we ride with future Hall of Famer, Draymond Green.
Green is playing point center for the Golden State Warriors again, and it’s a beautiful thing. With James Wiseman and Kevon Looney sidelined, the Warriors have gone back to what works, playing Draymond at center and letting him open everything up for this team.
In his last seven games as point center, Green is averaging 6.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.3 stocks (steals plus blocks), and an incredible 12.3 assists per game. If those aren’t the most Draymond Green stats ever, I’m not sure what are. This is Draymond in a nutshell.
This is a slap in the face to every amateur fan who still thinks points determine an NBA player’s greatness. Yes, Stephen Curry has been incredible during this stretch too, but it’s no coincidence that he’s doing it while Green has been terrific too.
We can track combo props now at the Action app, and we just added rebounds + assists today, so I’m grabbing it. Green has had at least six rebounds and eight assists in all seven games as the point center, and he’s averaging 19.4 rebounds and assisters per game in this stretch.
I played Draymond to go over 8.5 assists his last game against the Cavs and he hit that over by halftime. The way he’s creating for teammates right now, he could threaten the over 15.5 on assists alone — he just topped that with assists last game, in fact.
The Heat rank dead last in rebounds per game as a team, so the boards should be there too. If you can only play one of these lines and don’t have the combo available, our props tool likes Draymond over 6.5 rebounds at +120 on DraftKings best.
But I’ll grab the combo play here and keep riding the Draymond wave. I’d play over 15.5 rebounds and assists to -150 and would even consider it at 16.5 if the line rises.