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NBA Expert Betting Picks (Friday, Feb. 21): How Our Staff Is Betting Pelicans vs. Trail Blazers, More

NBA Expert Betting Picks (Friday, Feb. 21): How Our Staff Is Betting Pelicans vs. Trail Blazers, More article feature image

Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers.

  • Need NBA betting picks for Friday? Our staffers each compiled their best bets on tonight's slate.
  • See where they are finding value in tonight's matchups including Zion Williamson and the Pelicans against the Trail Blazers.

There are nine games on Friday’s NBA schedule and our experts are betting on these specific matchups:

  • 8 p.m. ET: Boston Celtics at Minnesota Timberwolves
  • 10:30 p.m. ET: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers

See the bets they’re making below.

Odds as of Friday and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

Brandon Anderson: Celtics at Timberwolves

  • Spread: Celtics -7.5
  • Over/Under: 227
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET

Fans in Minnesota are not particularly fond of teams from Boston. Maybe it’s the way they always swoop in and steal great players — Kevin Garnett, Randy Moss, and David Ortiz — or how they always go onto become Boston sports icons even though they were ours first.

Whatever, I don’t want to talk about it.

The point is, the Celtics have done it again by retiring KG’s number before the Wolves franchise could make up with Garnett in time to put 21 in the rafters, and any franchise with any amount of cajones would be ticked and show up and play with heart and show Boston what’s up.

Which is why the Wolves will probably roll over and let the Celtics eat their lunch. Karl-Anthony Towns is still on all-star break with a wrist injury, so unless all the new Wolves get hot and make 25 threes again, the C’s will roll and their fans will dream of KAT in green someday as they play with the trade machine in a blowout win.

The PICK: Celtics -7.5

John Ewing: Pelicans at Blazers

  • Spread: Pelicans -4.5
  • Over/Under: 239
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

Players typically don’t give 100% effort right after the All-Star break because they suffer from a vacation hangover. When players aren’t trying their hardest, it shows on the defensive end of the court.

Since 2005, in the first games after the All-Star break (when team are most likely to be going through the motions), the over has gone 154-126-5 (55%).

When the game features two teams below .500, it has been even more profitable to bet the over. Bad teams with nothing to play for are even more likely to loaf on defense.

The over when two teams with losing records play the first two days after the All-Star break has gone 54-25-1 (68%) since 2005.

The Pelicans and Blazers meet tonight in their first game after the break. New Orleans is 10 games below .500; Portland is six games below. Look for each team to start slow on defense, which should lead to a shootout.

The PICK: Over 239

Wob: Pelicans at Trail Blazers

If you’ve been following these picks for a period of time, you are no stranger to my “how is this total not in 230s?” series. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to welcome you to the debut of the sequel — the one time the sequel is as good as the original not named Empire Strikes Back or Godfather II — “how is this total not in the 240s?”

First of all, have you seen the Pelicans play defense? Second of all, have you seen the Pelicans play defense?

Combine one of the historically terrible defenses with Gentry Ball — a Mike D’Antoni 7 seconds or less mutation that cares more about pace than actual points — and we have ourselves a total that may honestly get into the 250s. I’m serious. Direct to me one rotation lineup in which these two teams aren’t going to launch threes and play matador defense in the paint.

I’m not saying they’re going to shoot lights out, but the sheer quantity of possessions in this game should make 250 very feasible. You’d be surprised just how easy that number is to achieve when you play the way these two squads do. Oh and if CJ McCollum catches fire? We’ll have this wrapped before last call at the bar. See you at the window.

The PICK: Over 239

[Bet now at FanDuel. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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