NBA Expert Betting Picks (Saturday, Feb. 1): Best Bets for 76ers-Celtics, Hawks-Mavs

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Photo credit: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Trae Young

There are 10 games on Saturday’s NBA schedule and our experts are betting on two specific matchups:

  • 8:30 p.m. ET: Atlanta Hawks at Dallas Mavericks
  • 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics

See the three bets they’re making below.


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


Wob: 76ers at Celtics

Alas, we have arrived at the battle of “No Kemba, No Kanter” vs. “The 76ers just can’t win on the road.”

Something’s gotta give, and while Boston remains a formidable opponent without two of its best scorers, there is a reason why the Celtics haven’t beaten the 76ers in what feels like an eternity. Even at full strength.

An Al Horford revenge game is in play, as is the presence of a man named Joel Embiid. Just too much firepower for Philadelphia to not take them here tonight in a game that will have at least 105 possessions per team.

THE PICK: 76ers +1

Brandon Anderson: 76ers at Celtics

The Celtics and 76ers renew their rivalry again Saturday night, and it sure seems like we are headed toward an entire playoff series with these two teams again. We know all the matchups by now. We know Joel Embiid gives Boston trouble. We know to expect a gritty, physical game.

My angle here is simple. Boston has been awesome at home and Philadelphia mediocre at best on the road. That’s 19-5 at home for the Celtics and just 9-16 both straight-up and against the spread on the road for Philly.

No Kemba Walker gives me some pause, but it also moved the line two points and basically made it a coin flip. I’ll stick with the home advantage.

And as a bonus pick, my favorite novelty prop on the board is James Harden -7.5 points over the first half point total of the Super Bowl. Harden has slowed down lately in the scoring column, but a high-paced game against a poor New Orleans defense should get him back on track, and the Super Bowl usually starts out slow.

THE PICK: Celtics -1

Bryan Mears: Hawks at Mavericks

The Mavs are missing their two best players (arguably) in Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic. We already saw the Mavs operate without Luka last game, falling to the Rockets, who have really struggled of late. They did well for a couple games without him earlier in the year, but those games included Porzingis, who really shined in the spotlight.

The Mavs without either on the floor have been largely fine, posting a +2.0 Net Rating, but note that those possessions have largely come against bench units. Tonight they’ll come against an improving Hawks starting unit — one that has actually had very solid moments with Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and John Collins.

I’ve written a lot about buying the Hawks over the next bit now that they’re healthier, and I’m now selling the Mavs with Luka and Porzingis out. I just don’t think they’re going to generate good enough looks consistently, and while they can get hot, so can the Hawks. I’ll take the +4 here, and I think there’s some value on the under as well.

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