Saturday NBA Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets, Including Rockets at Knicks (Feb. 13)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: R.J. Barrett
- "It has been a profitable endeavor to play the under on games involving both the Knicks and the Rockets this season."
- NBA betting analyst Brandon Anderson breaks down his favorite pick for Saturday's slate.
On Saturday’s light NBA slate, there should be plenty of defense.
Saturday NBA Picks
76ers at Suns
Joe Dellera: This total seems a bit too high. Both of these teams are ranked in the top 10 in Defensive Rating over the past month, and much of this is because they have the seventh- and eighth-best effective FG% allowed. The 76ers do an excellent job at protecting the rim, while the Suns lock opponents down from beyond the arc.
This total has already seen sharp action, and it’s been bet down from an open of 228 all the way to 221.5 on some books despite 73% of bets being on the over. I think there’s still a little value here at 222.5 (BetMGM) if you can grab it, but I would not take it lower than 220.5.
Rockets at Knicks
Brandon Anderson: Does anybody else see the Houston Rockets playing the New York Knicks and automatically flashback to the 1994 Finals with Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing and a split screen white Bronco racing down the highway? I am not sure I will ever watch these two teams play and not think of that surreal moment, and when they meet up tonight, there might be more than just that reason to think of the 1990s.
These teams are U-G-L-Y. Both of them are hanging around the edge of the playoff race right now, and they are both doing it with defense. That was always going to be the case when Tom Thibodeau came to New York, and Houston has had the league’s best defense since the James Harden trade.
These teams play hard nosed, high energy defense, and they have to because neither team can score with any level of modern efficiency. So their only recourse is to muck the game up, play tough defense, and hope they can find just enough points on the other end.
It has been a profitable endeavor to play the under on games involving both the Knicks and the Rockets this season. Knicks unders are 19-8 on the season, while Rockets game unders are 16-8-1. That’s a 68.6% hit rate when playing the under this season, better than two out of every three! And that’s gotten even stronger over the last 10 games, with each team going under in seven of 10.
Victor Oladipo and Mitchell Robinson are out for this one. Both of those guys are good defenders, but they also leave a gap on offense just as big. Neither team has reliable scoring options. I am playing the season trends and sticking with the under here, even though this total has been rising.