NBA Expert Betting Picks (Wednesday, Feb. 12): Our Favorite Bets for Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies, Lakers vs. Nuggets
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets looks on in the huddle.
With the NBA all-star break fast approaching, there are 11 games on Wednesday’s schedule. Our experts are betting on three specific matchups on tonight’s slate:
- 7:30 p.m. ET: Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers
- 8 p.m. ET: Portland Trail Blazers at Memphis Grizzlies
- 10 p.m. ET: LA Lakers at Denver Nuggets
See the bets they’re making below.
Odds as of Wednesday morning and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Brandon Anderson: Bucks at Pacers
- Spread: Bucks -1
- Over/Under: 223
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
I haven’t loved the lines the last few nights as we crawl toward the all-star break, but tonight is different. At first look through the slate tonight, I actually see four teams I feel pretty good about: Bucks, Raptors, Trail Blazers, and Hornets. I’m parlaying all four spreads hoping for a big payday heading into the break, if you want to get wild.
But my favorite bet of the four is on the historically good Bucks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is sitting this one out to get healthy for a fun weekend in Chicago. That means the Pacers theoretically have the best player on the court in Victor Oladipo depending on how you feel about Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton. But Antetokounmpo’s absence basically makes this a pick’em, and I just can’t pass up on the 46-7 Bucks in a pick’em.
The Bucks are far more than just Giannis, and they’ve continued to pile up wins even when he sits, often comfortably. They are 5-0 in February both straight up and against the spread, while the Pacers haven’t found the right balance since Oladipo’s return.
Indy is riding a six-game losing streak, which includes losses to the short-handed Mavs and Raptors as well as the Pelicans, Nets, and Knicks. That’s five outright losses as at least a five-point favorite. I just can’t trust that team, even at home in a rare ESPN game.
The PICK: Bucks -1
John Ewing: Trail Blazers at Grizzlies
- Spread: Grizzlies -4
- Over/Under: 235.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
The Blazers lost 138-117 to the Pelicans in New Orleans on Tuesday and have a quick turnaround with a back-to-back against the Grizzlies tonight.
If there was ever a time for a team with tired legs to mail it in, the game prior to the all-star break (vacation) seems like a great spot.
Since 2005, betting against an opponent on a back-to-back in the last games before the all-star break has gone 79-55-3 (59%) ATS. For comparisons, in all other games betting against an opponent on a back-to-back has gone 4,137-4,087-148 (50%) ATS.
The Blazers were blown out on Tuesday and now have to play on short rest before a vacation. Look for Portland to have a low level of motivation, which should give the Grizzlies an advantage in this matchup.
The PICK: Grizzlies -4
Wob: Lakers at Nuggets
- Spread: Lakers -2.5
- Over/Under: 220
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
In what world are the Nuggets an underdog, at home in the last game before the all-star break?
They are back to full strength in the health department and all of their reinforcements from the trade deadline are fully-integrated into Malone’s system. With Jamal Murray back, that high pick-and-roll with Nikola Jokic has never looked so good. Everyone knows it’s coming, yet teams still can’t stop it.
Oh, by the way, Jokic is now the most-clutch player in the league, recently recording his eighth game-winning shot in the calendar year. As for this game, the Nuggets’ most-recent performances against the Jazz and Spurs showed you a lot about this team’s character.
Down to seven men, they went to Salt Lake City and pulled off a gargantuan upset giving them a massive leg up in the Northwest Division race. Then they came home and erased a near 20-point deficit against the Spurs like it was absolutely NOTHING to win in dramatic fashion.
The Lakers are eating orange slices during timeouts and the Nuggets are washing their mouths with a glass of thumbtacks. That’s a lot of words to say the Nuggets are winning this game. They’re just better. Right now, at least.
The PICK: Nuggets +2.5