NBA Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Hawks vs. Knicks, Cavaliers vs. Warriors, More (Monday, Feb. 15)

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors.

The NBA has provided bettors with a quality Monday night slate of games, anchored by two NBA TV games that should provide some interesting storylines: Houston Rockets vs. Washington Wizards (7 p.m. ET) and Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Clippers (10 p.m. ET).

With seven games to choose from, out NBA analysts have zeroed in on those two games and two others that they thing provide betting value tonight. Check out their analysis and picks for those matchups below.

NBA Odds & Picks

Click on a Pick to skip ahead
Rockets vs. Wizards Total 7 p.m. ET
Rockets vs. Wizards Prop 7 p.m. ET
Hawks vs. Knicks 1Q 7:30 p.m. ET
Heat vs. Clippers Spread 10 p.m. ET
Cavaliers vs. Warriors Spread 10 p.m. ET

Houston Rockets vs. Washington Wizards

Pick Under 230.5 (BetMGM)
Tipoff 7 p.m. ET

Raheem Palmer: I have this total priced a bit lower than the market does. Both of these teams rank top 10 in Pace, but these offenses leave a lot to be desired. The Rockets rank 25th in Offensive Rating scoring 107.7 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes while the Wizards are 22nd at 110.4, per Cleaning the Glass.

Over the past two weeks, these offenses have been even worse as the Wizards are dead last during this time period, scoring just 103.5 points per 100 possessions while the Rockets are 28th scoring 105.4.

The Wizards will likely be missing Russell Westbrook, which should slow the pace some while the Rockets are missing Victor Oladipo and Christian Wood who are a big part of their offense.

This Wizards defense is interesting as they’re 26th in Defensive Rating (115.1), but they’re allowing teams to shoot 47% from mid range, by far the worst in the league. The Rockets rank dead last in shooting from mid range.

The Wizards also 28th in opponent 3-point percentage, which is about where the Rockets rank in 3-point shooting percentage. The Rockets simply don’t have the ability to capitalize on the Wizards’ defensive weaknesses. The Rockets are also solid defensively, ranking fourth in the NBA, allowing just 108.9 points per 100 possessions.

Overall, I’m not seeing a very high scoring game between these two as my projections make this game 224. I’ll take the under here.


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Houston Rockets vs. Washington Wizards

Pick Jae’Sean Tate Over 10.5 points (FanDuel)
Tipoff 7 p.m. ET

Joe Dellera: The Rockets will be without Victor Oladipo for today’s contest against the Wizards. While I expect fireworks between John Wall and Russell Westbrook against their former teams, one of Houston’s role players has emerged as a value play.

Jae’Sean Tate has played at least 24 minutes in each of his past five games and has averaged 13 points and six rebounds per game over that stretch. Without Oladipo tonight, Tate should see increased usage.

Over the past three games when Oladipo was either limited or out. Tate scored 9, 13, and 13 points. I like his prop of over 10.5 points.

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Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks

Pick Knicks 1Q ML (BetMGM)
Tipoff 7:30 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass

Matt Moore: The Atlanta Hawks started off red hot in the first quarters; they won their first six. But since then, they are 7-13 in first quarters, and have lost their last seven first quarters in a row (!).

The New York Knicks, meanwhile are 17-10 in first quarters this season, the second-best mark in the league behind the Phoenix Suns. The Hawks are -14.2 in first quarter Net Rating over the last six games with a 99 offensive rating, according to NBA Advanced Stats. And if you want a cause-and-effect, the last time the Hawks won a first quarter was Jan. 29.

I like the Knicks to win the quarter and I will back their moneyline odds here at even money.

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Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Pick Clippers -3 (FanDuel)
Tipoff 10 p.m. ET

Kenny Ducey: Few teams have been better on the second night of a back-to-back than the Clippers, who have covered in all four of those games by a whopping 12.9 points on average. Their latest test comes against the Miami Heat, whose rotation has been awfully short of late without Goran Dragic and Avery Bradley.

While the Heat will have the rest advantage here, the Clips should have a significant edge when it comes to its depth, which will come in handy on Monday. Kawhi Leonard is listed as questionable for this one due to a leg issue, and Paul George has already been ruled out, but this team has proven it can get it done without their starts. In games played without both George and Leonard this season, the Clippers are 2-1 ATS, including Sunday’s 17-point win over the Cavs.

The Heat, meanwhile, are coming off a loss to the Jazz, which actually saw them outscore Utah in the first and fourth quarters but get killed in the second and third. That’s due to the fact that the Heat essentially had a three-man bench with Tyler Herro, Max Strus and Andre Iguodala, the latter of which didn’t even chip in a point in 17 minutes. These starters for Miami have been asked to do a lot in recent weeks with so many players missing time for various reasons and have begun to show a bit of fatigue.

The Clippers rank ninth in defending 3-pointers, which has been just about the only way Miami’s been able to hang around with good opponents. Unsurprisingly, the Heat are 2-11 when shooting under 36% from deep, which is exactly the average mark opponents are shooting at against L.A.

LA’s off-season acquisitions, especially Nic Batum and Serge Ibaka, have played a huge role in keeping the team competitive without PG and Kawhi. The Clippers are perhaps the deepest team in the NBA and have proven time and time again that they have the talent to beat anybody, even without their stars.

I’m grabbing this at -3, but I would bet this up to -4.5.


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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick Warriors -9 (PointsBet)
Tipoff 10 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass

Brandon Anderson: Warriors. Cavs. It’s a rematch of every NBA Finals matchup from 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Except, it’s not really. There’s no LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love or Klay Thompson. Let’s just say these are not the Cavs, or Warriors, of old.

The Warriors, however, have weathered the storm for a 14-13 start, and that feels about right. They are a decent team, hoisted to mediocrity by the incredible MVP-level effort of Stephen Curry who is averaging 29.9 points per night on 50/43/93 splits. Unlike seasons past for the Warriors, Curry has essentially become the entire offense instead of just the catalyst.

Draymond Green has become the lead facilitator at point center as Golden State plays small without its centers healthy, and it’s a bunch of role players filling in from there, but the Warriors are making it work.

The Warriors have played a difficult schedule so far, with 17 games against teams currently in the top-six spots in the standings in either conference. The Warriors are 5-12 in those games, and some of the losses have been ugly.

But they have been taking care of all other teams this season with a sparkling 9-1 against the rest of the league. Six of those nine wins have been by double digits too.

It looked for awhile like the Cavaliers might be closer to average, but the writing is on the wall now. Cleveland has lost seven straight games and nine of 11; six of those nine losses have come by at least 17 points.

The Cavs haven’t had much offense all season, and what once looked like a passable or even good defense has fallen off the map entirely. Now Cleveland has announced it will sit Andre Drummond as the team pursues a trade.

On top of all that, our game analysis tool on Action Labs offers another reason to like the Warriors here. Cleveland just played late last night in LA, so this is a back-to-back and the middle of a tough West Coast road trip for the Cavs while the Warriors are rested and on a home stand.

Add it all up and I like the Warriors to win by double digits and cover this big spread. I’ll play them at -9 and as high as -10.


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