NBA Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Suns vs. Grizzlies, Wizards vs. Trail Blazers (Saturday, Feb. 20)

Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers.

The featured game of Saturday night might be the NBA Finals rematch between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, but tonight’s five-game slate has plenty of stars and betting value to go around.

Our NBA analysts list their three best bets — one spread, one total and one prop — for tonight’s action. You can find the analysis and those picks below.

NBA Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Warriors vs. Hornets 8 p.m. ET
Suns vs. Grizzlies 9 p.m. ET
Wizards vs. Trailblazers 10 p.m. ET

Golden State Warriors vs. Charlotte Hornets

Pick Warriors -1.5 (BetMGM)
Tipoff 8 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass

Brandon Anderson: The Warriors should have won last night against the Orlando Magic who were  missing three starters. Instead, Nikola Vucevic put up a 30-point triple-double and the Warriors let the game slip away in the final minutes.

Now They head up the coast on the second night of a back-to-back in Charlotte, and there are a whole lot of signals warning against backing them:

  • The Warriors have traveled a ton on this East Coast road trip.
  • Draymond Green was questionable yesterday after missing the previous game. He played but had his worst game since he took over at point center.
  • Charlotte is home and rested, having not played in almost a full week thanks to COVID postponements.

Even with all those red flags, I have to back Golden State here.

The Warriors are 16-14, but their record tells a tale of two seasons. Against the top five teams in each conference, they are 3-9. But against everyone else, they are 13-5.

I don’t see them getting swept on back-to-back nights against mediocre East teams. The Hornets have floated around .500 thanks to a soft schedule, but they showed some rust the last time they had a long layoff like this, and they’re missing Devonte’ Graham and could see limited effort from Gordon Hayward who is probable but playing through back issues.

Plus, Stephen Curry playing in his hometown and Curry always loves to light things up there. With the season he’s having and no Hornet with a chance of slowing him down, I expect a big game from Curry and a bounce back effort in a Warriors win. I’m happy to get the Warriors are close to a pick’em here and I’ll play them up to -3.


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Phoenix Suns vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Pick Over 225.5 (PointsBet)
Tipoff 9 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass

Austin Wang: The Phoenix Suns travel to Memphis to face the Grizzlies on Saturday night. Both teams are playing in their second night of a back-to-back and each won their respective games on Friday evening.

Over the past five games, the Grizzlies and Suns are ranked 20th and 22nd in Defensive Rating, respectively, per NBA Advanced Stats. I see a game where tired legs can force each defense to be more lenient, leading to higher scoring.

The Suns offense is looking like a well-oiled machine with Point God Chris Paul leading the way. They are ranked fourth in Offensive Rating (124.7) in the last five games. Paul had 19 assists on Friday night as the Suns dominated the New Orleans Pelicans by outscoring them 41 to 12 in the fourth quarter.

In their past three games, the Suns have had an Assist-Turnover Ratio of: 3.2, 2.8 and 3.0. Teams with an Assist-to-Turnover Ratio of 2.5 of more for their three previous games have gone 45-14 (76.3%) to the over since the 2018-2019 season, per the Sports Data Query Language database.

Since 2018, teams off no rest and won their last game after trailing by more than five points going into the fourth quarter have gone 16-6 (72.7%) to the over, per the SDQL database. This is active on the Suns.

After their comeback win against the Pelicans last night and having to travel with no rest, I think the Suns defense will come out a little slow. In addition, the Suns defense has taken a dip, only ranking 22nd in Defensing Rating in the last five games.

The Grizzlies have picked up the pace as of late, ranking sixth in Pace (101.4) in the last five games. They are slowly getting healthy after dealing with various injuries to players such as Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke, both key cogs in their offense. I think the Grizzlies can control the pace against the fatigued Suns and I don’t see their defense strong enough to stop the efficient Suns offense.

Per our Bet Labs tool, the Grizzlies are 9-2-1 to the over in their last 11 games and the Suns are 5-1 the over in their last six games. My prediction for the game is the Suns squeaking by with a 116-114 win. I like this game to go over the total of 225.5 and would play it up to 227.


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Washington Wizards vs. Portland Trailblazers

Pick Damian Lillard Over 32.5 Points (DraftKings)
Tipoff 10 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass

Raheem Palmer: We can’t ask for a better situational spot than this. On Thursday, Damian Lillard was snubbed for a starting All-Star spot for Luka Doncic. Tonight he plays his arch nemesis Russell Westbrook who isn’t quite known for defense at this stage of his career.

Since the injury to CJ McCollum on Jan. 16, Lillard has averaged 31.9 points per game, but you have to think the extra motivation against a Wizards defense that ranks 22nd in Defensive Rating (114.8) will be enough to push him above that today.

The Wizards play at the fastest pace in the league, which means more possessions. With this total sitting at 241.5, Oddsmakers are making it clear we’re going to see some points today.

If we’re going to get points, Lillard is certainly going to get his. Our Action Labs prop tool has lillard projected to score 33.3 tonight, and I like Lillard over 32.5 points. I would bet this up to 33.5.


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