NBA: Picks and preview for Feb. 23

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NBA picks and preview Feb 23

NBA Back in Action

It’s another busy night on the NBA schedule, with several games impacting the playoff races going on in the Eastern and Western Conferences, including Raptors-Hawks, with Atlanta sitting in tenth in the Eastern Conference.

NBA Schedule: Game Details

 DateTimeLocationHow to Watch
Raptors vs. HawksFeb. 23 20247:30 p.m. ESTState Farm Arena, Atlanta, GATV: Sportsnet; Radio: TSN 1050
Bucks vs. TimberwolvesFeb. 23 202410 p.m. ESTTarget Center, Minneapolis, MNTV: Sportsnet
Spurs vs. LakersFeb. 23 202410:30 p.m. Arena, Los Angeles, CA 

Game 1: Raptors vs. Hawks Insights

The Raptors (20-36) square off against the Atlanta Hawks (24-31), the second game of a back-to-back. The teams have played three times this season already with the Hawks holding a 2-1 edge. The Raptors have shot 51.8 per cent from the field over those three games. 

Toronto is coming off a decisive 121-93 win over the Brooklyn Nets last night. The 93 points were the fewest by a Toronto opponent this season. SF Scottie Barnes had 18 points and 12 rebounds last night, his team-leading 22nd double-double of the season.

🏀 Bet on Raptors vs. Hawks at DraftKings 🏀

Probable starters for the Raptors are SG Barrett, SF Barnes, C Jakob Poeltl, SG Immanuel Quickley, and SG Gary Trent Jr. Quickley also had a big game against the Nets last night – 24 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals in 33 minutes.

No injuries to report for the Raptors. F Mouhamed Gueye (back) won’t play tonight for the Hawks, according to Locked On Podcast Network, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that PF Onyeka Okongwu (toe) is out as well.

The Hawks, in tenth spot in the Eastern Conference – the last Play-In spot - have lost two in a row and are 13-15 at home, but they are 6-4 in their last ten. The Raptors are 8-20 on the road.

Player Props

If you’re into online betting, according to PointsBet Canada, PG Trae Young Over 24.5 Points (1.87) and SG Dejounte Murray Over 21.5 Points (1.80) are seeing the most love on the player prop front.

At BetMGM, most bet player prop (tickets) is Young Over 23.5 Points (1.80 – 99 per cent of bets are on the Over).

At FanDuel, it’s Quickley 4+ Made Threes (4.40), and at DraftKings, it’s Barnes Under 7.5 Assists (1.74), Barnes First Field Goal (8.00), Young Over 23.5 Points (1.83), and Young Over 10.5 Assists (1.63).

Game 2: Bucks vs. Timberwolves Insights

Probably the best game of the evening, with the Milwaukee Bucks (35-21, 2nd in the Central) visiting the Target Center to play the Minnesota Timberwolves (39-16, 1st in the Northwest).

This is the first game back from the All-Star break for both teams, with the Timberwolves opening a seven-game homestand. With 27 games left in the season, they are looking to secure the No. 1 playoff seed, setting them up for a championship run. Minnesota has won four in a row.

🏀 Bet on Bucks vs. Timberwolves at FanDuel 🏀

Under new coach Doc Rivers, the Bucks are 3-7, and have lost two in a row. They’re led of course by PF Giannis Antetokounmpo, averaging 30.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists, with an eye-popping 61.6 FG%. PG Damian Lillard came over in that big off-season trade with the Portland Trailblazers and has delivered (named MVP in the All-Star game) – averaging 24.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.7 Assists, with a 42.3 FG%.

On the injury front this morning – Antetokounmpo (knee) is listed as probable, as is SG Pat Connaughton (knee), according to ESPN. SF Khris Middleton (ankle) remains out. G Jaylen Clark (Achilles) remains out indefinitely for the Timberwolves, according to ESPN.

Player Props

On the NBA sports betting front, according to PointsBet Canada, it’s Antetokounmpo Over 30+ Points (2.05) and SG Anthony Edwards Over 30+ Points (2.25) as most bet player props.

At BetMGM, talking most bet player props (tickets), it’s Antetokounmpo Over 27.5 Points (1.71), Edwards Over 27.5 Points (1.91). At DraftKings, it’s Antetokounmpo First Field Goal (4.30), Antetokounmpo Over 27.5 Points (1.74), and Brook Lopez Three Pointers Made Over 1.5 (1.69).

Game 3: Spurs vs. Lakers Insights

We highlight this game because of the sports betting interest in the L.A. Lakers (30-27, 4th in the Pacific). According to Proline+, the most popular NBA teams from a sports betting perspective in Ontario are the Raptors, Lakers, Bucks and Clippers. 

The Lakers are looking to get things back on track tonight at home against the San Antonio Spurs (11-45, 5th in the Southwest). They’re coming off a 128-110 loss to the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco last night. That snapped a three-game winning streak. The Lakers were out-scored by 18 points on three-pointers last night. The Lakers and Warriors are No. 9 and No. 10 respectively for those last two NBA Play-In positions in the Western Conference.

🏀 Bet on Spurs vs. Lakers at DraftKings 🏀

The Spurs lost 127-122 to the Sacramento Kings last night. The Spurs have lost two in a row and nine of their past 10. San Antonio and Los Angeles split their first two contests this season, with both games played in San Antonio. 

The big news on the injury front this morning, according to ESPN reporting, is that SF LeBron James is likely back in action tonight after dealing with an ankle injury. SF Cam Reddish (ankle), PG Gabe Vincent, SF Jarred Vanderbilt (foot) and F Christian Wood (knee) are out.

Player Props

At DraftKings, Austin Reaves Three Pointers Made Over 1.5 (1.71) is a most bet player prop.

Our NBA Picks Today

Today, we follow where the crowd is heading. We’re taking Raptors ATS at BetMGM, not just because 66 per cent of bets at BetMGM tell us that, but also a team which brought in a lot of new parts after multiple trades during the season is starting to jell a bit. The Hawks aren’t exactly king slayers.

There are a lot of gunners in that Bucks-Wolves game, with big stakes – the best game of the evening – and that Over/Under looks low to us, so we’re taking the Over at FanDuel.

And in the last game, the Spurs have the 24th-ranked offence in the NBA and are 25th in points per game allowed. The Lakers will win. Take them ATS at NorthStar Bets.

FanDuelRaptors 3.25, Hawks 1.36Raptors +7 (1.91), Hawks -7 (1.91)245; Over 1.93; Under 1.89
BetMGMBucks 2.45, Timberwolves 1.57Bucks +3.5 (1.95), Timberwolves -3.5 (1.87)225.5; Over 1.91; Under 1.91
NorthStar BetsSpurs 4.50, Lakers 1.22Spurs +10 (1.88); Lakers -10 (1.93)239; Over 1.92; Under 1.89