NBA Predictions and Best Bets – February 17, 2021

| February 17, 2021 1:59 am PDT

Wednesday was always going to be a pretty big night in the NBA. Three games are off the schedule, yet this slate still has nine games for bettors to work with.

That was going to be an insane amount of action, but nine games is still nine games.

Before you dive into tonight’s NBA predictions and best picks, see who is hitting the hardwood.

  • New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic
  • Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics
  • Houston Rockets vs. Philadelphia 76ers
  • Indiana Pacers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Denver Nuggets vs. Washington Wizards
  • Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Pelicans
  • Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies
  • Miami Heat vs. Golden State Warriors
  • Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers

It’s a jam-packed slate, and it all gets started with what should be a slow-footed showdown in Orlando.

Things speed up from there, as several matchups grace this schedule that have fast paces and a lack of defensive aptitude.

There is a lot to get excited about on this slate, but how should you bet on it? First, hit up the best apps for NBA betting.

After you have your preferred betting destination, consider using my NBA predictions and best picks for Wednesday, February 17th.

New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic Predictions

  • Knicks to beat Magic
  • Predicted total: 210-215

The action tips off at the Amway Center, where a battered Magic squad hosts the surging Knicks.

Orlando could be getting some bodies back here, but they’re still not 100% and they’re just 5-8 at home.

New York, meanwhile, are on fire with three straight wins and a 6-4 record over their last 10 games.

They’re just 7-9 on the road, but they’re far healthier and in a clear groove.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics Predictions

  • Celtics to beat Hawks
  • Predicted total: 220-225

Boston plays again after hosting Denver last night. They’ve been in a bad way lately, going just 3-7 over their last 10 games.

The Celtics are usually a solid bet at home, but they’re been just barely above .500 at the TD Garden this season.

I still like them here, as they need to get things going and the Hawks are a beatable opponent. Atlanta is in even worse form with four consecutive losses, and they’re just 2-8 over their last 10 contests.

Houston Rockets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Predictions

  • 76ers to beat Rockets
  • Predicted total: 220-225

Houston seems to be in every game, but they cave late. That’s contributed to an ugly six-game losing streak, and there appears to be no end in sight.

The Rockets are for sure down big man Christian Wood, and they could miss other pieces for this one.

Philly toyed with the media and sat Joel Embiid last game, but I’d imagine he’s back for this home tilt. The Sixers just got a career effort from Ben Simmons, though, so I like them, either way.

The 76ers own one of the best records in the league at 18-10, and are 11-2 on their home floor. Look for them to put an end to their current three-game skid.

Indiana Pacers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Predictions

  • Pacers to beat Timberwolves
  • Predicted total: 225-230

Indiana has been a pretty pedestrian team lately, as they’re just 3-7 over their last 10 contests. They do appear to be in a nice spot on Wednesday, though, when they travel to Minnesota to battle the Timberwolves.

They’ve had quite a bit of success in this series lately, winning three in a row.

  • W, 116-114
  • W, 104-99
  • W, 122-115

As you can see, these games have been mostly explosive, with very little defense.

Minnesota can’t defend at all this year, and they should be tired after battling the Lakers last night. Indy could roll here, while bettors can confidently target the Over in this one.

Denver Nuggets vs. Washington Wizards Predictions

  • Nuggets to beat Wizards
  • Predicted total: 230-235

The Nuggets are another team playing for the second time in two days. They were without several bodies on Tuesday, and it’s quite possible they’re in rough shape in that regard again tonight.

Perhaps that makes this a trap game, especially since the Wiz are well rested, at home, and have won two in a row.

Maybe, but the Wiz can’t play defense, and betting on them winning three games in a row seems like a reach. Hammer Denver and the Over here.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Pelicans Predictions

  • Blazers to beat Pelicans
  • Predicted total: 225-230

More tired teams hit the hardwood on Wednesday, as both Portland and New Orleans had games last night.

I trust the Blazers a bit more, as they have a more explosive offense, and they’re trending in a positive direction.

The Pels are mixed up in a bunch of trade rumors, and it’s contributed to a lot of losing lately. This should be a high-scoring affair, with a slight lean toward Damian Lillard and the Blazers.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies Predictions

  • Grizzlies to beat Thunder
  • Predicted total: 215-220

Both of these teams also played last night, so you’ll want to factor in more fatigue before placing your bets in this spot.

Memphis has the slight edge at home, and they also have the size advantage down low with Jonas Valanciunas.

I also trust them a bit more with Ja Morant leading the way, while OKC should still be down some key bodies. Memphis the play here, if only by a little.

Miami Heat vs. Golden State Warriors Predictions

  • Heat to beat Warriors
  • Predicted total: 225-230

Jimmy Butler and co. have struggled this year, and the Heat couldn’t parlay a brilliant outing from their star into a big road win last time out.

Butler has honestly been balling out lately, with little support from his teammates.

Miami has now dropped two in a row, and are very much on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture at just 11-16.

The Heat still have the pieces of a contender, though, and this could be a dream spot to wake up their offense.

Stephen Curry can get hot in any spot, and he has the Dubs clinging for dear life in the 8th spot in the west. I think Miami has the edge from a size and defensive perspective here, but the Over is a fine secondary bet.

Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers Predictions

  • Clippers to beat Jazz
  • Predicted total: 215-220

Utah’s eight-game winning streak is put on the line in L.A. on Wednesday, as the Jazz battle the Clippers at the Staples Center.

L.A. needs to be monitored here, as they look like a very enticing bet if Kawhi Leonard and/or Paul George are able to return to the floor.

I am tentatively expecting at least one of them to play, which makes me like the Clips at home. They’re 10-4 at the Staples Center this year, and they’re presently riding a nice four-game run of their own.

Utah has been the best team in the NBA so far, but they’ve done most of their damage at home. A tough road game against a healthy Clippers team could be a recipe for disaster.

Best NBA Bets for Wednesday, February 17th

  • Blazers (+2.5) -110
  • Blazers vs. Pelicans Over 231 (-110)

There is not a lot of pricing available for Wednesday just yet. A big reason for that is that there is so much uncertainty surrounding a lot of these teams.

That’s the danger in placing bets early in the NBA, but depending on the situation, once odds drop, it’s advantageous to hammer a bet you love.

You never know when you can trust injury reports or coach decisions, anyways, so sometimes bettors just need to go for it.

The one bet I like right now is Portland at +2.5. They’re on the road and played on Tuesday, but the Pels have been bad and will be just as tired. If you’re not with me there, just bet the Over in this game.

New Orleans has been horrific defensively lately, and the Blazers aren’t a whole lot better. Portland stands out as a terrific value play, but the Over is about as appealing on Wednesday.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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