NBA Predictions and Top Picks – February 18, 2021

| February 17, 2021 2:32 pm PDT

The Milwaukee Bucks have to stop the bleeding. I thought they’d do it on Tuesday, but here they are, marching into Thursday with four straight losses behind them.

Will they finally get another win in a rematch with the Raptors? Bettors need to decide that – or if it’s even worth betting on – on this small three-game NBA betting slate.

Before you pick a side, see who else is playing on February 18th, 2021.

  • Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks
  • Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers
  • Miami Heat vs. Sacramento Kings

That Bucks vs. Raptors game gets the party started on Thursday as the first game of the night, and it’s followed by perhaps the slate’s most intriguing showdown.

Brooklyn heads to L.A. in a possible NBA Finals preview, although the Lakers will be sans star big man Anthony Davis.

Lastly, the Heat take on the Kings in Sac-town. It’s a tiny slate, but there’s nowhere for good bets to hide, and each of these games figures to be fairly competitive (and fun).

For an idea as to how to bet, read on for tonight’s NBA predictions and top betting picks.

Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks Predictions

  • Bucks to beat Raptors
  • Predicted total: 220-225

Milwaukee lost in embarrassing fashion to this same Raptors team on Tuesday, giving up 124 points in the process. Giannis Antetokounmpo balled out once again (34 points), but it wasn’t enough.

Khris Middleton (eight shot attempts) wasn’t aggressive enough, and Milwaukee’s defense continued to be atrocious. They’ve specifically been a sieve on the outside.

Just take a look at what they’re allowing from long range during their ugly four-game skid.

Opponent 3 PT Att 3 PT Makes 3 PT % Result
Raptors 43 17 39% L, 124-113
Thunder 36 15 41% L, 114-109
Jazz 38 14 36% L, 129-115
Suns 31 15 48% L, 125-124

It’s as obscene as expected, if not worse.

Teams are hoisting at their own leisure, and it appears the absence of Jrue Holiday isn’t helping matters.

Milwaukee is still plenty fine offensively, and it’s worth noting that most of these games have been close. Oh, and beating the Jazz in Utah right now is basically impossible.

It’s been ugly, but this can’t keep up forever.

Eventually, the Bucks will rise up and defend their home turf. Their suspect defense places the Over as a priority bet for me, but I expect The Deer to end their drought on Thursday.

Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Predictions

  • Nets to beat Lakers
  • Predicted total: 230-235

This could be the best game of the night, as it certainly offers the most star power. In theory, at least.

Bettors already know the Lakers will be without big man Anthony Davis, who is sidelined indefinitely with an Achilles issue.

LeBron James will have to do much of the heavy lifting, but he should find life easy against a really bad Nets defense.

Seriously, just look at the points they’re giving up over their last 10 games.

  • 128
  • 125
  • 117
  • 94
  • 122
  • 124
  • 123
  • 120
  • 125
  • 128

Just one opponent failed to top 100+ points, and an insane eight had at least 120 points. Brooklyn could have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving back for this game, so they do stand out as the better team to side with.

But the preferred bet may not be picking a side. The Nets are scoring over 120 points per game, and their defense is so bad that whoever they’re facing is a solid bet to match or exceed their output.

I like the Nets to win, but I’d first be hammering the Over.

Miami Heat vs. Sacramento Kings Predictions

  • Heat to beat Kings
  • Predicted total: 220-225

Bettors could get the rare trio of NBA games that are straight fire. Usually, there is at least one slow-paced or defensive-minded team to mess everything up, but even the last game of the night looks good on paper.

Miami could potentially slow things down a bit, but Sacramento will look to push the pace, and their league-worst defense should make scoring easy for the Heat.

The Heat have struggled this year, but this is a smash spot for them. I love Miami to win, and this is another game where the Over feels like an inevitable wager.

Best NBA Bets for Thursday, February 18th

There aren’t any live NBA odds for these games just yet. That is somewhat surprising since there are only three games on the schedule, but some big names are still iffy to play.

Bettors will want to keep tabs on the status of guys from the Lakers and Nets games, while the Kings and Heat have some role players to monitor, as well.

I’d be fairly shocked if the Bucks rested anyone considering their current skid, so expect all of their guys to be in action.

While no odds are available to take advantage of yet, you can use my NBA predictions and advice above the second you see pricing emerge at your favorite real money betting sites.

Once I see odds pop up, I’ll be sure to update this section with my favorite NBA betting picks for the day.

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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