NBA Predictions and Top Betting Picks for Tuesday, February 23, 2021

| February 23, 2021 3:07 am PDT

The Brooklyn Nets are coming for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Everyone said they couldn’t do it due to a poor defense, but here they are, and they’re crushing without Kevin Durant.

KD is still out, yet the Nets eye win number seven in a row on Tuesday.

They’re just one piece to tonight’s nine-game NBA betting puzzle, of course. Take a quick look at the other teams in action on February 23rd, 2021.

  • Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic
  • Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks
  • Sacramento Kings vs. Brooklyn Nets
  • Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks
  • Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors
  • Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Milwaukee Bucks
  • Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets
  • Washington Wizards vs. Los Angeles Clippers

It’s a solid nine-game basketball betting slate, and several games stand out. Betting on games featuring the Magic and Cavs is always dicey, but every single game is worth looking at.

Join me as I do just that with Tuesday’s NBA predictions and top betting picks.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Predictions

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

The Hawks head to Cleveland with a poor 6-12 road record, but this feels like a pretty good spot for them.

Clint Capela could off-set Jarrett Allen, while the Cavs have nobody that can slow down Trae Young. He truly has been unstoppable lately, and he just got done dropping a huge double-double on the Nuggets in a win.

Atlanta are still just 3-7 over their last 10 games, but the Cavs have literally lost 10 games in a row.

I’d have zero hesitance hammering the Hawks and the Over in this spot.

Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic Predictions

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

Don’t look now, but the Magic are surging. They’ve won three in a row, and they aim to crack .500 at home on Tuesday.

They’ll host a Pistons team they just beat in their last game, when Nikola Vucevic dropped 37 points and 12 rebounds.

I’d expect more of the same, as Detroit really doesn’t have anyone to keep him in check.

Orlando isn’t healthy, but neither are the Pistons. Detroit could be forced to once again roll out Dennis Smith Jr., as top point guard Delon Wright is sidelined for the next two weeks.

There isn’t much to like here for the Pistons. I’d take Orlando and leave it at that.

Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks Predictions

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

This is one of the tougher games to project for Tuesday. Dallas is trending in the right direction again and they’re at home, but they also could be tired after playing last night.

Then again, Luka Doncic is a wizard, so I’m not sure that matters.

Boston is at home and they’re 8-5 here, but they’re also just 4-6 over their last 10 games. A once proud defensive team ranks just 15th in defensive efficiency, and this team clearly misses Marcus Smart.

I give the narrow edge to Dallas here, as their recent form is better, and they have a more reliable offense.

Sacramento Kings vs. Brooklyn Nets Predictions

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

NBA fans can expect fireworks when the Kings visit the Barclays Center on Tuesday. Brooklyn is on a roll with six straight wins, but their defense still isn’t amazing.

Check out the points they’ve given up over that span.

Opponent Points Allowed
Clippers 108
Lakers 98
Suns 124
Kings 125
Warriors 117
Pacers 94

There has actually been some solid defense in spurts, but I wouldn’t put too much weight in it.

Brooklyn still plays fast (8th fastest pace in the NBA), and they score over 120 points per game. Sacramento will be tasked with keeping up with them, while the Kings rank dead last in defensive efficiency.

I love the Nets and the Over on Tuesday night.

Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks Predictions

  • Warriors to beat Knicks
  • Predicted total: 220-225

Speaking of a lack of defense, we could have another barn burner when the Dubs visit the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Golden State and New York are actually top-5 in terms of defensive efficiency, but the Dubs run at the second fastest pace in the league.

They should also have Stephen Curry back, after he missed the team’s last game.

There is a contrast of styles here, but I fully expect the Dubs to dictate the tempo, which should lead to the Over here. Golden State is a fine secondary bet, as they look to snap a two-game skid.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors Predictions

  • 76ers to beat Raptors
  • Predicted total: 225-230

Toronto and the 76ers face off for the second time in a matter of days. The Raptors won the most recent meeting, and are quietly 5th in the Eastern Conference after four straight wins.

They’re heating up, but it’s tough to expect them to down the 76ers two games in a row.

Philadelphia still has the best record in the conference, and they have a clear advantage with Joel Embiid down low. 

The last two meetings have been defensive battles, so I’d hit the Under and go with Philly to snag the win.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Milwaukee Bucks Predictions

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

The Bucks are heating up again following an ugly four-game skid. Giannis Antetokounmpo has remained dominant throughout, but he really flexed his muscles with a monster outing in his last game.

The Greek Freak will look to keep it going in another soft matchup, while the Bucks get a boost with fans finally being allowed inside the stadium again.

Minnesota is as healthy as they’ve been all year, but they’ve lost four in a row, and they’re just 3-13 on the road. I like the Bucks and the Over tonight.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets Predictions

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

You can probably bet on some points dropping in Denver on Tuesday, too. The Nuggets host the Blazers, and will be chomping at the bit to get over a bad loss to the Hawks.

Denver isn’t healthy and they’re in bad form (4-6 over their last 10), but they’re still 8-6 at home and have owned this series.

Check out the last four meetings.

Date Score Result
8-6-2020 125-115 Loss
2-4-2020 127-99 Win
12-12-2019 114-99 Win
10-23-2019 109-100 Win

There is no denying that the Blazers have been the more reliable team so far this year, but there are a few problems here.

For one, they have nobody that can contain Nikola Jokic. They also have not been good defensively in general, while they could be a bit tired after playing last night.

I like Denver to get back on track here, and the Over is pretty tempting.

Washington Wizards vs. Los Angeles Clippers Predictions

  • Clippers to beat Wizards
  • Predicted total: 225-230

This is another game that could explode, although the Wizards are another team that could be dealing with fatigue after playing last night.

Washington has been in good form lately, but it’s pretty likely they rest one of their top stars in a game that doesn’t feel winnable.

After facing the Lakers on Monday, they now have to contend with Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers. Whether they’re at full strength or not, I’m not high on the Wiz here.

Hammer the Clips and the Over.

Best NBA Bets for Tuesday, February 23rd

  • Cavaliers (+7) -105
  • Magic to Win (-140)
  • Kings (+7.5) -110
  • Blazers (+7.5k)

There are not many attractive moneylines on this slate, and the game totals are bonkers. I’d say just bet the Under on a lot of them, but the games really could be as explosive as I’ve suggested.

I think I’d rather just exploit some of these point spreads. 

Cleveland is at home, and they’re facing a Hawks team that has been very mediocre (15-15) against the spread this year. The Hawks should win, but I don’t think it’s by much.

Ditto for the Kings and Blazers games. Those contests could be wild with points, but the better play is to just bet on competitive affairs.

The only moneyline that stands out is Orlando. They’re at home, the price is nice, and the Pistons (8-22) haven’t been able to consistently get wins all year.

Like these NBA picks? Try targeting some of them at the safest sports betting sites.

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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