NBA Predictions and Top Picks – February 24, 2021

| February 23, 2021 2:45 pm PDT

The Utah Jazz get a stiff test on Wednesday as they prepare to host the Los Angeles Lakers.

It’s debatable just how difficult of an assignment that is, of course, as the Lakers are down big man Anthony Davis and just lost to the Washington Wizards.

Even so, that game headlines a jam-packed nine-game NBA betting slate. Before you get ready to place any bets at the top-rated NBA betting apps, check out who else is hitting the hardwood tonight.

  • Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks
  • Houston Rockets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Golden State Warriors vs. Indiana Pacers
  • Detroit Pistons vs. New Orleans Pelicans
  • Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Chicago Bulls
  • Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat
  • San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Charlotte Hornets vs. Phoenix Suns
  • Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz

This has the makings of a fun slate, as the Celtics and Hawks face off for the third time in the last week. Trae Young has gone off in both previous meetings, and both games were pretty explosive.

Stephen Curry also takes the court on Wednesday, while the Spurs and Pacers are back in action after long layoffs.

Ready to bet on the NBA? First, go over Wednesday’s slate with my NBA predictions and top betting picks.

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks Predictions

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

The Celtics and Hawks meet again on Wednesday. The two have split their first two meetings, both of which came in the last week.

Trae Young dominated in both games, dropping a 40-burger in the game Atlanta won.

Atlanta has a slight edge at home here, but the Hawks are actually just 7-9 at home this year. Neither team is really killing it lately, either.

I’ll give the mild edge to Boston, but this is probably a game I’ll stay away from.

Houston Rockets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Predictions

  • Cavaliers to beat Rockets
  • Predicted total: 215-220

The Rockets’ descent into madness knows no bounds. Houston is ravaged by injuries, but there isn’t much excuse for their awful eight-game losing streak.

Houston has to stumble into a win eventually, but they didn’t do themselves any favors by releasing a viable player in DeMarcus Cousins.

The team is still without Christian Wood, too, so there is just zero resistance down low for them right now. Wendell Carter slayed inside against them in their last game, so this could be a blow-up outing for Cavs center Jarrett Allen.

Cleveland is slumping just as hard with 10 straight losses, so something obviously has to break.

I’ll side with the home team here, but nothing about this game feels great.

Golden State Warriors vs. Indiana Pacers Predictions

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

The Warriors should be ready to rock with Stephen Curry back in the saddle on Wednesday, and they’ll take it to the road to battle the Pacers.

Indy won the last two meetings, including a 104-95 win at Golden State earlier this season. I’d imagine the edge continues to lie with the Pacers, too.

The Pacers should be well rested after a long layoff while they are at home and have a distinct size advantage in this matchup.

The Over stands out due to Golden State’s pace of play, but I’d hammer the Pacers to win here.

Detroit Pistons vs. New Orleans Pelicans Predictions

  • Pelicans to beat Pistons
  • Predicted total: 220-225

This could be an ugly one, as the Pistons are still without both of their top two point guards, and they recently traded away Derrick Rose.

Detroit is also in the middle of shopping Blake Griffin, so they lack reliable talent these days.

New Orleans is never easy to trust, but they’re 5-5 over their last 10 games, and they’re a solid 8-7 at home. I don’t see how you can back Detroit here, but keep in mind that they remain very pesky.

The Pistons lack talent, but Jerami Grant keeps on trucking along, and Detroit is 15-14-1 ATS on the year.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Chicago Bulls Predictions

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

In perhaps one of the better games of the night, the Bulls host the T’Wolves at the United Center.

A new era begins for Minnesota, who just canned former head coach Ryan Saunders.

Minnesota comes into this one at just 7-24 on the year. They’re 2-8 over their last 10 and have dropped four in a row.

Karl-Anthony Towns could feast in this matchup, but Minnesota can’t stop anyone defensively, and they’re a paltry 3-13 on the road.

Chicago, meanwhile, has crept into the Eastern Conference playoff picture behind a 6-4 run over their last 10 games. I like them (and the Over) in this one.

Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat Predictions

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

Don’t look now, but those early-season struggles are a distant memory for the Raptors. Toronto has ripped off four straight wins, and they’re 7-3 over their last 10 games.

They’ve technically been playing on the road all year, so I’m not sure they get hit too much by playing this one in South Beach.

Even so, Miami is also rounding into form after a rough start. They’re just 7-7 at home, but they’ve won each of their last three and are also 7-3 over their last 10 contests.

Something has to break, and I like Miami’s size inside against Toronto. Jimmy Butler has also been a triple-double machine, and bettors will want to keep tabs on the status of Kyle Lowry.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Predictions

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

The Spurs are another team finally playing again after sitting out a slew of games. Their first game back is in OKC, where they face a 12-19 Thunder squad.

Oklahoma City is just 4-10 on their home floor, and they’re not in great form with a 3-7 record over their last 10 games.

Dormant or not, the Spurs are 16-11 and still look like a playoff team. They’ve also been very good (9-3) on the road this year. Against an inferior foe, I don’t see much reason to bet against them.

Charlotte Hornets vs. Phoenix Suns Predictions

  • Suns to beat Hornets
  • Predicted total: 215-220

LaMelo Ball keeps the Hornets interesting, but he may be tasked with too much on Wednesday.

Devonte’ Graham has already been ruled out for this game, and forward Gordon Hayward exited Monday’s game in Utah with a hand injury. He’s also iffy for this one.

I don’t trust a shorthanded Hornets team against a tough defensive Suns squad.

Phoenix has morphed into one of the best teams in the league. Now 20-10, the Suns have won three straight and are 9-1 over their last 10.

The Suns are also 11-5 at home and are tied for 8th in defensive efficiency. I don’t see much reason to go against the Suns at home here.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz Predictions

  • Jazz to beat Lakers
  • Predicted total: 210-215

LeBron James has a tall order on Wednesday, as he tries to get a tough road win against the Jazz.

He couldn’t get it done at home in an OT loss to the Wizards in his last game, and L.A. has now dropped three straight.

The Lakers are a very interesting ATS bet here, but they’re beaten up at the moment. In addition to not having Anthony Davis, they’re also still without Dennis Schroder.

Utah, meanwhile, are getting ready to start another winning streak.

They’re 25-6 overall, 14-2 at home, and 9-1 over their last 10. I like the Jazz to win, but the Lakers look like a strong against the spread play.

Best NBA Bets for Wednesday, February 24th

  • Pacers (-4) -110
  • Timberwolves vs. Bulls Over 227 (-110)
  • Pistons (+10) -110
  • Lakers (+6.5) -110

I love the Pacers at home against the Dubs. Golden State isn’t at 100%, they lost the first meeting, they’re on the road, and they could be tired after playing on Tuesday.

That Timberwolves vs. Bulls game should be en fuego. Neither team plays much defense, and the total isn’t obscene. I’d hammer the Over there.

Detroit is bad in general, and right now, they’re worse than ever from a talent perspective. But bettors are about to trust the Pelicans to beat anyone by more than 10 points? No thanks.

I also like L.A. to bat a 6.5-point spread. They probably lose in Utah, but the Lakers are still competitive with King James leading the charge.

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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