NBA Predictions and Top Picks – February 26, 2021

| February 25, 2021 1:37 pm PDT

Welcome to Friday night basketball. The NBA is lit on the last day of the regular workweek, and sports bettors have a lively nine games to work with.

Looking for the best NBA bets on Friday? First, take a look at which games you can target at the top basketball betting sites.

  • Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics
  • Houston Rockets vs. Toronto Raptors
  • Phoenix Suns vs. Chicago Bulls
  • Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons
  • Utah Jazz vs. Miami Heat
  • Atlanta Hawks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Los Angeles Clippers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
  • Charlotte Hornets vs. Golden State Warriors
  • Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers

It is indeed a very nice schedule, and it’s capped with a fun clash between Damian Lillard and LeBron James.

Stephen Curry, Trae Young, and LaMelo Ball are also in action, ensuring Friday’s NBA betting slate is filled with flash and flair.

If you’re ready to place some bets, join me for my NBA predictions and top betting picks for February 26th.

Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics Predictions

  • Pacers to beat Celtics
  • Predicted total: 215-220

The Pacers and Celtics get us started off at the TD Garden. Both teams have disappointed to start the year, with Boston getting blown out by Atlanta in their last game.

The Celtics are just 15-17 so far, and while they’re a solid 8-5 at home, they’re a mess offensively and are currently riding a three-game skid.

Indy, meanwhile, isn’t doing much better. They’re 15-15 overall and just 4-6 over their last 10. 

The series is split down the middle, too, with the teams both getting a win this year, as well as going 2-2 over the last four meetings.

Ultimately, I trust the Pacers more right now. Domantas Sabonis could be ready for an “All-Star-snub-tour” type of tear, and they just feel like the more complete team.

Houston Rockets vs. Toronto Raptors Predictions

  • Raptors to beat Rockets
  • Predicted total: 210-215

Houston is completely lost at the moment. They finally got Victor Oladipo back in their last game but still lost their ninth game in a row.

Christian Wood is still sidelined, while the team let big man DeMarcus Cousins go recently. The Rockets have no size down low and are a mess at both ends at the moment.

I find it hard to believe they right the ship on the road against the Raptors.

Toronto has dropped two in a row, but they’ve mostly been really good (6-4 over their last 10) and are the much more balanced team.

Kyle Lowry also made his return in Toronto’s last game, which puts them at 100%. I like the Raptors to send Houston to their 10th straight loss.

Phoenix Suns vs. Chicago Bulls Predictions

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

Phoenix has morphed into one of the better teams in the NBA. They did lose their last game in a surprising defeat by the hands of the Hornets, but they’re 20-11 on the year and 8-2 over their last 10.

Chris Paul has made a huge impact and is a big reason for their rise. The Suns can have lulls offensively and play very slow, but they have a top-10 defense.

Phoenix will bring a solid 9-5 road record into the United Center, where a bad Bulls defense resides.

Zach LaVine can get hot as a scorer, but Chicago isn’t at full strength, and they aren’t even reliable (7-9) on their home floor. Hats off to them for winning their last three games, but I think their hot run ends on Friday.

Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons Predictions

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

The Pistons are just spare parts these days. Jerami Grant should be back after taking the night off on Wednesday, but he’s really all they have.

Of course, the team is enjoying a little breakout from Saben Lee.

Detroit is just developing talent at this point. They’re 9-23 overall, 4-6 over their last 10, and 6-8 at home.

Sacramento played last night and could be tired, but they need to take advantage of spots like this. I like the Kings and the Over.

Utah Jazz vs. Miami Heat Predictions

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

It seems betting against the Jazz in any regard is a bad idea. They’re usually best targeted at home (15-2), but they’re 26-6 overall now, so they’ve proven they can win anywhere.

Are the Jazz really the best team in the NBA? Their record sure says so, and with a healthy Mike Conley back in the fold, we will soon learn just how good they can be.

They do have to head to South Beach here, where Jimmy Butler and co. await. However, the Jazz have been really good about building winning streaks, and a win here would give them their third victory in a row.

Miami is on fire with four straight wins, but the fire might go out tonight.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Predictions

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

The Hawks are not close to 100% these days, but they are heating back up. Danilo Gallinari turned back the clock in their latest game, where he torched the Celtics for 38 points.

Trae Young has been slicing and dicing, too, and it’s likely the Hawks keep the good times coming against a beatable Thunder team.

OKC has been competitive all year, of course, and they just scored a clutch win thanks to Lou Dort’s last-second heroics.

The Thunder have been a nuisance for bettors, ranking seventh ATS (17-14-1) on the year. I think they make a game of it, but I’ll take the Hawks to win.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Predictions

  • Clippers to beat Grizzlies
  • Predicted total: 210-215

This is probably a game I’ll stay away from, as it’s always possible the Clippers rest some guys after playing on Thursday.

If you think that happens, maybe hop on Memphis against the spread. This is the same exact matchup both teams had yesterday, too, so you’ll be able to use that to your advantage.

For now, I’ll take the Clippers, but I will likely either go Memphis ATS or just avoid this game.

Charlotte Hornets vs. Golden State Warriors Predictions

  • Warriors to beat Hornets
  • Predicted total: 230-235

Here come the fireworks. The Hornets are an ascending team after a clutch win on the road over the Suns.

They’re still just 15-16 on the year, but LaMelo Ball’s flashy play has Charlotte in the Eastern Conference playoffs as I write this. He and the Hornets should fit in nicely to the way the Warriors play (2nd fastest pace in the NBA).

I expect a ton of points here, but I favor Stephen Curry and the home team.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Predictions

  • Lakers to beat Blazers
  • Predicted total: 220-225

The top game of the night likely resides in L.A., where LeBron James and the Lakers host Damian Lillard and the Blazers.

Rip City has finally hit a wall with three straight losses, as Lillard can’t do it all on his own. The Blazers are starting to miss C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, and it’s worth wondering how much longer they can keep it together.

The Lake Show is hurting, too. They’re down Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder, and that’s contributed to an ugly four-game skid of their own.

That said, they’re the better team, they’re at home, and they have LeBron James. I like the Lakers and the Over in this one.

Best NBA Bets for Friday, February 26th

  • Pacers (+4) -110
  • Kings (-3) -110
  • Bulls (+5) -110
  • Blazers (+4.5) -110
  • Hornets (+5.5) -110
  • Hornets vs. Warriors Over 233.5 (-110)

There aren’t any moneylines out as I write this, so just use my NBA predictions above to formulate those bets going into Friday.

I still like a lot of bets for this slate, with Indy starting things off at +4. I like them to win, but I love that spread in what should be a close game.

Sacramento should be able to take out the Pistons and cover a mild three-point spread, too, while the Bulls, Blazers, and Hornets (all teams I am picking to lose) will at least keep things tight.

My favorite game total is the last one of the night, with the Dubs and Hornets likely competing in a firestorm of points.

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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