Smart Money NBA Picks For Friday 2/26/2021 Action
Mike’s Year to Date Record: 12-18
Mike’s Twitter: @MOConnor_NBA
Alright, time to try and flip the script once again. I’m looking for my first week over .500 all month. And with February coming to an end, I have no choice but to make it happen tonight. Let’s get into some picks for another action-packed Friday night in the NBA. Make sure to check out our TomBox sports betting algorithm for predictions and updates for tonight's games.
Smart Money NBA Betting Picks for Tonight’s Action
First up, we have the Phoenix Suns facing the Chicago Bulls. Phoenix has been on an offensive tear lately, scoring 120+ points in each of their past four games. They are finding their rhythm in all facets, and Devin Booker has scored 30+ in each of the past two games after being left off of the original All-Star team roster. Throw in the fact that they’re facing the Bulls, who rank 20th in the league in defense, and I’m willing to bet that this becomes a shootout.
The Bulls have also been on a bit of a tear, scoring 120+ in each of their past three games. If these teams continue in the way they’re trending, they’ll demolish this line. Take the over on the Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls.
Yep, another over pick here. Two fast-paced teams who have defensive woes of different varieties will lead to a wild west shootout type game. Steph Curry is likely to feast against the Hornets’ mediocre defense – especially their front line. And from there, all the Warriors need is a hot shooting night out of either Kelly Oubre or Andrew Wiggins.
From the Hornets’ perspective, their pick and roll attack should have plenty of success attacking Kevon Looney and James Wiseman. Wiseman is so incredibly raw and has just returned recently from injury. So I’m expecting him to fare even worse than usual at protecting the rim. Throw in the fact that LaMelo Ball will likely be jazzed up to play against a team that passed on him, and I’m expecting a big offensive showing from the Hornets tonight.
Here is a theory that I’m working with that I’m not sure whether or not the data supports: It’s extremely difficult to beat the same team two nights in a row, and teams who lose on the first night of a two-game series are more likely to win on the second night.
Since the Grizzlies blew the doors off the Clippers last night, I’m betting that the Clips will come out motivated and ready to punch back after their blowout loss. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Marcus Morris all had off nights last night, and I have to think that all three will bounce back in this one.
The Clips will have to find a way to contain Ja Morant. But my thinking is that Pat Beverley will be extra psyched up to defend him after getting torched the previous night. I might be stupid to bet on the Clippers’ character, but I have to think that they’ll be much more motivated tonight. So I’m taking the Clippers to cover the spread tonight.
The Thunder will be without Al Horford tonight, who is resting on the front end of a back-to-back. Horford has really been the engine behind the Thunder’s surprising start this year, and without him, their front line is truly miserable. Good luck to Mike Muscala and Isaiah Roby with defending Trae Young in the pick and roll.
The Hawks have had some quality wins lately over the Celtics and Nuggets. Taking care of a bad and beat-up Thunder team should be no problem. I like them to cover this line tonight.
Top Player Props for Tonight’s NBA Action
As I laid out above, I don’t see how the Thunder have any prayer of containing Trae Young. Lu Dort can do all that he can to guard him one-on-one. But the Hawks are guaranteed to put Trae in ball screens over and over again so that he can either get a switch or attack downhill.
My original thought was to take the over on his point total, but with the Thunder’s injuries, they may throw some gimmicky coverages at him. So I’m more confident in betting that he will at least rack up a whole bunch of assists.
My logic here is quite simple: The Raptors give up a ton of corner 3s (the 3rd most in the league). The bulk of P.J. Tucker’s offense is corner 3s, and John Wall has always been incredible at creating corner 3s. All it takes is for Tucker to get a couple of good looks, and this over is a piece of cake.