NBA Best Bets Today | Expert Picks for Friday, Feb. 23

The NBA regular season continues with another solid 10-game slate tonight -- headlined by a star-studded nationally televised doubleheader on ESPN with Cavaliers vs 76ers tipping off the early window, followed by Bucks vs Timberwolves to close the evening.

Let's dive into our NBA best bets and expert picks for Friday, February 23. Looking for more about basketball? Check out our NBA odds.

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NBA Best Bets | Expert Picks for Friday, Feb. 23

Bucks vs Timberwolves

by Michael Crosson

The Doc Rivers Era in Milwaukee is off to an incredibly bumpy start, to say the least. After posting an excellent record of 32-14 through the month of January, the Bucks are now 3-7 in 10 games since hiring Rivers as their head coach – while ranking 22nd in offensive rating and 11th in defensive rating during that span.

However, Milwaukee’s recent struggles don’t come as a total surprise. Six of the Bucks’ last 10 matchups have been played on the road, and they posted a record of 1-5 in those six contests – and on the season, the Bucks have yielded splits of 23-7 at home and 12-14 on the road. So all things considered, I don’t believe Rivers should be faulted for issues that already existed before his arrival.

With that in mind, the Bucks hit the road again tonight to face Minnesota – and the Timberwolves played some really great basketball in the weeks leading up to the All-Star Break. The T-Wolves are 9-3 in their last 12 games, while leading the entire league in net rating during that span – and they own an impressive record of 19-5 at home this season.

The Bucks are an excellent basketball team, and it’s only a matter of time before they fully turn things around. However, the discrepancy in their home-road splits is massive and can not be ignored – especially while trying to climb out of a rut against a top shelf opponent.

Pick: Timberwolves -3.5 (-120)

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Cavaliers vs 76ers

by Joe Nelson

Philadelphia 76ers +4 (-110)

Cleveland has been one of the hottest teams in the NBA in recent weeks, but the Cavaliers took a loss last night at home coming out of the All-Star break.

Cleveland shot nearly 56 percent in the game but still came up short 116-109 hosting Orlando. Turnovers were a major problem with 19 while the Cavaliers were also defeated on the offensive glass.

Cleveland has a daunting turnaround tonight heading to Philadelphia with the 76ers losing as well, 110-96 hosting New York.

The 76ers are now on a 3-10 run to fall from being in the mix for the #1 spot in the Eastern Conference to the #5 position in the standings and only 1.5 ahead of the current #7 team in the play-in bracket.

Cleveland is only 5-8 vs. the league's top 10 and with a losing record against the league's top 16 as the Cavaliers have benefitted from one of the weakest schedules in the NBA.

Philadelphia's also has enjoyed a favorable path but does have more high-quality wins than the Cavaliers.

These teams have played an incredibly close pair of games this season with Cleveland winning in overtime in November in Philadelphia, and the 76ers winning just before the All-Star break by two points in Cleveland. Recent acquisition Buddy Hield scored 24 for Philadelphia in that game as the 76ers work to stay relevant with Joel Embiid out of action.

Donovan Mitchell did not play for the Cavaliers last night due to illness and could be a long shot to play tonight as this could be a difficult set-up for the Cavaliers to maintain their momentum.

Since returning Darius Garland's outside shooting hasn't been there and Cleveland may be a team that peaked too soon and could face overvaluation through what is going to be a very difficult upcoming schedule.

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Spurs vs Lakers

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