NBA Best Bets Today | Expert Picks for Thursday, Feb. 22

The NBA returns from the All-Star Break tonight, and we've got a loaded 12-game slate on tap -- headlined by an excellent nationally televised doubleheader on TNT with Suns vs Mavericks tipping off the early window, followed by Lakers vs Warriors to wrap up the action.

Let's dive into our NBA best bets and expert picks for Thursday, February 22.

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NBA Best Bets | Expert Picks for Thursday, Feb. 15

Knicks vs 76ers

by Michael Crosson

The 76ers are positioned fifth in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 32-22. However, they’ve struggled mightily ever since Joel Embiid’s latest injury. The Sixers are 3-8 in their last 11 games, while ranking 19th in offensive rating and 29th in defensive rating during that span – which can primarily be attributed to Embiid missing 10 of those contests.

While on the flip side, the Knicks have also been on quite the roller coaster as of late. Not too long ago, New York was arguably the hottest team in basketball. The Knicks closed the month of January on an impressive 15-2 run, while leading the entire league in net rating during that span. 

However, New York’s run of dominance came to a screeching halt in the days leading up to the All-Star Break. The Knicks own a lackluster record of 1-5 in their six games since February 2, while scoring 108 points or less in four of those contests – and 105 points or less in three of them.

With that in mind, both of these teams have been difficult to feel out recently. But one thing that has remained consistent for both squads is their slow pace of play. The Knicks rank 29th in pace on the season, and they’ve seen 13 of their last 17 games stay under the total. Similarly, the Sixers have averaged 112 points per game during their latest stretch without Embiid, while ranking 19th in pace and offensive rating in those 11 contests.

This total is too high. I’m taking the under.

Pick: Under 226.5 (-110)

Looking for more? Check out our NBA odds.

Hornets vs Jazz

by ASA

Utah Jazz -9.5 (-115)

We are betting the number here with the Jazz minus the points. These two teams recently met on January 27th in Charlotte and the Jazz were 10-point favorites in the Hornets building. They are now laying the same number at home. In the most recent meeting, the Jazz won 134-122 and that Hornets roster at the time featured PJ Washington who scored 43-points.

Washington has since been traded to the Dallas Mavericks. Charlotte is one of the worst shooting teams in the league at 46.1% as a team which ranks 26th in the NBA. They rank 27th in offensive efficiency averaging 1.101-points per possession.

In comparison the Jazz rank 15th in OEFF at 1.170PPP. Utah also holds a significant advantage on the boards with a top 8 offensive and defensive rebounding team versus a Hornets team that is 24th and 28th.

Utah lost 4 straight games heading into the All-Star break, but the losses came to the Warriors twice, the Lakers and Suns. Charlotte has won 3 straight but had lost 10 in a row prior. It looks too easy to take the double-digit dog with the don't.

For more daily expert predictions, check out our NBA Free Picks page and our NBA odds!

Lakers vs Warriors

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