The defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors have the third-best record in the league and just had a 15-game winning streak. Yet, they are +1800 longer shots on the MyBookie NBA odds to repeat. Oddsmakers consider it a three-team race to win it all between the Lakers (+225), Bucks (+275) and Clippers (+300). Here’s a look at two intriguing NBA matchups later this week – the league is dark until Thursday out of the All-Star break. Check back for Mybookie NBA Betting odds.
NBA Betting Picks of the Week – February 17th Edition
Memphis at Sacramento
- When: Thursday, 10 PM ET (NBA League Pass)
Teams have split two meetings. The last was in Sacramento on Jan. 2, which the Kings won 128-123. De’Aaron Fox scored 10 of his 27 points in the final five minutes and the Kings overcame a 20-point deficit in the first half. Fox had a midcourt steal and layup as part of a run in the fourth quarter when the Kings turned a two-point deficit into an eight-point lead. Buddy Hield had 26 points and seven rebounds for the Kings. Sacramento took control with a 14-4 run after trailing 106-104 with 5:11 to go.
Ja Morant had 23 points and seven assists for Memphis. Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points and 12 rebounds. The Grizzlies led 42-26 after the first quarter and took a 97-90 advantage into the fourth. The Kings will look to pick up their fourth straight home win over Memphis before heading out on a four-game road trip.
Memphis ranks as the NBA’s youngest team this season (weighted by minutes played during the season) at 24.0 years old. The Grizzlies’ two leading scorers, Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., are both under the age of 21. The Grizzlies lead the NBA in points in the paint per game (56.7). Memphis has scored at least 60 points in the paint in six of its last seven games (and scored 58 in the exception). Memphis is on pace to set a franchise record with 45.6 rebounds per game (previous record: 43.5 in 2009-10).
The Kings’ Buddy Hield scored 27 points in the final round to win the Three-Point Contest at All-Star Saturday Night in Chicago. Hield beat out 2018 champion Devin Booker (26 points) and Davis Bertans (22) in the final round to take home his first Three-Point Contest title. The last time a Kings player won the event was back in 2003, when Peja Stojakovic took home the crown for the second straight year.
Hield was moved to a reserve role for the final 10 games prior to the All-Star break, which led to some reports about his unhappiness in Sacramento. The Kings were 6-4 in the 10 games Hield came off the bench. Hield averaged 22.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 29.1 minutes per game since the move.
New Orleans at Portland
- When: Friday, 10:30 PM ET (ESPN)
New Orleans looks for the four-game season sweep. The teams played most recently on Feb. 11 in New Orleans and the Pels rolled 138-117. Zion Williamson paced the Pelicans with a career-high 31 points (10-17 FG, 11-14 FT), nine rebounds, and a career-high five assists. Damian Lillard had 20 points, five rebounds and six assists in the loss.
Lillard is averaging 19.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists in two games against the Pelicans this season. In three games against New Orleans this season, CJ McCollum has averaged 20.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.0 steals. Carmelo Anthony has averaged 17.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists. Hassan Whiteside has averaged 14.0 points on .621 shooting from the floor, 14.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 2.0 blocks.
In the three games against Portland, Jrue Holiday has averaged 19.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.0 steals. JJ Redick has averaged 18.0 points on .500 from the floor, including .500 from deep, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists. In two games against Portland, Brandon Ingram has averaged 20.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals.
Williamson had 32 points in the final game before the break, a loss to the Thunder. He joined LeBron James, Devin Booker and Luka Doncic as the only teenagers in NBA history with consecutive 30-point games. Williamson is the first rookie in 35 years to record eight 20-point games in the first 10 games of his career. Zion leads the NBA in second chance points per game (5.2) and third in paint points per game (15.1).
Will the Blazers have Lillard here? He suffered a groin strain right before the break and was given a 1-2 week timetable. If the injury sidelines him for a full two weeks, he could miss up to three games. Lillard had to pull out of the All-Star Game and Three-Point Contest due to the injury.
NBA Betting Expert Picks
I don’t expect Lillard to play so go with Pelicans. Kings beat Grizzlies.