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Best bets today from around the NBA.
Best bets today from around the NBA.

 Injuries and absences loom large ahead of Saturday’s loaded NBA slate. Read on for our top NBA picks for Saturday based on the best NBA odds

The Houston Rockets will be shorthanded once again, and the Oklahoma City Thunder will try to capitalize as big home favorites. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets are the NBA's most discussed team, but not because they’re winning. Kyrie Irving requested a trade Friday ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline, so his status is obviously up in the air on Saturday against the Washington Wizards, a team riding a six-game win streak.

The Los Angeles Lakers came away with a one-point victory over the Indiana Pacers in their last game out, and now they head to the Big Easy for a date with the New Orleans Pelicans. We cap off our best bets with the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks, who will each be missing key players.

Only two books are featured in Saturday's writeup, as BetMGM’s favorable -105 odds on a pair of spreads was the best value we could find.

Here are our NBA best bets for Saturday (odds via BetMGM and PointsBet; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our NBA picks and our best NBA betting sites.

Saturday’s NBA schedule and odds

(Odds via DraftKings)

  • Washington Wizards (+1.5) at Brooklyn Nets
  • Los Angeles Lakers (-1) at New Orleans Pelicans
  • Phoenix Suns (-5) at Detroit Pistons
  • Los Angeles Clippers (-2.5) at New York Knicks
  • Portland Trail Blazers (+5) at Chicago Bulls
  • Miami Heat (+5.5) at Milwaukee Bucks
  • Houston Rockets (+9) at Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Dallas Mavericks (+9) at Golden State Warriors
  • Atlanta Hawks (+7) at Denver Nuggets

Saturday’s NBA best bets

  • Spread: Thunder -8.5 vs. Rockets (-110 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Upset: Wizards ML vs. Nets (+115 via PointsBet) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Spread: Lakers -1.5 vs. Pelicans (-105 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Spread: Warriors -9.5 vs. Mavericks (-105 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Check out our NBA Finals odds and NBA MVP odds.

NBA Top Picks

Spread: Thunder -8.5 vs. Rockets (-110)  ⭐⭐⭐

Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green are out yet again, and Eric Gordon is doubtful. The Rockets’ backcourt will be in shambles when the team rolls into Oklahoma City on Saturday.

The Thunder sport the NBA's best against-the-spread record at 31-19-1, including a favorable 16-10 at home and a 7-3 mark as the home favorite. The Rockets are just 9-17 on the road overall and 9-16 as the road underdog.

They're dealing with a lofty spread on Saturday, but the shorthanded Rockets won’t be able to hang with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Thunder in Oklahoma.

Upset: Wizards ML vs. Nets (+115) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh, baby! We don’t often get such a juicy line, so we’re taking this one before the oddsmakers change their minds. The Wizards have won and covered in six straight, including five games on the road. They’re 0-3 against Brooklyn this season, but the circumstances are much, much different on Saturday.

It would be shocking if Kyrie Irving took the court on Saturday after his trade request. And with Ben Simmons and T.J. Warren joining Kevin Durant on the sideline, Brooklyn will trot out a skeleton crew against the surging Wizards.

My first thought when looking over the slate was to take Washington to cover, thinking the Wizards would be favored. Instead, we’re gifted with a Wizards underdog moneyline that feels like the safest bet of the night.

Spread: Lakers -1.5 vs. Pelicans (-105) ⭐⭐⭐

Life comes at you fast. The Pels have gone from being the top team in the West to the 11th seed after 10 straight losses, and the Lakers can leapfrog them in the standings with a third straight victory on Saturday. 

Austin Reaves is out for Los Angeles, and although LeBron James is questionable, there’s no way he sits this one out while just 63 points away from becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. With James and Davis healthy and quality scoring coming from Rui Hachimura, the Lakers should be able to cover and take this one on the road.

The Pels are 5-3 as the home underdog in 2022-23, but the Lakers are 2-1 as the road favorite. Momentum is on Los Angeles’ side here.

Check out our best sports-betting sites for Louisiana.

Spread: Warriors -9.5 vs. Mavericks (-105) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Mavericks go as Luka Doncic goes, right? Dallas is 0-6 straight up and just 1-5 against the spread in six games without the superstar. The average margin of defeat in those contests is 12.5 points, so it’s not unreasonable to believe Golden State can cover this nearly double-digit spread.

The Mavs are just 8-17 ATS on the road in 2022-23, while the Warriors are 15-9-1. Klay Thompson sat Thursday for rest, but he’s now questionable due to an illness, and Draymond Green (calf) is questionable after sitting Thursday, too. Even if Thompson and Green are out, Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, and the rest of the regular rotational players will be available.

Given how well the Warriors play at home and how poorly the Mavs have been ATS, it’s safe to take Golden State and the points here. I’d bet this one up to -11.5 if it continues to rise.

NBA best bets made 2/4/2023 at 7:39 a.m. ET.

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