Games With Playoff Implications & Value For This Week's NBA Picks

Jake Walker

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 6:11 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 6:11 PM GMT

Our handicapping expert selects the top games from this week's schedule and breaks them down to help you find NBA betting value so you can beat the NBA odds.

Friday, February 26
Cavaliers vs. Raptors
The two best teams in the Eastern Conference collide when the Cavaliers visit the Raptors. Cleveland leads Toronto by 3 games in the East standings and they were playing great basketball before Detroit ended their five-game winning streak last night by beating them 96-88 at Quicken Loans Arena. The Raptors on the other hand have won their last two games and they're 19-6 SU & 14-11 ATS at home. Cleveland will host a red-hot Charlotte team that has won five in a row on Wednesday before their visit to Toronto, and that contest with the Hornets will be extremely tough and the outcome could influence their morale significantly.

 

Bulls vs. Hawks
The Bulls are starting to find more rhythm offensively while the Hawks have lost five of their last six games, so Chicago can take advantage of this despite being on the road and still missing key players. Atlanta leads the season series 2-0 though, outscoring Chicago by a combined 38 points, so this is a good spot for them to get their season back on track. One thing is certain, this is a must-watch game.  

 

Saturday, February 27
Spurs vs. Rockets
The Spurs (8-2 in their last 10 games) are quietly establishing themselves as NBA Championship contenders once again while as mentioned above, the Rockets are struggling a bit despite their decisive 116-100 win against the Suns on Friday. Houston has tough visits to Utah and Portland before this complicated meeting against a San Antonio team that leads the season series with them 2-1 and crushed them 130-99 on January 27.  

 

Warriors vs. Thunder
Losers of two in a row ahead of a visit to the Mavericks and this game against the Warriors, the Thunder are desperate to make a statement and these two contests will show us what they're made of. We all know how good Golden State is but Oklahoma City has to take advantage of their home court advantage here. The Warriors lead the season series 1-0 after a 116-108 win at ORACLE Arena on February 6 and the two teams will meet again on March 3, so Durant and Westbrook will love to have some momentum before that matchup.

 

Sunday, February 28
Cavaliers vs. Wizards
The Cavs visit the Wizards after the previously mentioned games against the Hornets and Raptors. Washington will be at home and the season series is tied 1-1 but Cleveland won 121-115 in their last game at the Verizon Center. Expect the Wizards to be ready for the Cavaliers here, as they know that they need to win as many home games as possible to get back in the playoff picture. We don't know the line yet but look for Washington to at least keep this one close at home. 

 

Heat vs. Knicks
The Heat are playing decent basketball despite not having Chris Bosh while the Knicks are really struggling, losing 12 of their last 14 games as of this writing. Miami leads the season series 2-1 but New York won the last meeting 98-90 on January 6 in Miami. Will this home game help the Knicks get back on track? New York needs Kristaps Porzingis to thrive here since Chris Bosh won't play. Expect the Knicks to stay in this contest.

 

Wednesday, February 24
Warriors vs. Heat 
The Warriors (50-5) continue their seven-game road trip with a visit to the Miami Heat (32-24). Golden State bounced back from their worst loss of the season (137-105 at Portland) with back-to-back wins against the Clippers and Hawks. The Heat will be without Chris Bosh but Dwyane Wade is back and they have won three straight games and they have scored over 100 points in each of their last four contests, so we can expect a high-scoring game here.

 

Thursday, February 25
Rockets vs. Trail Blazers
The Rockets (28-28 as of this writing) are barely hanging on to the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, with the Trail Blazers ahead of them by one game. Portland is one of the hottest teams in the league right now, going 5-0 SU & ATS in their last five games, which include two wins against the Rockets in that span. Look for Lillard and McCollum to help them beat the NBA odds at home against a team that they know how to defeat.

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