Free NBA Betting Picks and Best Bets (2/12/24)

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I hope you all enjoyed the Super Bowl yesterday and putting a final bow on the 2023–24 NFL season. As football is now officially over, attention will turn towards the NBA and the playoff push ahead. If you haven’t been following too closely, it has been an amazing season with a lot of teams in the mix.

After only two games yesterday on Super Bowl Sunday, we have a big ten-game slate tonight. The marquee game of the night will be Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets traveling to Milwaukee to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Any time these two match up, it’s worth watching. I’m looking to rebound from a tough Friday night, and I do like the slate tonight.

In this article, I’ll be providing my favorite picks against the spread, game totals, parlays, and teasers for the NBA slate that tips off at 7:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 12. Follow me on X, @Jwiesel13.

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NBA Betting Picks: Spreads & ML

San Antonio Spurs (+6.5) at Toronto Raptors (228 total)

On Friday night, I lost when I took the Houston Rockets in the first quarter over the Raptors. The Raptors jumped out to a 34-20 lead after one. Toronto hit 2/7 three-point attempts and went 4/4 from the line. Where they did their damage was inside the arc, hitting 10 of 15 attempts. Saturday night, they lost the first quarter 30-24 at home against the Cavaliers. That performance was more indicative of who I think the Raptors are. They did hit 4/8 threes but only shot 9/23 on FTAs.

San Antonio doesn’t have a world-renowned defense, but they’ve been playing better lately. In their last five games, the Spurs are 12th in first-quarter defense. This season, they are 16-11 ATS on the road in the first quarter. The first quarter is the second-highest scoring quarter for the Spurs after the fourth. The 3.2 threes San Antonio is hitting in the opening 12 minutes on the road are the highest of any quarter. Opponents are only hitting 47.6 percent of their field goals against the Spurs in the first quarter. From three, that number drops to 36.5 percent, which places SA in the top ten.

Their scoring is pretty balanced, with Victor Wembanyamas’ 5.3 points leading the way. Toronto is only 22nd in first-quarter defense in their last ten games. They are also in the bottom ten in scoring and three-point shooting. I see this as a pretty even matchup, so I may as well take the underdog.

The Pick: Spurs First Quarter +1.5 (-110 ESPN BET)

 

Golden State Warriors (+1) at Utah Jazz (243.5 total)

The Warriors are playing some of the best basketball in the NBA right now. After winning a thrilling game Saturday night against the Suns, it brought their winning streak to four games. I don’t want to pick against them for the full game, but I like the Jazz in the first half. At home in the first half of games, Utah is a top-ten scoring team. Their percentages could also be better, but they are also a top-five team getting to the foul line. The Warriors are about league average in opponent first-half free-throw attempts.

Golden State is hot right now, so I’m looking for a bit of an early letdown in this game. Despite this great recent stretch of basketball, the Warriors are still only hitting 48.5 percent of their field goal attempts. From three, they are hitting 40.3 percent, but it’s hard to sustain that number. Only 12-12 ATS in the first half at home; Utah usually plays tough. It is also a big game in the standings that can factor into the standings later in the season. The Jazz score in the paint well and are also one of the top rebounding teams in the NBA. Utah hasn’t played since Thursday, and I think they’ll be rested and ready to go in front of their home crowd tonight.

The Pick: Jazz First Half ML (-115 ESPN BET)

 

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NBA Betting Picks: Totals

Denver Nuggets (-1) at Milwaukee Bucks (233 total)

Neither of these teams has been impressive in covering this season. Milwaukee is 20-33, while Denver is 22-29-2, according to Action Network. Not picking a side, I like the under here. The Bucks have already ruled out Khris Middleton, and Denver has two players questionable: Michael Porter Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The Nuggets give up the sixth-fewest points per game and are only 18th in scoring. They shoot good percentages, but this team has not been as sharp on offense as previous seasons. Something I love about the Nuggets defense is that they are only allowing 87.1 field goal attempts per game. This forces teams to be efficient against them, but opponents are only hitting 46.9 percent of their attempts. Milwaukee is an excellent offensive team, but I think Denver matches up well with them. The Bucks are also playing Jae Crowder for the injured Middleton and traded Cam Payne for Patrick Beverley, a defense first player.

When these teams played on January 29th in Denver, the Nuggets won 113-107. The total was set at 237.5, and they went under by 18 points. The Nuggets allow the second fewest three-point attempts in the NBA. This could hinder a team like Milwaukee, which is in the top seven for attempts and the top five for makes. The under has hit in 33 of the Nuggets 53 games this season. On the road, the under is 9-18-1. Milwaukee has hit the over in 18 of 28 home games this season. It’s really a pick-your-preference situation here, and I’ll usually side with fewer points.

The Pick: Under 233 (-110 DraftKings)

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