Wednesday night brings fourth a loaded nine-game slate of NBA basketball action. There are a number of intriguing matchups to follow closely as well as several worthwhile opportunities for bettors to capitalize on. Basketball Insiders takes a look at the NBA best bets and free picks for the February 2nd NBA betting slate. Odds for the picks can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.
NBA Best Bets and Free Picks Tonight, 2/2
Philadelphia 76ers -10.5 (-110) | NBA Best Bets
There is no reason for bettors to panic regarding the status of Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. While the MVP candidate missed Monday’s game, it was simply for rest purposes. Embiid will be back in action tonight as Philly hosts a slumping Washington Wizards outfit. After pulling off an upset victory in overtime without Embiid two nights ago, the Sixers figure to be in a great position to pick up a comfortable win tonight.
In addition to having lost six straight, the Wizards come into Wednesday’s contest without their best player in Bradley Beal. There are also reports of in-fighting in the locker room. This is never a good sign for teams when choosing NBA best bets and picks. To top it all off, this will be Washington’s second road game in as many nights. The Wizards hung around through three quarters but were ultimately blown out in the final period and lost to Milwaukee by 14.
While the 76ers are still dealing with the absences of a handful of reserves like Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz, the primary cast will all be available tonight. Philadelphia is the better team of the two when both are fully healthy. Take away Beal and center Thomas Bryant and the Wizards don’t figure to stand a chance. Add in the rest advantage and the reports of locker room upheaval on the other side and it makes sense to back the Sixers at home.
Memphis Grizzlies -4 (-113) | NBA Best Bets
Honestly, there isn’t a real fancy argument to support laying the points with the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden tonight. The bottom line is that the Grizz are a much better team than the New York Knicks. If they play their game, a comfortable win should result.
While the Grizzlies have cooled off recently after an extended winning streak, they had strung together three straight victories before an overtime loss in Philadelphia on Monday. That result was quite stunning given that the 76ers were playing without Joel Embiid. Perhaps Memphis took the shorthanded version of the Sixers a bit lightly. On the positive side, the loss should add motivation for the Grizz to bounce back and handle things tonight.
While both the Grizzlies and Knicks rank among the top-10 teams in defensive efficiency this season, only Memphis can lay claim to a similar ranking on the offensive end. Of course, the Grizz also have the best player on the floor in this matchup in Ja Morant. The more well-rounded roster should prevail and cover the short spread in the process.
Nuggets vs Jazz: Over 222.5 (-110) | NBA Best Bets
The Utah Jazz have been nowhere near the same caliber of team defensively this season that bettors have grown accustomed to the past few years. In addition, the Jazz will again be without NBA Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert for tonight’s game. The star center continues to be held out with a calf injury.
While the Denver Nuggets rank in the bottom five in terms of pace, this has not prevented them from posting high point totals. In fact, the Nuggets have scored at least 110 points in seven straight games. Six of those contests saw them score 116 or more. Without Gobert clogging the paint, reigning MVP Nikola Jokic figures to have a massive advantage inside in tonight’s game.
From a statistical standpoint, both the Nuggets and Jazz have actually been much better offensively than they have on defense. This naturally leads to liking the over for tonight’s NBA best bets and picks. While Utah leads the NBA in offensive efficiency with an average of 113.3 points per 100 possessions, the Nuggets also rank among the top-12 team in that same metric. The last time the two teams played, 227 total points were scored. Despite the NBA betting line moving in the opposite direction, the numbers point towards points being scored in bunches tonight.
Source: Basketball Insider