Robert Williams of the Boston Celtics

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The NBA regular season is back after what has felt like an eternity of an All-Star break. I’m rather uninterested in All-Star festivities and opted to watch the end of the Olympics, but I am glad that my man Obi Toppin won the dunk contest. Mostly, I’m happy that we have a seven-game slate tonight for the first time in a week (really has felt like a long time) as we move into the final stretch of the 2021-22 NBA regular season. The games featured on TNT’s national broadcast include the Boston Celtics at the Brooklyn Nets and a West Coast matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Now let’s take a look at the top NBA wagers to make tonight.

Please note that all odds and lines are current as of 1:30 PM EST from FanDuel Sportsbook on Thursday, February 24.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves (-1.5)

The Grizzlies remain the team that covers spread more than any other NBA team, and by a fairly significant margin. Memphis is 40-20 against the spread this season. They also happen to be one of the hottest teams in the NBA. They are a highly explosive, young, and dynamic team that can devastate opponents. Karl-Anthony Towns just showed the world he can shoot the three and while the T-Wolves can create some issues for Memphis guards on defense, the Grizzlies should win by at least a bucket despite being on the road. In fact, the Grizzlies are even better against the spread when on the road. They are 22-8 as the away team against the spread and cover a league-high 73.3% of their road matchups. Ja Morant and Desmond Bane win the matchup against D’Angelo Russel and Patrick Beverley in the backcourt and Jaren Jackson Jr. is becoming one of the most versatile and explosive big men in the NBA. Both teams are very healthy, with Dillon Brooks being the only noteworthy player missing on both rosters at the moment. Bettors should back the red-hot Grizzlies until something changes.

Bet: Memphis Grizzlies -1.5

Game: Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets (+9)

The Eastern Conference battle schedule on TNT tonight between the Celtics and the Nets will be a fun one to watch. Well, not so much for Nets fans. Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, and Kyrie Irving will all be sidelined for tonight’s home matchup against a divisional rival. In sharp contrast, the Celtics do not have a single injury in their entire rotation and are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are in sync with one another while Robert Williams III continues to impress as a young big man in the NBA. Marcus Smart has been playing with defensive ferocity all season, while the recently acquired Derrick White is off to a good start in Celtic green after being traded from San Antonio. The Celtics should destroy the Nets and should cover the nine-point spread. After all, the Nets are 22-36-1 against the spread this season. They cover the spread less than any other team in the NBA (37.9%). Brooklyn is even worse at home with a 6-21-1 record ATS at Barclays. Meanwhile, Boston has the eighth-highest cover percentage (57.1%) on the road.

Still, the Nets have some offensive power in Cameron Thomas and Seth Curry who could easily drop 20 points respectively. Even if this game is a blowout and pure garbage time by the fourth quarter, the Nets’ bench is capable of scoring at least 100 points tonight against Boston’s 115. I see a score that high to be likely, especially when Brown and Tatum can combine for 40 points a half. This means that this game could also hit the over in total points set at 214.5. I think a 120-100 blowout is more likely than a 110-90 blowout for this particular game.

When these two teams met under similar circumstances earlier this month on Feb. 8, the Celtics covered the 9.5-point spread by defeating Brooklyn, 126-91. They also combined to hit the Over (214). Expect this game to play out in the same fashion.

Bet 1: Boston Celtics -9

Bet 2: Over 214.5 Total Points

Game: Phoenix Suns at Oklahoma City Thunder (+10)

This is the riskiest bet of the night, but hopefully a profitable one. I’m taking OKC at home against the Phoenix Suns without Chris Paul for a +410 moneyline betting odds. Without Chris Paul, who is averaging a whopping 10.7 assists per game this season, the Suns will struggle to move the ball efficiently on the road. Especially in the first few games without CP3, Phoenix should struggle on offense and in transition.

What’s more is that the Suns will also be without their backup point guard, Cameron Payne, who is out of tonight's lineup due to lingering injury issues with his wrist. This leaves third-stringer Elfrid Payton and the recently acquired Aaron Holiday as the Suns’ best available point guards against the Thunder tonight. Holiday is expected to start but he’s more of a hybrid guard. Devin Booker may be manning the point more than usual, which may make it difficult for him to find easy paths to open shots when CP3 is the one bringing the ball up the court.

Finally, Shai Gildeous-Alexander is expected to make his triumphant return to OKC’s rotation after missing a month due to a right ankle sprain. Although the Thunder will be without Luguentz Dort, the return of SGA against the guardless Phoenix Suns should go a long way. CP3’s absence won’t just be missed on the offensive end of the floor. He probably would have spent a decent number of minutes guarding SGA. Now, the undermanned Suns will be out of rhythm on both ends of the court. The favorites to win this game remain the Suns, but OKC has a good chance to hand the Paul-less Suns their 11th loss of the season.

Bet: Oklahoma City Thunder Moneyline (+410)

Same Game Parlay of the Night

Game: Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets (+9)

I will stick away from the point props for Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum at the moment due to the potential for a blowout. Brown and Tatum are 50/50 in my book to each hit the Over or Under tonight in points scored. Instead, here are three other legs you can use in your parlays for tonight’s contest between Boston and Brooklyn.

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Leg 1: Al Horford Over 8.5 Points

Al Horford continues to shoot well from the field playing less than 30 MPG this season. Over his last 10 games, he’s played at least 20 MPG and shot 50.7% from the field. He scored a minimum of nine points in five of the contests through this stretch. Finally, he is coming off a 19-point (8-10 FG) effort in 34 minutes against the Detroit Pistons in the Celtics’ last game before the All-Star break. Especially if the Celtics steamroll the Nets, Horford could see more than 30 minutes of playing time and perhaps score in double-figures. He’s averaged an exact 8.5 PPG against the Nets this season.

Leg 2: Robert Williams III Over 10.5 Rebounds

Robert Williams is quickly becoming one of the dominant big men in the Eastern Conference. The Boston Celtics have been on this hot stretch in large part because of Williams' power as a rebounder in the post. In four of his last five games, Williams has recorded at least 11 rebounds. He’s combined for 30 rebounds in his last two games (16 boards on Feb. 11 and 14 boards on Feb. 13). He should be a lock for 11+ boards against the undermanned Brooklyn Nets.

Leg 3: Seth Curry Over 15.5 Points

Especially without Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry should see 30+ minutes of action in at least the first three quarters against the Celtics. If the Celtics start to blow Brooklyn out of the water before the end of the third quarter, Curry's night might end without any additional minutes in the fourth. Even if that is the case, Seth should have a good chance of scoring 16 points tonight. The Nets are very limited at the guard position right now, which means Curry should have the green light from Steve Nash to shoot at will.

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Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
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After three consecutive victories, the Golden State Warriors conceded Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals to the Dallas Mavericks. In Game 5, the Warriors will look to close out Luka Doncic and the Mavs in front of the home crowd. As a team, the Warriors were efficient from the field, converting 48.8% of their shots taken. One of the main reasons Golden State lost was a result of poor free-throw shooting. The Warriors missed nine of their 27 free throws on Tuesday night (65.4 FT%). In comparison, the Mavericks were full-throttle in Game 4 facing elimination. Dallas’ Reggie Bullock (18 PTS) and Dorian Finney Smith (23 PTS) combined for 42 points, adding to Luka’s 30.

Ultimately, no team has ever come back from a 3-0 lead in the playoffs, meaning that the Warriors will almost certainly be heading back to the NBA Finals. Let’s take a look at what the best bets are for tonight’s Game 5.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 2:00 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors -6.5 (GSW Leads 3-1)

Bet #1: Dallas Mavericks, +6.5 (-110)

We like Dallas to keep it close. Perhaps Dallas has a 10-point lead going into the third quarter which the Warriors could then overtake in the second half. Regardless of the scenario, the Mavericks won against a Warriors team that still put up 109 points in Game 4 on close to 50% shooting from the field. Dallas shot above 50% from the field in Game 4 and took many shots to get there just like they did in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semis against the Phoenix Suns. Even Jalen Brunson said in the post-game interview with the guys from Inside the NBA that his team needs to "take it one game at a time (...) like four Game 7s."

While the Warriors are in it to win it tonight, the Mavericks seem to perform best when facing elimination this 2022 postseason. While they might lose tonight, the Mavericks seem to play well under pressure. As a result, take them +7 tonight as the Warriors will have a bigger challenge on their hands than they anticipate.

Bet #2: Over 215.5 Total Points (-110)

In two of the series’ four games, both teams combined for at least 220 points. In Game 2, 243 points were scored while in Game 4, there were 228 points tallied. The Mavericks shoot more when facing elimination. This has been a trend we have seen throughout the postseason. In Game 7 of the Western Conference Semis, the Mavericks scored 123 points while in Game 4 against the Warriors on Tuesday, Dallas scored 119 points. Not much more needs to be said about the Warriors’ high-power offense that will likely outscore Dallas regardless of how many points they get on the board.

NBA Player Props of the Night

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors -6.5 (GSW Leads 3-1)

Prop #1: Dorian Finney-Smith Over 11.5 Points

Dorian Finney-Smith erupted for 23 points in Game 4 to help the Mavericks rally past the Warriors. Throughout the 2022 playoffs, he’s averaged 11.6 PPG shooting 46.5% from the field. He’s also seeing 38.2 minutes per contest this postseason. Expect Finney-Smith to score at least 12 points tonight after his 23-points in Game 4.

Prop #2: Klay Thompson Over 18.5 Points

Klay Thompson was held to 12 points scored in Game 4. Despite going 5-of-10 from the field, Klay was limited by Dallas on defense in 28 minutes on the floor on Tuesday night. He should definitely be taking more shots tonight and perform better overall being back home for a Game 5. Thompson should easily hit at least 20+ points tonight, and take a handful more shots from the field in this contest than in Tuesday’s.

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Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

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In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Bam Adebayo's 31-point and 10-rebound double-double led the Miami Heat to a 109-103 victory over the Celtics on the road. That was followed by a dominant second-half performance by Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins who led the Warriors to a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

Tonight, we'll get the first of these two matchups. Boston will look to come back in their second home game against a Heat team that is clearly not at 100% healthy. Tyler Herro has been ruled out for Game 4 while Kyle Lowry remains questionable. Here are some of the best bets for tonight's and tomorrow's big Game 4s.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 3:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

ECF Game 4: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics -7 (MIA Leads 2-1)

In Game 4, the Celtics rallied back from double-digits to make things interesting in the fourth quarter. However, Boston conceded Game 3 to the Miami Heat 109-103. On Sunday, Bam Adebayo was getting everything he wanted down low. He finished with 31 points, 10 boards, six assists, four steals, and one block. Ime Udoka will need to boost the presence of his big men down low, perhaps by extending Daniel Theis’ minutes or having him share the floor more with Al Horford. The major reason for which the Heat are considered the seven-point underdogs for tonight’s game is injuries. Tyler Herro has already been ruled out for Game 4, and the Heat have four or five other players in their lineup currently listed as questionable. This includes Max Struss, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, and P.J. Tucker. Butler is dealing with knee inflammation which sidelined him for the second half of Game 3.

Even if all of the players in the Heat’s rotation are good to go tonight (outside of Herro), Boston has not lost back-to-back home games since late October. Plus, Jaylen Brown is shooting much better than he did earlier in the postseason. In fact, he’s elevated his shooting to 50% from the field through the 2021-22 playoffs through 14 games played. Expect Boston to bounce back big in Game 4, with multiple players on the Miami Heat not at full strength.

The Pick: Boston Celtics -7 (-110)

WCF Game 4: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks -1 (GSW Leads 3-0)

Well, it’s looking like the Golden State Warriors are returning to the NBA Finals. With the emergence of Jordan Poole late this season and into the postseason, Andrew Wiggins’ First-Team All-Star season, and Klay Thompson’s return to basketball, Golden State has been simply phenomenal. Golden State is simply that good this year, with anyone on the team capable of stepping up. Stephen Curry erupted in Game 3, while it was Andrew Wiggins that caught fire in the second half of Game 4. Any given night, the Warriors have one or two guys who they can count on for scoring approximately 25+ points. Considering the Mavericks' struggles this round, particularly behind the three-point line, bettors should go with the Warriors as the slight underdog. Teams get swept sometimes. Just ask the Brooklyn Nets. The Warriors will bring out the brooms and sweep the Mavericks as they punch their ticket to the NBA Finals Tuesday night.

The Pick: Golden State Warriors ML -104

NBA Player Props

Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks -1 (GSW Leads 3-0)

Prop #1: Stephen Curry, Over 27.5 Points

Stephen Curry has scored 31 points and 32 points over the last two games. He’s done so by converting at least 50% from the field in each contest. It makes sense that he would score at least 28 points in a series-clinching victory tomorrow night. Curry is averaging 27.1 PPG on 45.9% this postseason but has certainly put up more points and done so more efficiently over the last few games.

Prop #2: Luka Doncic, Over 3.5 Threes

Luka has drained nine three-pointers over the last two games. He’s knocked down at least four threes in three of his last four contests. Facing elimination and hoping to not let down the home crowd in back-to-back home playoff games, Doncic will convert at least four baskets from downtown in Game 4.

Tyler Herro (Left), Bam Adebayo (Right), Miami Heat

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Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and the Miami Heat held their own against the Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Likewise, Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Curry led the Warriors to a 112-87 blowout over Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Tonight, the Celtics play their second game on the road against the Heat. On Friday night, the Mavericks will look to bounce back after shooting horrifically in Game 1.

Let’s take a look at the best bets for the two NBA Conference Final Game 2 matchups set for 8:30 PM EST. tonight and 9:00 PM EST. tomorrow night.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 4:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat -2 (MIA Leads 1-0)

After a nail-biting series with the Milwaukee Bucks that the Celtics won in grandiose fashion, Boston conceded Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat. Tonight, they play Game 2 of the series at the FTX Arena and hope to bounce back from Tuesday’s 11-point loss. One of the principal reasons for their defeat in Game 1 was the absence of Marcus Smart (foot sprain) and Al Horford (health & safety protocols). It remained a relatively close game until the third quarter in which the Celtics were outscored 14-3 to begin the second half. Derrick White filled in for Marcus Smart and was terribly inefficient from the field. He scored three points (1-4 FG) and had four assists in 29 minutes filling in for the Defensive Player of the Year. In contrast, Max Struss and Gabe Vincent did a terrific job of filling in for Kyle Lowry, combining for 28 points on 9-of-19 shooting. In addition, Tyler Herro had a good night with a pivotal 18 points (7-15 FG) off the bench. Fortunately for the Celtics, both Smart and Horford are expected to return tonight.

Head Coach Ime Udoka indicated to reporters today that Smart was probable to play this evening. Horford was cleared of health and safety protocols today making him available for tonight’s contest. For those of you who have watched the Celtics this postseason, Horford and Smart have upped their play and have been absolutely integral to the team’s success. Tonight, let’s take the Boston Celtics to take a game on the road in the same fashion that they took two road games from the Bucks in the last series.

The Pick: Boston Celtics ML +108

Tonight's Best NBA Player Props

Game: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat -2 (MIA Leads 1-0)

Prop#1: Gabe Vincent Over 9.5 Points
In Game 1 without Kyle Lowry, Gabe Vincent scored 17 points in 34 minutes on 50% shooting from the field. As Kyle Lowry is out again for Game 2 tonight, expect Vincent to score at least 10 points. Vincent has performed admirably while filling in for the veteran. Even when Lowry returns, it's quite possible that Erik Spoelstra will give some of Lowry's minutes to Vincent.
Prop#2: Al Horford Over 9.5 Points
After five straight double-digit scoring performances, Al Horford scored eight points or fewer in the last three games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Bucks. He missed Game 1 of the Celtics' series against the Miami Heat after entering Health & Safety protocols. Since he was only out for one game, he shouldn't face any minute restrictions tonight. Horford should score at least 10 points in 30+ minutes on the floor.

Tomorrow Night's Best NBA Bet

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State -6 (GSW Leads 1-0)

Dallas was annihilated by Golden State in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. This comes after the Mavs blew out the Phoenix Suns on the road in impressive fashion, punching their ticket to the next round of the playoffs for a series against the Warriors. Golden State shot an impressive 56.1% from the field in the opening game and finished with 112 points. Just as important as the offensive production, Golden State clamped down on defense. The Warriors contained Luka Doncic, who converted just six of his 18 field goals on his way to 20 points. Andrew Wiggins did an excellent job guarding the young playmaker. Luka's teammates didn't help out much either as the Mavericks shot 36% from the field in Game 1, and 22.9% from downtown (11-48 3PT FG) for just 87 points on the night.

While I think the Warriors will win again on Friday night, expect the Mavericks to keep things more interesting after such an abysmal night shooting from the field. Dallas will make the adjustments needed to make this a competitive Game 2 in the Bay area.

The Pick: Dallas Mavericks +6 (-110)

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