Free NBA Picks Saturday 2/22/2020 and Opening Line Report
Saturday's NBA slate features seven exciting matchups, including Trae Young vs. Luka Doncic in Atlanta. Young's 50-point performance single-handedly defeated the Miami Heat in the Hawks most recent match-up. The Luka Doncic for Trae Young trade will always be talked about for as long as these two stars play the game. However, one thing's for sure; neither team lost. The 76ers will take on the Bucks in what could be an Eastern Conference Finals matchup. If Ben Simmons' back heals up, we'll have two teams almost at full strength. Here are the early leans for Saturday, February 21, in the NBA.
Kings vs. Clippers 2/22/20 (-8.5, 230)
The Kings will be without Jabari Parker, Alex Len and Marvin Bagley III. The Clippers have destroyed the NBA Pacific in their last couple of seasons, and this game should be no different. The Clippers average over seven more points per game and shoot better from the field and rebound more effectively. The Clippers ended the first half with two straight losses. However, now it's time to turn on the jets and look to win an NBA title. The Kings have had plenty of trouble recently trying to beat the Clippers, going 1-8 in their last nine games against the spread vs. the Clippers.
Key trends: LAC are 29-13 ATS in their last 42 vs. NBA Pacific.
Early lean: Clippers, Over
Nets vs. Hornets 2/22/20 (+3, 215.5)
The Nets have been bad on the road, but the Hornets have been bad at home. Where do we go from here? The Nets will be without Kyrie Irving but put up an interesting fight against the Ben Simmons-less 76ers. The game went to overtime, and then Embiid took over to beat the Nets. Sometimes, it feels like the Nets play better without Kyrie. The solid play won't last. However, at least against a team like the Hornets, the Nets are probably in better position to win this one against the spread.
Key trends: BK are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 vs. NBA Southeast.
Early lean: Nets, Over
Mavericks vs. Hawks 2/22/20 (+6, 238)
Dallas has played well on the road against the spread, and they've also brought in good numbers against the spread on Saturdays. However, Trae Young and the Hawks just upset the Miami Heat with a 50-point performance from Young. The Hawks tend to allow plenty of points. And with Luka Doncic playing against Trae Young, you can expect plenty of points and a big showdown between these two teams. The Hawks are trending in the right direction as of late, and Dallas has had a hard time covering the spread in Atlanta. I'll go with the 16-win Hawks to cover this game against the Mavericks.
Key trends: DAL are 2-10 ATS in the last 12 meetings head-to-head.
Early lean: Mavericks, Over
Cavaliers vs. Heat 2/22/20 (-9.5, 226)
LeBron James isn't playing in this game. But it's the Cavs vs the Heat, and both teams are struggling at the moment. Both teams could probably use LeBron James right now. The Cavs are 2-8 in their last 10 games, while the Heat are 4-6 in their last ten after losing four of their last five games. The Heat have been fantastic at home and should turn things around. The Cavs just made a coaching change, and even Bickerstaff knows how hard it can be to win on the road in this league, especially against the Heat.
Key trends: MIA are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. NBA Central.
Early lean: Heat, Over
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Suns vs. Bulls 2/22/20 (+1, 220)
The Bulls have lost seven straight games and are struggling lately. With losses to the Hornets and Wizards in their last two games, the Bulls are clearly going downhill in the second half of the season. For whatever reason, the Suns have played very well on Saturday, covering against the spread in 10 of their last 14 Saturday games. Phoenix has had trouble beating powerhouse teams, but not the lower tier teams. The Suns shoot better, rebound more and score plenty more. Take the Suns in this matchup.
Key trends: CHI are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Early lean: Suns, Over
76ers vs. Bucks 2/22/20 (-9.5, 228)
Ben Simmons is listed as day-to-day and didn't play in the game against the Nets with a bad back. The 76ers will probably need a big body like his as they take on Giannis Antetokounmpo, who averages 30 points per game on 55 percent from the field. The Bucks, just like the 76ers, have been impossible to beat at home this season. The 76ers fell behind the Nets quickly in the first half. If the 76ers allow that to happen to the Bucks, they're not coming back. Philly has been great at home but not so much on the road against the spread.
Key trends: PHI are 6-19-2 ATS in their last 27 road games.
Early lean: Bucks, Under
Rockets vs. Jazz 2/22/20 (-1, 233.5)
You can expect a lot of offense in this matchup. The Jazz have won four straight games, scoring at least 114 points in each of their last four wins. Houston has won two-straight games and scored at least 116 points in those two wins. This game will come down to the Jazz and their defensive ability at home. If they can get a couple stops, they'll squeeze by and get this win late in the second half. The Rockets have been pretty unstoppable for a longer stretch of time, but the Jazz are streaky and right now that streak is growing. Houston has had lots of success in Utah as of late. I'll stick with Houston to get the win on the road.
Key trends: HOU are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 Sat. games.
Early lean: Rockets, Over
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