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Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week – February 19th, 2024

By Jeff Stinger

The NBA comes out of its All-Star break on Thursday and oddsmakers are forecasting an NBA Finals between Eastern Conference favorite Boston, which hasn’t won a title since 2008, and Western Conference favorite Denver, the defending NBA champion. Here’s a look at two intriguing matchups on Thursday as the league restarts.

Top NBA Betting Picks of the Week (February 19th, 2024)

Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors

  • When: Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
  • TV: TSN, YES
  • Radio: WFAN 101.9 FM (Nets) // TSN 1050 AM (Raptors)
  • Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: Nets (+2) // Raptors (-2)

These teams made a trade at the deadline earlier this month with Toronto sending Dennis Schroder and Thaddeus Young to Brooklyn in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, who was then waived by Toronto. Young was quickly bought out by the Nets as well but it’s a homecoming of sorts for Schroder.

The news here is that Brooklyn will take the court for the first time since firing Coach Jacque Vaughn on Monday and naming former UConn national championship-winning coach Kevin Ollie as the interim head coach. Brooklyn started this season promisingly enough at 13-10 but are 8-23 since and lost by 50 at Boston in their final game before the All-Star break.

The Nets are 21-33 and currently in 11th place in the East and reportedly several players had “lost confidence” in Vaughn. There were also persistent issues in games, like a lack of adjustments and blown fourth-quarter leads. Star Mikal Bridges sounded the alarm after the ugly loss to the Celtics, questioning the team’s effort.

“That’s the biggest part, whatever the game plan was, we have to do that with effort. We didn’t have that, especially in the beginning,” Bridges said. “You can’t just let this go and think like, ‘Oh, let it drop.’ Like, no. You got beat by 50, it’s not just let it go. A lot of s–t is not right and you gotta fix it.”

Vaughn was originally named the Nets’ interim head coach after the firing of Steve Nash on Nov. 1, 2022. Just eight days later the Nets removed “interim” from Vaughn’s title and made him the permanent head coach. Vaughn was 71-68 in the regular season and 0-8 in the playoffs. He was the third Eastern Conference coach to lose his job this season , joining Wes Unseld Jr. (Wizards) and Adrian Griffin (Bucks).

Brooklyn is hoping that Ollie can re-energize a roster that has dropped into the bottom 10 in offensive and defensive efficiency since mid-December. Ollie — who played 13 seasons in the NBA — won a national championship as UConn’s coach in 2014 and joined the Nets as an assistant coach this season. The offseason could mark the Nets’ first in-depth coaching search since hiring Kenny Atkinson in 2016, although Ollie will be given every chance to earn the job in the final 28 games of this regular season.

The Nets are 1-0 vs. the Raptors this season, winning 115-103 at home on Nov. 28 behind 23 points from Dinwiddie, who is now with the Lakers, and 22 from Bridges. Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes had 17 each for Toronto – Siakam is now with Indiana.

NBA Betting Pick: Raptors

Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks

  • When: Tuesday, February 22nd, 2024, 7:30 PM ET
  • Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
  • TV: TNT
  • Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 (Suns) // 97.1 The Freak FM (Mavericks)
  • Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: Suns (+3) // Mavericks (-3)

Potential Western Conference playoff preview and a star-studded game if everyone plays between Phoenix’s Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal and Dallas’ Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving – Durant, Booker and Doncic played in this Sunday’s All-Star Game for the losing Western Conference.

Dallas comes out of the break as one of the NBA’s hottest teams on a six-game winning streak. The Mavericks are outscoring their opponents by 18 points per game during the win streak, 122.2 to 104.2. They are shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from three-point land. Their competition: 41.4 percent and 31.2 percent.

Even rebounding, perhaps the Mavericks’ biggest issue all season, has come around. They have won the glass 49-46 on average during the streak. In the winning streak, Doncic has averaged 29.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists. Irving has averaged 26.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists. The Mavericks have not lost since Irving returned from a sprained right thumb.

The Mavs are seventh in the West with a 32-23 record, but they’re only one game away from fifth. Phoenix (33-22) is fifth and New Orleans (33-22) is sixth. Dallas made two fairly big moves ahead of the Trade Deadline in landing P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford from the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards, respectively, and both have played well. Especially Gafford, who is averaging 15.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game since changing teams.

Phoenix comes out of the break having won five of six and at 33-22 is fifth in the West. Beal suffered a broken nose against Indiana in late January, but was able to play through the issue with a mask. He sat out last Wednesday’s game against the Pistons due to a hamstring issue, but he’s on track to return to action Thursday despite recently also having a procedure to address that broken nose. The Suns have signed veteran forward Thaddeus Young after he was waived by Brooklyn and Young could make his team debut Thursday.

Right before the break, Booker moved into second place on the Suns all-time scoring list, surpassing Alvan Adams and also moved into third on the franchise’s all-time field goals made list, passing Shawn Marion. Booker is 1-of-3 players this season to rank in the top-10 in both scoring (7th) and assists (10th), joining Doncic and Trae Young.

The Mavericks won the first meeting of the season on Christmas Day, 128-114, in Phoenix, while the Suns won the second meeting on Jan. 25 in Dallas, 132-109, behind 46 points from Booker. Phoenix has won 20 of the last 27 meetings with the Mavericks during the regular season. Doncic holds career regular-season averages of 27.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.7 assists in 18 games (6-12 record) against Phoenix.

NBA Betting Pick: Mavericks

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This is just one of the many sports betting guides that you can read here at Nitrobetting news. Stay tuned for more 2023-24 NBA season previews and articles, and don’t forget to check out the latest basketball betting odds on our online BTC sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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