NBA Best Bets Today (Predictions for DeMar DeRozan, Celtics-Nets, Suns-Thunder and More)

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan.
Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan. / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been too long since we’ve gotten to be on some NBA action, but today’s the day!

We’re coming back with four picks for Thursday night’s action in The Association, and as every team gears up for the playoff push, we should see some great basketball down the stretch. 

Let’s get into today’s picks:

All odds via WynnBET Sportsbook.

NBA Best Bets Record to Date

  • NBA Best Bets Record: 129-135-2

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record in the NBA this season here.

NBA Best Bets Today

  • Boston Celtics -7 vs. Brooklyn Nets (-110)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +9.5 vs. Phoenix Suns (-110)
  • Memphis Grizzlies -2.5 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (-110)
  • DeMar DeRozan OVER 28.5 Points (-130)

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets: Celtics -7 (-110)

The Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics will kick off their post-All-Star Game schedule on Thursday night at Barclays Center.

Boston blew out the Nets by 35 back on Feb. 8, and this game could have a similar result with Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving and others out for this matchup. 

There’s no way I can get to this number to back this Nets team that lost 12 of its final 14 games before the All-Star break. 

Brooklyn simply doesn't have the offensive firepower without Durant, Irving and Simmons to keep up with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and it’s worth noting how well the Celtics have played on the defensive end lately. 

Boston has jumped all the way to No. 2 in the NBA in defensive rating, and it has the best rating in the NBA over its last 15 games (98.5) by a long shot. This team simply is playing like a true playoff contender at the moment. 

There’s always a chance for a let down following the All-Star break, but Brooklyn doesn’t have enough healthy bodies to trust it at home on Thursday.

Phoenix Suns vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder +9.5 (-110)

No Chris Paul? Apparently no problem for the Phoenix Suns, as they are heavily favored on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder coming out of the All-Star break. 

This line is a bit surprising, as Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is making his return to the lineup on Thursday, but the Suns have been the best team in the NBA all season long. 

They may not be a great team in terms of winning, but the Oklahoma City Thunder are elite against the spread at home and overall, which is why they are one of the teams I will be targeting over the second half of the season. 

The Thunder are very limited offensively, ranking dead last in the league in offensive rating, but they should see a boost with Gilgeous-Alexander back in the lineup alongside impressive rookie Josh Giddey. 

That will be key against the Suns’ No. 3 defense, but I think we see a little regression from Phoenix’s offense with Chris Paul out of the lineup. The Suns are also down backup point guard Cameron Payne in this game. 

Phoenix has been favored by 9.5 points or more on the road just one other time this season, covering against the Detroit Pistons in that game. I am surprised that this line is where it is, as Paul is an extremely valuable player for Phoenix and SGA’s return is a huge boost for the Thunder. 

I’ll back OKC to continue to stay strong ATS at home tonight. 

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: Grizzlies -2.5 (-110) 

The NBA’s best team against the spread, the Memphis Grizzlies, will hit the road following the All-Star break to play the up-and-coming Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Memphis has been extremely impressive on the road this season against the spread, going 22-8, and the Grizzlies are one of the teams I am looking to bet as much as possible down the stretch of this season. 

The Wolves have been really solid, as Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards are leading one of the NBA’s most potent offenses, but they have fallen outside of the top 10 in defensive rating over the past few months. 

That’s going to make things tough against a Grizzlies team, led by Ja Morant, that is fifth in the NBA in offensive rating and can match the uptempo style that the Wolves usually play. 

Memphis has simply been too good against the spread lately for me to fade it out of the All-Star break, and it’s worth noting that Minnesota is just 4-5 against the spread as a home underdog this season. 

I’ll take the Grizzlies as slight favorites on Thursday night. 

DeMar DeRozan OVER 28.5 Points (-130)

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? 

DeMar DeRozan has been on a tear lately, entering the All-Star break with eight straight games of 31 or more points scored, and I’m going to go back to the well on this prop again tonight. 

The Atlanta Hawks don’t play any defense at all, ranking 27th in the NBA in defensive rating coming into this matchup. DeRozan should have a field day because of that, and if John Collins sits, there is even less rim protection for the Hawks. 

This may seem high, but DeRozan is averaging 28.1 points per game for the season. He should have no problem staying hot on Thursday.