Peter’s Points: NBA Best Bets Today (Expert Predictions, Picks for Jalen Brunson, Austin Reaves and More)

BetSided's Peter Dewey breaks down his favorite bets in the NBA for the action on Thursday, Feb. 21.

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson.
New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson. / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is BACK!

After a week off for the All-Star break, the league returns for the home stretch of the 2023-24 season with playoff berths on the line in both conferences.

Adam Silver and the NBA scheduled makers have treated us to a massive slate on Thursday, with 24 of the 30 teams suiting up.

I'm hoping the return from the All-Star break can help us turn around a rather disappointing season so far in our NBA best bets, and it starts with six plays for Feb. 21.

If you’re looking to bet on any game in the NBA tonight, FanDuel Sportsbook has an amazing promotional offer. New users who sign up with the link below and wager $5 will receive $150 in bonus bets -- if their bet wins.

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NBA Best Bets Record to Date

  • 2023-24 season record: 216-210-10 (-7.19 units)
  • Overall record (last 2+ seasons): 841-768-19 (+32.75 units)

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on  BetStamp here.

NBA Best Bets Today

  • Josh Hart OVER 12.5 Rebounds and Assists (-115)
  • Jalen Brunson OVER 29.5 Points (-125)
  • Luka Doncic OVER 31.5 Points (-125)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder ML (-115) vs. Los Angeles Clippers
  • Chicago Bulls +9 (-115) vs. Boston Celtics – 0.5 unit
  • Austin Reaves OVER 17.5 Points (-120) – 0.5 unit 

Josh Hart OVER 12.5 Rebounds and Assists (-115)

There’s no doubt that Josh Hart has been an impact player on the glass for the New York Knicks, and I’m going to buy low on him here after a down game against the Orlando Magic to close out the first half. 

Hart has cleared 12.5 rebounds and assists in eight of nine games since Julius Randle and OG Anunoby went down. He’s averaging 9.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game over that stretch. 

This number was around 13.5 and 14.5 before the down game against Orlando for Hart. I expect him to bounce back on Thursday night. 

Jalen Brunson OVER 29.5 Points (-125)

The Jalen Brunson show continues tonight in Philadelphia. 

Since Randle and Anunoby went down, Brunson is averaging 32.9 points per game across eight contests. 

Over that stretch, he’s taken at least 21 shots in every game, and Brunson has cleared the 30-point threshold in five of those matchups. He fell short against Memphis (was injured when he had 27 points) and in a low-scoring game against Houston (again with 27). 

The Knicks are going to rely heavily on Brunson to carry the scoring load, and he did score 29 points in just 32 minutes in a 36-point win over the Sixers earlier this season. 

I love the Knicks point guard to have a big game tonight. 

Luka Doncic OVER 31.5 Points (-125)

This number is just criminally low for Luka Doncic, who is averaging 34.2 points per game and has torched Phoenix this season. 

In his two previous meetings with the Suns, Doncic scored 50 and 34 points, and he’s cleared this total in three of his last five games overall. 

While he did fail to hit it in back-to-back games before the break, Doncic attempted just 16 shots in a triple-double performance against Washington before playing less than 32 minutes in a blowout win against the Spurs. 

He should have a big scoring game in what should be one of the best matchups of the night. 

Oklahoma City Thunder ML (-115) vs. Los Angeles Clippers

There are a couple of key trends that favor the Oklahoma City Thunder in this matchup, and it lines up with the previous results between these teams this season. 

The Thunder are one of the best teams in the NBA as home favorites, going 15-7 ATS. They are 18-9 against the spread overall at Paycom Center this season. 

As for the Los Angeles Clippers, the team has struggled on the road, going just 3-5 ATS as a road underdog, including the loss to the Thunder earlier this season. Los Angeles has thrived when favored, but the team is just 3-6 ATS overall as an underdog, the third-worst mark in the NBA.

These teams are No. 2 and No. 5 in net rating on the season, so this should be a close game, but I still think OKC can cover the two-point spread. The Thunder are 2-0 ATS when favored by two or fewer points at home, and they were favored by 6.5 points against Los Angeles the last time these teams played in OKC. 

Even with oddsmakers viewing the current Clippers as 5.5 points better than they were the first time these teams met, I still think the value is on the Thunder to stay hot at home. 

Chicago Bulls +9 (-115) vs. Boston Celtics – 0.5 unit

A bet against the best team in the NBA? 

That’s right, the Celtics are far from a sure thing on the road this season, especially against a playoff hopeful like Chicago. 

Boston is just 9-12-3 against the spread as a road favorite this season. 

Meanwhile, the Bulls are one of the best home teams in the NBA, especially when they are set as home underdogs. Chicago is 7-3-1 against the spread in that spot in the 2023-24 campaign. 

Boston did win the first meeting between these teams by 27 points in Boston, but the Bulls entered the break playing some pretty solid basketball, ranking No. 11 in offensive rating and No. 15 in net rating over their last 10 games. 

I don’t think Chicago pulled off the upset, but the team did cover five of its last seven games before the break, including an outright win as a home dog against the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

I’ll take the points in this matchup as both teams look to regain their footing after a week off.  

Austin Reaves OVER 17.5 Points (-120) – 0.5 unit 

With LeBron James out, Anthony Davis, D’Angelo Russell, and Austin Reaves are going to need to pick up the slack scoring the ball. 

I think Reaves is the best Laker to bet on in terms of his points prop this season. The Lakers guard is averaging 15.8 points per game in the 2023-24 campaign, but that number jumps to 19.7 points per game in the seven matchups he’s played without James this season. 

Not only that, but Reaves has cleared 17.5 points in five of those seven games, including 22 and 32-point showings in his last two. 

Reaves took 14 shots in his last game against Golden State but shot just 4-for-14 and scored 17 points. He should be due for some positive regression on Thursday with LeBron out. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.