Best NBA Betting Picks and Player Props for Friday, February 21

Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers (photo credit: USA TODAY Sports)

After a handful of games welcomed back the NBA from its All-Star break on Thursday, we’re giving another very healthy slate for Friday, February 21. That means there’s plenty NBA betting action to be had.

As always, proceed wisely and go with where you think there is value. For us, we think there’s value on a couple of plays for Friday. One is a player prop for Darius Garland and the other is a point spread bet.

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Darius Garland, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

– Under 14.5 Points (-121)

For our first pick for Friday in the Association, we’re looking at an NBA player prop for Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland.

I’m not that high on this Cavaliers backcourt now with the addition of Andre Drummond to the squad. There’s now a log jam at the big-man position between Andre Drummond, Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, and Larry Nance, and then we now have young guards like Collin Sexton and Garland losing a ton of usage to those players. On top of that, Garland and Sexton won’t have a ton of second-chance opportunities because those bigs are more than likely to get a ton of put-backs, rather than pass it back out.

I understand that playing the Washington Wizards is a bit of a dream spot for Garland because this game has a 236 total and not a ton of defense will be played. If you look at the RotoGrinders Defense vs. Matchup Tool, you will see that Garland should see a decrease in field-goal attempts by about 5%. That may not be a huge number, but it’s enough and there just seem to be a lot of things going in our favor in this matchup.

When there’s a lot of paths to failure, I’m on the under. That’s why I will be on the under of 14.5 points for Garland.

RJ Barrett, SG, New York Knicks

– Under 5.5 Rebounds (-143)

A second player prop we like for Friday involves RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks.

Coming off a big NBA Rising Stars game when he showed out and had a great performance, this is a tough spot for Barrett against the Indiana Pacers who are good at rebounding. I don’t love this spot because the Knicks like to play big and so do the Pacers. These big men will soak up a ton of rebounds and kill Barrett’s opportunity to collect rebounds.

The RotoGrinders Defense vs. Matchup Tool also thinks this is a difficult spot for Barrett against the Pacers. This matchup has a decrease in rebounds versus the average matchup for Barrett by around 16%. This game also has a total of 211.5 and the slower pace means fewer rebound opportunities for Barrett. That’s why I’m jumping on the under on 5.5 rebounds for Barrett.

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Toronto Raptors (-8)

For this next pick, let’s get some action on a point spread bet, shall we?

I love the Toronto Raptors in this spot against a Phoenix Suns team that isn’t that great. The Raptors are a team that play their guys a ton of minutes and have been dealing with injuries throughout the season. A break was very much needed for this Raptors team after a 15-game win streak and a loss to the Brooklyn Nets brought them into the NBA All-Star break. Just like the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, I expect the Raptors to lay a big one on the Suns on Friday and win by double digits.

Post All-Star break, you will see a lot of good teams start turning it up and bad teams start to flounder. If you also look at the numbers, the Raptors are the 4th best team against the spread and cover around 56% of the time. Not only that, but when they cover, they cover on average by a league-best 3.3 points.

Phoenix, on the other hand, they are 46% at covering against the spread and they will be getting Deandre Ayton back for Friday. I’m not always a big fan of betting on teams that bring back a player because it can muddy up a situation. It’s obviously more of a case-by-case thing, but I don’t think adding Ayton gives them this massive boost on Friday and I’ll be backing the Raptors (-8).

NBA Record: 69-65 (+1.65 units)

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