February is a weird month in the NBA because teams are changing dramatically for the first half with the trade deadline, and then the entire league pauses for a week during the second half of the month for the all-star break.
But March is straightforward. March is exactly what it sounds like- a chance for teams to march their way into the playoffs or march their way into the draft lottery. There’s not much season left, and it’s time to separate the contenders from the pretenders.
The first day of the month offers six games for bettors to choose from, and these are the picks we like the most tonight:
Have you seen the Lakers play lately? Maybe not because the team is unwatchable. But certainly you’ve heard how badly they’ve played of late, and help for LeBron James is not on the horizon. Anthony Davis is out another month or more with a foot injury, while Russell Westbrook is only averaging 14.6 points over his last ten games. The team is 3-7 over that stretch.
The Lakers are also 13-20 at home against the spread this season, including 1-3 ATS in their last four home games. Dallas, meanwhile, is 8-5 ATS this season as road favorites. They lost in LA the last time these two teams played, but it was only by three, and the Mavs were without Luka Doncic in that contest.
The Mavs have covered eight of their last nine overall and four straight on the road. They should be able to make it nine of ten and five consecutive away games with a five-point-or-better win over the struggling Lakers.
The Celtics have been all over the map lately. Nothing illustrates this better than their two games right before the all-star break. On February 15, they went into Philadelphia and won by 48 points. Just one night later, they dropped a home game to the lowly Pistons. Their results against Atlanta so far this season exemplify this further. The Hawks have won two games by double digits against Boston, while the Celtics took the most recent contest by ten themselves.
Since that game in Boston before the break, however, the Hawks have been great. They’ve won and covered in three out of four, including straight up wins against Eastern Conference contenders Cleveland and Toronto. Their only loss and failed cover was at Chicago when they lost by four as three-point underdogs.
Atlanta is pretty poor against the spread on the road this season (10-19), while Boston isn’t much better at home (13-17-1). Ultimately, these two teams are pretty evenly matched at this moment, and it makes sense to take the points with Trae Young’s team and hope he keeps his remarkably hot shooting up for another night.
This is a repeat of a Valentine’s Day game that the Wizards won by nine as three-point home favorites. That was one of Washington’s first games without Bradley Beal (injury) and Spencer Dinwiddie (traded to Dallas), but the Wizards have since had time to adjust without them. Kyle Kuzma has largely led the team in their absence, putting up nearly 21 points and nine rebounds a game over his last ten, and the team is 5-5 ATS over that stretch.
Detroit has covered four straight games, including three straight up wins, but there’s nothing in their season-long play to suggest this is sustainable, and if anything, you’re getting the Wizards at a discount vs. what they would be if Detroit was playing anything like they had at any other point from late October to early February. Take the home favorites.