NBA Best Bets for February 12th. Spread Bets, Props, and more to bet.
With the Super Bowl officially in the rearview mirror, it’s time to shift gears.
The betting action doesn’t stop at Betting Life, and I'm here to break down some of my favorite bets for Monday’s 10-game NBA slate.
Chicago Bulls (+4.5) at Atlanta Hawks (-108; FanDuel)
The Hawks were one of the biggest disappointments last year, and they’ve been even more disappointing in 2023-24. They’re just 17-36 against the spread, which is the worst mark in the league. There are some really bad teams in the league this season – the Pistons, Wizards, and Spurs all have 10 wins or fewer – but they’ve all been better than the Hawks at covering the spread.
Atlanta has recently turned things around, winning six of their past eight games. Their two losses were against the Celtics and Clippers, who might be the two best teams in the league. This has easily been their best stretch of the entire season.
Still, it’s hard to believe in Atlanta, and their recent wins aren’t all that impressive. Only the Suns stand out as a marquee victory, with the others coming against the Lakers, Warriors, Rockets, Raptors, and Joel Embiid-less 76ers.
Now, they’ll have to take the floor as favorites against the Bulls, and Atlanta has unsurprisingly struggled in that role this season. They’re just 9-19 ATS when laying points, including 6-13 ATS as a home favorite. The Bulls are 14-14-1 as underdogs, so they’ve been significantly better at covering in these types of spots.
Like the Hawks, the Bulls have also been playing some of their best basketball of late. They’re 11th in Net Rating over their past 10 games (+2.2), giving them a slight edge over Atlanta over the same time frame (+0.9).
Ultimately, I’m happy to grab the value with the underdog.
Cleveland Cavaliers (-9.5) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (-115; BetMGM)
I thought the 76ers would be able to survive without Embiid. Their numbers for the season looked solid with Embiid off the floor, and Tyrese Maxey has developed into a reliable lead guard. They have some other reliable options – especially after trading for Buddy Hield – and there aren’t a ton of elite Eastern Conference teams the 76ers had to worry about.
I think it’s safe to say I was wrong.
While the 76ers may have survived short stretches without Embiid earlier in the year, they are clearly not capable of handling his absence in the long term. They’re just 5-13 in games without their star center, scoring an average of 8.3 fewer points per game.
They did manage to pick up a win in their last outing, but that was against the lowly Wizards. The challenge is going to be significantly more difficult vs. the Cavs, who have been one of the best teams in basketball for the past two months.
Feb 10, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley (4) controls the ball as Toronto Raptors forward Bruce Brown (11) tries to defend during the fourth quarter at Scotiabank Arena . Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland got off to a slow start this season, but they’ve been an absolute wagon since then. They’ve won 22 of their past 26 games, outscoring their opponents by an average of 12.0 points per game. They’re currently riding a nine-game winning streak, and they have a Net Rating of +15.0 over that stretch.
The Cavs are basically fully healthy after getting back Darius Garland and Evan Mobley in recent weeks, and they’re up to second in the Eastern Conference standings. It remains to be seen if they can challenge the best teams during the playoffs, but they’re undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with during the regular season. They should be able to breeze past the 76ers in this spot and pick up their 10th straight W.
You can tail the Cavs at BetMGM, where you can get $150 in bonus bets when you sign up below and place your first bet of just $5 or more!
Milwaukee Bucks (+1.5) vs. Denver Nuggets (-110; FanDuel)
It has not been an easy go for the Bucks since switching to Doc Rivers at head coach. They’re just 2-5 over that stretch, with their two wins coming against the Hornets and Mavericks. The Cavs have jumped them in the Eastern Conference standings, while the Knicks are hot on their tail.
Should Bucks backers be nervous? Not quite yet. There were always going to be growing pains when switching head coaches during the season, and the team still has two of the 10 or 15 best players in basketball.
Friday’s dominating win over the Hornets was a solid step in the right direction, and I like their chances of making it two in a row on Monday. Denver is an elite team, but they are not nearly as good on the road as they are at home. They’re just 10-17-1 ATS away from Denver this season, including 7-13-1 as a road favorite.
This seems like the perfect opportunity to buy low on a really talented team. There aren’t a lot of occasions where you can get Giannis Antetokounmpo as an underdog, let alone a home underdog. Let’s take advantage.
You can tail the Bucks at FanDuel, where you can get up to $150 in bonus bets when you sign up below and place your first bet of $5 or more:
Isaiah Hartenstein Over 8.5 rebounds (-105; BetMGM)
Hartenstein exited two games ago with an Achilles injury, and he sat out the team’s most recent contest. He’s officially questionable for Monday’s matchup vs. the Rockets, so it’s far from a guarantee he’ll suit up.
That said, if he’s in the lineup, this number is simply too low.
Hartenstein has been a monster on the boards for the Knicks this season. He’s averaged over 11 rebounds per game as a member of the starting lineup, and he’s averaged 12.2 rebounds per 36 minutes overall. With Julius Randle, Mitch Robinson, and OG Anunoby out of the lineup, Hartenstein is going to need to continue to handle most of the center minutes as long as his body can handle it.
The Rockets are an average matchup for rebounding purposes, ranking 15th in team rebound rate. That certainly doesn’t justify this number being down at 8.5. As long as Hartenstein starts and sees his usual complement of minutes, he should be able to eclipse double-digit boards. He’s played at least 27.9 minutes in 24 games this season, and he has at least nine boards in 20 of them.
Tre Mann Over 10.5 points (-128; FanDuel)
Mann was acquired by the Hornets before the trade deadline, and he’s going to get the biggest opportunity of his career in Charlotte. Mann was used sparingly by the Thunder after drafting him with the No. 18 pick three years ago, which makes sense with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in town.
His path to playing time is much clearer with his new squad. The team really has no point guard besides Mann at the moment with LaMelo Ball injured, and Mann started and played more than 27 minutes in his first game with Charlotte.
Mann is not a dynamic scorer, but I like his chances of going over 10.5 points with that much playing time. For his career, he’s averaged 14.4 points per game as a member of the starting unit, and he’s averaged 13.5 points in 63 games with at least 20 minutes.
Mann got to just nine points in his first game with the Hornets, but he was just 4-11 from the field and 1-5 from 3-point range. He also didn’t get to the free throw line at all, so there are plenty of ways for him to improve his efficiency on Monday.
Mann also draws an elite matchup vs. the Pacers, who have played at one of the fastest paces in the league this season. They’re allowing the third-most points per game (122.5), so it’s a great spot for Mann to get to 11+ points.