This will be my final edition of the NBA Rundown on SI.com. Outside of the bubble, we made a little bit of money, and that's better than losing money. The NBA is a great league to bet on, and it has been so much fun to share this information with you.
For the last ride, I have a pair of bets on tonight's 10-game slate. Two games feature teams from last year's playoffs playing against each other: Raptors vs. Heat and Lakers vs. Jazz. It just so happens those are the two games that I will be betting on this evening.
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NBA Betting Plays - Wednesday, February 24
ODDS AVAILABLE AT DRAFTKINGS SPORTSBOOK AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat (-2) Total: 214.5
Both Toronto and Miami got off to slow starts this season. Both teams have played much better recently. Miami is 7-3 straight up in their last 10 games, while Toronto has gone 6-4 straight up in their last 10 games. Both teams have their defense to thank for their improved play. The Raptors are 23rd in the league in points allowed, the Miami Heat are 25th in points allowed, so defense will be the theme of tonight's game in South Beach. In games with a total of 215 or lower, the under has cashed 60% of the time. The Raptors have gone under the number in each of their last four games, Miami has gone under in each of their last two games.
The Pick: Under 214.5
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz (-9) Total: 218.5
The Lakers bring their three-game losing streak to Utah as a nine-point underdog. I can't remember the last time the Lakers have been this big of an underdog. Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder will both be out for the Lakers tonight. That's a good reason why this spread is so high. Nine points may seem like a lot, but trust me, if the book put it out, there is a reason for it. The Utah Jazz is the best team in the league right now. Their point differential on the season is +9.6--like Warriors' point differential numbers back in their heyday. The next closest team is the Bucks at +7.7. Mind you, Milwaukee plays in the East. The Jazz are 25-6 straight up and 23-71 ATS. They have only lost twice on their home court this season. The Lakers are tough, but Utah is on a mission right now. They are playing as a team. When oddsmakers make the Lakers this big of an underdog in a nationally televised game to close the night, they are trying to trick you. Hopefully, they don't trick me tonight.
The Pick: Jazz -9
Overall Record: 36-37 ATS