Mondo’s Premium Picks: NBA Best Bets for Feb. 26

Our resident gambling guru breaks down his three favorite NBA plays for Friday

By Raymond Harrison

Happy Friday! We have nine games on the NBA slate to kick off the weekend as we push toward the midway point of the season.

I’ll be breaking down my favorite sides, totals and player props for the night. All odds listed are courtesy of William Hill and subject to change before tipoff.

Let’s dive in.

Atlanta Hawks (-5) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Best bet: Hawks -5

Tipoff – 5:05 p.m. PT

The Thunder escaped Wednesday’s game against a severely depleted San Antonio Spurs team thanks to a last-second Lu Dort three-pointer. They did not play particularly well in the contest, and now they will be without Al Horford and Hamidou Diallo for Friday’s game.

I think the Hawks take advantage of a shallower front court without Horford. With Clint Capela and John Collins leading the charge, they rank fourth in the NBA in offensive rebound rate.

The Hawks are also the ninth-best team in terms of offensive efficiency, while the Thunder sit 28th. Expect Trae Young to have his way in this one. I cannot see the Thunder keeping up.

Sacramento Kings (-2) vs. Detroit Pistons

Best bet: Pistons +2

Tipoff – 5:05 p.m. PT

The Pistons may have the worst record in the NBA, but nobody is playing worse than the Kings right now. Sacramento has lost nine straight, both straight up and against-the-spread.

They have the worst defense in the NBA from an efficiency standpoint. This was on full display in Thursday’s game against the Knicks, where they gave up 140(!) points in regulation.

The Pistons have not played since Wednesday, and Jerami Grant sat out that game to rest. His usage should be through the roof tonight, which bodes well against a defensive unit as porous as the Kings.

Detroit’s 9-23 record is alarming, but they are 17-14-1 ATS this year. Even better, they are 9-5 ATS at home and 6-1 ATS as home underdogs.

The Pistons are rested, at home and playing better, yet they are still the underdog? I am taking these points and running.

Phoenix Suns (-6.5) vs. Chicago Bulls

Best bet: Deandre Ayton over 14.5 points (-120)

Tipoff – 5:05 p.m. PT

Deandre Ayton has not had the ascension some pundits were expecting heading into 2021, but the first-overall pick from 2018 is still averaging well over a double-double.

He has a matchup worth targeting on Friday night, as well. The Bulls are a bottom-seven team defending opposing centers as they allow an average of 23.7 points a game.

Ayton has gone over this total in four of his last five games. The only time he went under in that span came in a 31-point blowout in which he played only 22 minutes.

Look for Ayton to find success inside early and often in this one.

Next read – 5 Places to Watch the Puck Drop in Downtown Las Vegas

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