Welcome back to Sports Intel for another day of free NBA picks for Wednesday February 26th.
Matt’s NBA Picks February 26th
First on the dockett is the Boston Celtics vs Utah Jazz game, tipping off at 10:30 ET in Salt Lake City. The Jazz opened as -4.5 favorites with a full game total of 218.
Utah has become one of the more difficult teams to get a read on this year. They go on winning streaks, looking like a playoff contender, then losing streaks where they look downright terrible. This inconsistent play makes them a tough bet. Heck, just look back to Monday where the Jazz defense collapsed and they lost by 20 points to the lowly Suns.
That game was just another example of the Jazz’s defensive downfall since the New Year. So far, in 24 games this calendar year, the Jazz have allowed 112.3 points per 100 possessions, good for 20th in the league. They have remained in the win column thanks to an overperforming offense, but that is not sustainable long term.
The month of February has proven that, with the Jazz just 4-5 this month and watching their defensive stat lines dwindle. They rank 23rd in the NBA standings in defense during this month and that will be a big issue when the Celtics offense is on a roll right now.
The Celtics bring a ton of flexibility and will cause the Jazz all sorts of issues with their fast paced small ball game plan. This leads me to feeling good about a play on the over and a lean on Boston at -4.5.
Offense is the thing these two teams do very well and with Utah’s defensive issues, I think we see this game go well into the 220’s tonight
Next for our NBA picks for February 26th we head to the Toyota Center in Houston where the Grizzlies are in town to take on the Rockets.
Memphis is clinging to the final playoff spot in the West, trying desperatly to hold off the Pelicans and punch their playoff ticket. Problem is, they have lost three straight coming out of the All Star break and things won’t get any easier tonight, with the Grizzlies double digit road dogs.
Not only are the Grizzlies having issues in their hunt for the playoffs, but they will be getting no aid from two of their young weapons. Both Jaren Jackson Jr and Brandon Clark are out with leg injuries, leaving a big hole on the stat sheet. Jackson helps them spread the court with his 3 point shooting while Clark is one of their best defensive players and Memphis’ Defense is a good four points worse without him in the lineup.
The issues continue to mount when you consider the Grizzlies are incapable of playing effective small-ball against the Rockets. This will give their depleted defense even more to try and handle tonight.
With that in mind, I really like the Rockets to cover the 10 point spread tonight and would take a long look at the…