Our staff’s best bets for Celtics vs. Magic, plus (February 6)

There are a number of first matchups on Sunday’s NBA schedule and two games on national television, including an impressive showdown between Trae Young and Luka Doncic (6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN).

Our analysts are looking at two games on the schedule and have three bets to make in those clashes. Check out their analysis and picks below.

NBA odds and picks

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls

Take
76ers -1.5 1H
Delivered
BetMGM
Trick
3:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Malik Smith: The Philadelphia 76ers are coming off a tough Friday night loss to the Dallas Mavericks, but are road favorites in Chicago. One of the takeaways from their loss was how well the Sixers played in the first half, building a 10-point road lead.

The Bulls have been shaky as underdogs in the first half of this season and that’s one potential area the 76ers can exploit here. Over their last 15 games, the 76ers have a +2.4 point differential in the first half, while the Bulls have a -0.3 differential over the same period.

According to Bet Labs, as a home underdog, Chicago is just 1-4 ATS this season. Conversely, the 76ers were good in the first half after a loss (11-9 ATS) and even better as road favorites (4-1 ATS) as they are in this spot.

I’ll take the Sixers at -1.5.


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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls

Take
76ers -1.5
Delivered
BetMGM
Trick
3:30 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Rahim Palmer: There’s a reason bettors have the Philadelphia 76ers listed as a consensus -1.5/-2 point favorite on the road against the Chicago Bulls.

Despite a double-digit second-half lead against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, the 76ers are currently the better team and they had their number even when the Bulls were at full strength as they won the first two matchups in a manner convincing. I expect more of the same here against a Bulls team missing Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Derrick Jones Jr, Patrick Williams and potentially Colby White which is a game time decision.

The Bulls are struggling to defend the perimeter and the 76ers’ 3-point shooting offense, which ranks eighth in percentage (36.5%) should find some success here. Look for a great day by Seth Curry.

Also, the Bulls allow the second-highest percentage of field goal attempts on the rim, so Joel Embiid should be able to capitalize like he did in their Nov. 6 game when he scored 30 points on 11 shots on 19 with 16 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

Over the past two weeks, the Bulls are 26th in defensive rankings, giving up 117.8 points per 100 possessions, so I expect the 76ers to score efficiently early and often. Provided the 76ers can lock all the windows and doors defensively against this Bulls offense with DeMar Derozan and Zach LaVine, they should come away with an easy win today.


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Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic

Take
Celtics -9.5
Delivered
Caesars
Trick
6 p.m. ET
TV
NBA League Pass

Black-smith: We’re about five days away from the NBA trade deadline and while some teams really see themselves in the mix to compete, others are completely out of the picture. Instead of using that dirty word that starts with a T, we’ll just say that teams at the bottom of the league have no incentive to win games at this point.

Like many situational betting spots in the NBA, we have the perfect betting system for this exact scenario.

The Magic have been scrappy there all season — they’re 11-12 when the gap is 9.5 points or more — but they have the second-best record in the NBA over the last 15 games and are riding a six-game winning streak. in this game.

Also, as scrappy as the Magic are as big underdogs, most of their success in this location has come on the road. At home they are just 1-3 as double-digit underdogs.

We’re not getting the best number here since it opened around -7.5, but I’d bet it goes all the way to -9.5.


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