After jumping back into action following the All-Star break with seven games Thursday night, the NBA rolls out a robust nine-game slate Friday. The stretch run officially begins for several teams hoping to either improve or move into playoff position. There will be a few games involving teams already out of the running, which should make for a night of diverse point spreads.
NBA odds for Friday, February 25
Here are the today’s pro basketball betting lines with pro basketball point spreads, moneylines and totals.
Pro basketball player props
Lakers F LeBron James
The Lakers have dropped five straight against their crosstown rivals, but LeBron James didn’t suit up in their latest defeat (111-110) to the Clippers earlier this month. Now fully rest after the break, James should put his team on his back with Anthony Davis (foot) out indefinitely. In a huge sample without Davis this season, Bron is averaging 32.7 PPG and 9 RPG on a 33.6% usage rate. He’s averaging 30.6 PPG on a 122.3 offensive rating over his last 20 home games and should continue to see heavy usage with Russell Westbrook taking a back seat. The Clippers rank dead last in rebounding rate, 27th in PPG in the paint allowed, and allow the third-most FTA per game. They’re getting crushed by versatile centers, and James should play a lot down low tonight. He should top 30.5 points and you can get +200 odds at FanDuel for him to score 30-plus points in a win.
Mavericks G Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic went into the break on a tear with averages of 35.4 PPG, 10.3 RPG, and 9.8 APG over his last 10 outings, and he dropped 46.3 PPG on a 48.4% usage rate over his last four games against Western Conference foes. His numbers aren’t overly impressive (27.8 PPG, 7 APG) in recent meetings with Utah, but the Jazz have struggled at home this season and are allowing opponents to shoot 37.4% from deep over their last nine games at Vivint Arena. Dallas has been on fire from the perimeter as a team, and Luka is hitting 6.3 triples per game over his last four conference tilts. Take the juice at +650 for Luka to hit four 3-pointers in a win, and hedge your bets by banking on Luka to top 8.5 assists (+110) as he finds the Mavericks other shooters.
What to watch for today
Raptors strive to stay hot coming out of break: The Raptors essentially began turning their season around on New Year’s Eve with a 116-108 win over the Clippers and haven’t looked back since. Factoring in that win, Toronto is 18-8 since that point and went into the All-Star break having won nine of 11. Nick Nurse’s squad will hope the week-plus layoff hasn’t cooled them off when they visit the Hornets, a team that lost seven of eight prior to the pause in play and a team that the Raps already own a pair of double-digit wins over this season.
Spurs, Wizards look to inch closer to contender status: The Spurs and Wizards, Friday opponents at Capital One Arena, are mirror images of one another in certain ways. Each team has certainly had its encouraging moments this season, but both find themselves on the outside looking in the play-in level in their respective conferences as post-All-Star break play begins. San Antonio is an ugly 23-36, but that placed them just two games behind the No. 10-seeded Trail Blazers going into Thursday’s action. Washington boasts a slightly more appealing 27-31 mark, which puts only one game of separation between them and the Hawks. The interconference clash Friday isn’t expected to include the Wizards debut of Kristaps Porzingis, who’s slated to remain out with his knee issue.
Heat hits Big Apple on quest to keep pace with Bulls: The Heat managed to string together five consecutive wins going into the All-Star break, leading to Miami drawing even with the Bulls at the top of the Eastern Conference. The week-plus layoff has come in handy for Erik Spoelstra’s group, as Tyler Herro was finally able to shake off the knee injury that had cost him four of the last pre-All-Star-break games. Therefore, the Heat seemingly has a good chance to get the rest of their season off to a strong start Friday night when they face a Knicks team that could be without R.J. Barrett (ankle). New York went 2-10 to close out the pre-All-Star-break portion of their season.
76ers visit T-Wolves with Harden debut on tap: The 76ers are beginning their stretch run, which could realistically include a legitimate run at the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, with no shortage of momentum. Not only did Philadelphia head into the All-Star break with a 9-4 mark in its last 13, but they’re about to find out how prize trade-deadline acquisition James Harden fits into their system. The Beard was able to utilize the week-plus layoff to finally put his pesky hamstring issues behind him, setting him up to debut when Philly visits the Timberwolves at Target Center on Friday night.
Western Conference contenders aim to capitalize on head-to-head matchups: The final two games of the Friday night slate feature a quartet of Western Conference contenders that know each other very well and happen to also be next-door neighbors in the standings for the time being. The Mavericks and Jazz inhabit the No. 5 and No. 4 slots, respectively, while the Lakers and Clippers, Crypto.com Arena co-tenants, are the No. 9 and No. 8 seeds at the moment. Dallas looks to break through for the first time against Utah after dropping a four-point decision earlier in the season, while LeBron James and company will try to prevent a third loss in as many games to the Clippers and will have to do so without the services of Anthony Davis (foot).