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DraftKings: NBA on ESPN Wednesday night basketball

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Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

NBA fans, we are heading into the all-important month of February. We have the NBA tradeline on Feb. 9 and All-Star Weekend starting Feb. 17. We also have some marquee matchups to start the month. DraftKings has you covered for all your betting needs.

ESPN gets us started Wednesday with two prime-time matchups. First, we have Brooklyn heading to Boston as we are blessed with another matchup of Kyrie Irving facing the Celtics. In the second game, we have two teams that had high hopes going into this season but have been disappointing up until now. The Atlanta Hawks head to the desert to take on the Phoenix Suns.

Brooklyn Nets at The Boston Celtics at 6:30pm EST

The matchup

The Celtics come into this matchup with the best record in the NBA. Winners of seven of their last 10 games, the Celtics ended a three-game losing streak with a controversial overtime win over the Los Angles Lakers. However, the Celtics (as of this writing) will be without Marcus Smart.

The Nets have managed to stay afloat without future Hall of Famer Kevin Durant, who missed the last nine games after suffering an MCL sprain during a Jan. 8 win at Miami. Durant has stated he would like to come back before the All-Star break but will likely be out the next several games.

The Nets were without Ben Simmons as well last game, and he is trending toward another game missed tonight. However, Kyrie Irving has played at an All-Star level and is the main reason the Nets have not fallen completely off a cliff without Durant.

DraftKing Odds

  • Boston Celtics 8.5 Point favorite
  • Over/Under 226.5
  • Boston -345 Brooklyn +285

The Celtics come into this game, according to the DraftKings odds, an 8.5-point favorite. For anyone new to the betting world, DraftKings expect the Celtics to be 8.5 points better than the Nets tonight.

Even though I expect the Celtics to win tonight, 8.5 points is a large number, even with Durant still not back from injury and the Celtics playing at home. We have seen the Celtics struggle the last four games going only 1-3, with the one win a controversial overtime win over the Lakers. Marcus Smart is still out for this game, and Robert Williams is questionable. With a motivated Kyrie Irving returning to Boston, it will be closer than the line suggests.

Prediction: Take the Celtics to win but not to cover.

The over/under for this game is 226.5. The Celtics are a top-three scoring team on the season, but in the last three games, they are only middle of the pack. The Nets offense has been better recently, but they are ranked 14th in the season.

Both teams have above-average defenses, with the Nets ranking sixth in points per game. I expect a close, hard-fought game; you will usually see lower scores in competitive rivalry-type games.

Prediction: Take the under

Finally, we have the moneyline. Boston comes in at -345 and Brooklyn at +285. As tempting as it is to bet 100 on the Nets to win 285, I would probably stay away from this moneyline completely. Even though it will be closer than the 8.5 points DraftKings odds have the game at, I still think Boston will pull away late and takes the victory.

Prediction: Pass on this bet

Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns 10:00pm EST

The matchup

The Atlanta Hawks have been one of the more disappointing teams so far this season, with a record of 25-27. Many thought with the addition of Dejounte Murray, the Hawks finally have a legitimate second-scoring option to play alongside Trae Young.

So far, it hasn't led to consistent success, as the Hawks have hovered around .500 all season. There have also been trade rumors swirling around their big man John Collins, and Clint Capella has dealt with injuries all season. The Hawks are currently on a two-game losing streak heading into the Wednesday night matchup.

The Phoenix Suns are in a similar boat as the Atlanta Hawks as they come into their matchup with the Hawks at 27-25. The Suns were another team expecting to compete for a championship this season but have dealt with multiple issues. Namely, Jae Crowder not seeing the court for one minute this season and Devin Booker missing several weeks with a left groin strain.

The Suns have played better recently after struggling several games after Booker's injury. They have won six out of 10 and two straight.

DraftKings Odds

  • Atlanta Hawks are 1.5-point favorites
  • Over/Under is 230.5
  • Atlanta is +100 (even money), Phoenix is -120

The Hawks come into this game a 1.5-point favorite on the road. This is a little surprising considering the Suns, even without Devin Booker, have righted the ship after struggling for a few weeks without their All-Star shooting guard. The Suns have won six of their last seven, and Chris Paul is starting to look more like his point-god self.

On the other hand, the Hawks have been disjointed. They are losers of four of their last five games and have given up 127 points a game in their last three games.

Prediction: Take the Phoenix Suns

The over/under is a little bit more tricky. On one side, you have a top-five defense in the Suns. But, on the other hand, you have one of the most dynamic backcourts in the league, even with their recent struggles.

The Suns haven't been an offensive juggernaut this season, and I feel the Hawks will try to speed up the game instead of trying to score against the Suns tough half-court defense. As mentioned before, the Hawks have given up many points lately but scored 125 points a game in the last three. As a result, I think the Hawks will force the Suns into an uptempo game, and with the Hawks defense being mediocre at best, I expect a high-scoring game.

Prediction: Take the over

Finally, we have the money line, and I have to say it looks about as appealing as a spam sandwich that has been sitting outside in the Summer heat. Even though I have the Suns pulling off the “upset,” you would have to bet $120 dollars just to win $100.

Prediction: Stay away from this bet

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