We are back after what feels like an eternity, and it feels good to be back. A horrific losing streak was underway, but the NBA All-Star Break gave Fantasy Alarm NBA Best Bets an opportunity to take a break, evaluate what was working, what wasn’t working, and to look at the remaining schedule to lay out a plan to get to the goal of forty units. Although this column was less than two units away from forty units, it has not slipped to a little under 8.5 units away from the desired goal. 

Although the NBA media keeps stating we are halfway through the season, we are not. This is the eighteenth week of the NBA season, and there are only eight weeks remaining in the regular season. So, in fact, there is about thirty percent of the season remaining, and we need a little over one unit gain per week to achieve our goal… And we’re going to do it!

There are twelve NBA games today, with two games nationally televised on TNT. The first of those games is the Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks beginning at 7:30 PM ET. This is billed as a new age rivalry, and as we enter the final third of the NBA season, defenses will press more. Teams will be playing with more intensity, particularly the teams attempting to avoid the play-in games such as Dallas and Phoenix. 

The second game features the Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors and there will be a wager from this match up. The Denver Nuggets host the Washington Wizards and there is a same game parlay featuring a player prop and straight bet. 

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The Bet of the Night is on a Fantasy Alarm favorite – and it’s a double unit bet. Let's get right into it.


Expert NBA Best Bet Today, 2/22

Isaiah Hartenstein Player Props: Over 8.5 Rebounds (-140 at BetMGM) *2 UNITS

With such a long break how could we not come back with a double unit hammer?! If placing a double unit why not place it on a player that has brought us a nice profit already? Enter Isaiah Hartenstein of the New York Knicks and his 8.7 rebounds per game average. 

The Knicks are still without Julius Randle, but Precious Achiuwa has been coming on strong. The New York Knicks are in fourth place of the Eastern Conference, but only three games ahead of the play-in. They cannot begin to let up, and they are playing the Philadelphia 76ers who are only 0.5 games behind them in the standings. 

Hartenstein is dealing with an Achilles injury but is listed as probable. He will have a clear rebounding advantage over Philadelphia’s center, Paul Reed, and as long as he plays a normal rotation he should cover. In the last month he has covered this rebounding prop in every game he has played more than seventeen minutes. The 76ers allow the fifteenth most rebounds to opposing centers and have allowed more than their average since the injury to Joel Embiid

Hartenstein has been a pleasant surprise this season, and this column will continue to place wagers on him when he has a favorable matchup. This line is -160 on DraftKings, so MGM is recommended with noticeably different odds. Put two units on the big twenty-five-year-old after a week of rest.


NBA Parlay Today: Nuggets vs. Wizards SGP

Denver Money Line + Michael Porter Jr. Over 6.5 Rebounds (+104 SGP at DK)

The defending Champions are back in action tonight, as they host a team with an eight-game losing streak and only nine wins on the season. The Washington Wizards travel to Ball Arena to take on the Denver Nuggets with a 9:00 PM ET tipoff. The Nuggets are massive, fifteen-point favorites tonight and rightfully so. 

The Wizards play with minimal effort, are the ‘punching bag’ of this column, and will be attacked tonight. Washington allows the most rebounds per game with 57.3, and slightly more on the road with 57.5. Enter a seven-foot small forward capable of double-digit rebounds regardless of the opponent, Michael Porter Jr. He is averaging 6.9 rebounds per game, and the Wizards traded away Daniel Gafford leaving zero paint presence. 

The Wizards allow the fourth most rebounds to opposing small forwards, and Porter Jr. is a top ten rebounding small forward. The money line was taken as opposed to a spread because fifteen points is too high. The lowest teased down number was seven, but simply adding a -1200-money line turns what is essentially a rebounding proposition bet into positive odds. 

The Nuggets experienced just their second three game losing streak, in the three games before the All-Star break. They are only three games from first in the Western Conference, but inversely only four games away from the play-in. The 2023-24 Western Conference is as tight and as good as it’s been since the 2005-2011 era if not all-time. The Nuggets will need to play with intensity and win the games against weak opponents, a situation in which Michael Porter Jr. thrives.


NBA Predictions for Today, 2/22

Lakers vs. Warriors Prediction: Under 242.5 Total Points (-108 at FanDuel)

This line was at 241.5 on MGM, 242 on DraftKings, and 242.5 on FanDuel. They all have similar odds, but this was the highest point line and at near even odds is worth the wager. The Golden State Warriors are the third oldest team in the NBA this season, and although the Los Angeles Lakers are more in the middle of the pack in the age category, their leaders are closer to the end of their career than the beginning. 

This is the third highest point total tonight, and yes Steph Curry and Klay Thompson can light it up any given night, but they are old and coming off a long break. A truth you may not find elsewhere is some NBA players are not passionate about basketball, maybe they don’t even love or like it. Only a select few players are invited to the All-Star game, and the others are free to do what they want. Some go on vacations, some spend time with family, some work out, and some get mentally as far away from their teammates and a basketball court as possible. 

The Warriors and Lakers have players in all of the categories. In addition to that the Lakers like to slow the game down, control the possession, and are not a good three-point shooting team. All of these factors lead to a higher probability on the under than the over – even in the modern NBA. Put a unit on the straight bet tonight and get near even odds in doing so.


If you feel the need to make another bet after the break, look at Tim Hardaway over 12.5 points. For the purpose of this column that bet will not be counted in the official tally.

Thanks for reading. Remember to check out Fantasy Alarm for all your fantasy and betting needs across multiple sports. 

Bet Smart, Be Lucky - Iggy

*All Bets to be placed at 1 unit unless specified otherwise

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