NBA betting: Five picks for Wednesday's slate

Victor Wembanyama is coming off a triple-double performance in his last game and could have another incredible performance in store for Wednesday night. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Happy Valentine's Day! ("Every day's the 14th," for the Outkast fans out there). The NBA has an extremely packed slate on the day of love, with 13 games scheduled and 26 of the 30 teams in play. With this abundance of action, there will be a lot of opportunities to find players and teams likely to outplay their odds. Let's dig in to some that catch my eye.

Los Angeles Lakers (+5.5) over Utah Jazz (-110).

The Lakers will be without LeBron James (ankle) on Wednesday night, but should still remain competitive. The Lakers have won five of their past six games with wins over some strong competition... including a nine-point win over the Celtics, in Boston, with both James and Anthony Davis sitting. The Jazz have lost five of their past seven games, the last two by a combined 36 points to the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors. According to the ESPN Analytics Game Predictor, the Jazz should be favored, but only by a 2.5-point margin which would fall within the spread.

Victor Wembanyama over 22.5 points (-125).

Wembanyama is fresh off a monster triple-double on Monday, but he has seemed to have some extra pep in his step when facing the MVP candidates and big-named opponents all season. He dropped 33 points against Joel Embiid, 27 against Giannis Antetokounmpo, and 30 points and 13 boards against LeBron and the Lakers. His first truly big game in the NBA was when he dropped 38 points on Kevin Durant's Suns way back on Nov. 2. This will be Wemby's first game against Luka Doncic's Dallas Mavericks since his NBA debut, and he has grown leaps and bounds since then. I look for him to put another strong game in the books against another MVP candidate, particularly against a Mavericks defense that ranks in the bottom half of the league in points allowed to opposing centers (22.4 PPG).

Miles Bridges over 24.5 points (-110).

While I've been paying a lot of attention to the recent scoring exploits of Brandon Miller, Bridges has turned in some huge performances himself in the last week-plus. In his last five games, Bridges has averaged 28.4 PPG with three games of 25 or more points (and two over 40). Bridges can be up-and-down as a scorer, but on Wednesday he faces a Hawks defense that allows the second-most points in the NBA to opposing power forwards (26.6 PPG).

Houston Rockets (-2.5) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (-115).

While the Rockets have not played the best ball of late, winners of only four of their last 10 games, they have remained competitive. They are coming off a close win over the Knicks, and are still within three games of the 10th seed (and thus the Play-in tournament) in the West. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, are in free fall. They have lost nine straight games by an average of 13.1 PPG, with no loss in that stretch coming by less than six points. The Grizzlies are a scrappy team, but they are just too injured to consistently compete at a high level right now. If the Rockets want any chance to get back into the postseason race, this is a game they need to win.

Golden State Warriors (ML) vs. LA Clippers (-150).

The Clippers have been the juggernaut of the NBA since the start of December...in games that Kawhi Leonard plays. But, while they have gone 25-5 with a +8.8 point average scoring margin with Leonard on the court during that span, they have gone only 2-2 with a -9.0 PPG scoring margin in the four games he missed...including losing both games against teams with winning records by a combined 56 points. Yes, it's a very small sample size of games without Leonard, but the Warriors are playing very well right now, on a five-game winning streak of their own as they try to play themselves back into the playoffs hunt. I look for them to win this one.

Projections and Injury Reports

Odds provided by ESPN BET. Basketball Power Index by ESPN Analytics Injury aggregation by Rotowire.com.

Atlanta Hawks at Charlotte Hornets
7 p.m. Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

Records (Against the Spread)
Hawks: 24-30 (17-37-0)
Hornets: 12-41 (20-33-0)

Line: Hawks (-6.5) Total: 238.5
Money Line: Hawks (-270), Hornets (+220)
BPI Projection: Hawks by 7.9, straight up 75%, 241.8 total points.

Injury Report:
Hawks: AJ Griffin, (OUT - Illness); Clint Capela, (OUT - Thigh); Mouhamed Gueye, (OUT - Back); Onyeka Okongwu, (OUT - Toe); Wesley Matthews, (OUT - Illness)
Hornets: Cody Martin, (GTD - Knee); LaMelo Ball, (OUT - Ankle); Mark Williams, (OUT - Back); Kyle Lowry, (OUT - Not Injury Related)

New York Knicks at Orlando Magic
7 p.m., Amway Center, Orlando

Records (Against the Spread)
Knicks: 33-21 (30-23-1)
Magic: 29-25 (34-20-0)

Line: Magic (-3.5) Total: 211.5
Money Line: Knicks (+130), Magic (-150)
BPI Projection: Magic by 0.9, straight up 53%, 229.8 total points.

Injury Report:
Knicks: Donte DiVincenzo, (GTD - Hamstring); Duane Washington Jr., (GTD - Thumb); Isaiah Hartenstein, (GTD - Achilles); Julius Randle, (OUT - Shoulder); OG Anunoby, (OUT - Elbow); Mitchell Robinson, (OUT - Ankle)
Magic: None reported

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers
7 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

Records (Against the Spread)
Heat: 29-25 (25-28-1)
76ers: 32-21 (31-22-0)

Line: 76ers (-3.5) Total: 223.5
Money Line: Heat (+140), 76ers (-165)
BPI Projection: 76ers by 3.4, straight up 62%, 225.9 total points.

Injury Report:

Heat: Jimmy Butler, (OUT - Personal); Terry Rozier, (OUT - Knee); Josh Richardson, (OUT - Shoulder); Dru Smith, (OUT - Knee)
76ers: De'Anthony Melton, (OUT - Back); Nicolas Batum, (OUT - Hamstring); Tobias Harris, (OUT - Hip); Robert Covington, (OUT - Knee); Joel Embiid, (OUT - Knee)

Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics
7:30 p.m., TD Garden, Boston

Records (Against the Spread)
Nets: 21-32 (24-26-3)
Celtics: 42-12 (25-26-3)

Line: Celtics (-13.5) Total: 228.5
Money Line: Nets (+600), Celtics (-900)
BPI Projection: Celtics by 10.6, straight up 84%, 226.6 total points.

Injury Report:
Nets: Ben Simmons, (NA - Rest); Cameron Johnson, (GTD - Thigh); Dariq Whitehead, (OUT - Lower Leg)
Celtics: Jaden Springer, (GTD - Ankle); Kristaps Porzingis, (GTD - Back); Xavier Tillman, (GTD - Knee)

Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers
7:30 p.m., Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland

Records (Against the Spread)
Bulls: 26-28 (28-25-1)
Cavaliers: 35-17 (28-23-1)

Line: Cavaliers (-9.5) Total: 224.5
Money Line: Bulls (+320), Cavaliers (-400)
BPI Projection: Cavaliers by 11.2, straight up 85%, 223.2 total points.

Injury Report:
Bulls: Alex Caruso, (GTD - Toe); Dalen Terry, (NA - Knee); Torrey Craig, (NA - Toe); Patrick Williams, (OUT - Foot); Lonzo Ball, (OUT - Knee); Zach LaVine, (OUT - Foot)
Cavaliers: Dean Wade, (GTD - Illness); Tristan Thompson, (OUT - Suspension); Ty Jerome, (OUT - Ankle)

Indiana Pacers at Toronto Raptors
7:30 p.m., Scotiabank Arena, Toronto

Records (Against the Spread)
Pacers: 30-25 (29-24-2)
Raptors: 19-35 (25-29-0)

Line: Pacers (-3.5) Total: 244.5
Money Line: Pacers (-170), Raptors (+145)
BPI Projection: Pacers by 0, straight up 50%, 235.2 total points.

Injury Report:
Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin, (GTD - Knee); Tyrese Haliburton, (GTD - Hamstring); Jalen Smith, (OUT - Back); James Johnson, (OUT - Illness); Marcus Morris Sr., (OUT - Not Injury Related)
Raptors: Thaddeus Young, (GTD - Not Injury Related); RJ Barrett, (GTD - Personal)

Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies
8 p.m., FedExForum, Memphis

Records (Against the Spread)
Rockets: 24-29 (27-24-2)
Grizzlies: 18-36 (24-30-0)

Line: Rockets (-2.5) Total: 219.5
Money Line: Rockets (-140), Grizzlies (+120)
BPI Projection: Rockets by 2.2, straight up 58%, 220.5 total points.

Injury Report:
Rockets: Reggie Bullock Jr., (GTD - Back); Cam Whitmore, (GTD - Ankle); Fred VanVleet, (OUT - Thigh); Tari Eason, (OUT - Lower Leg); Steven Adams, (OUT - Knee)
Grizzlies: Derrick Rose, (GTD - Ankle); Ziaire Williams, (GTD - Hand); Brandon Clarke, (OUT - Achilles); Jake LaRavia, (OUT - Ankle); Scotty Pippen Jr., (OUT - Back); Marcus Smart, (OUT - Finger); Desmond Bane, (OUT - Ankle); Ja Morant, (OUT - Shoulder); Bismack Biyombo, (OUT - Not Injury Related)

Washington Wizards at New Orleans Pelicans
8 p.m., Smoothie King Center, New Orleans

Records (Against the Spread)
Wizards: 9-44 (25-27-1)
Pelicans: 32-22 (29-24-1)

Line: Pelicans (-12.5) Total: 235.5
Money Line: Wizards (+550), Pelicans (-800)
BPI Projection: Pelicans by 13.3, straight up 88%, 229.1 total points.

Injury Report:
Wizards: Isaiah Livers, (OUT - Hip)
Pelicans: Cody Zeller, (GTD - Knee); Zion Williamson, (GTD - Foot); Dyson Daniels, (OUT - Knee)

San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks
8:30 p.m., American Airlines Center, Dallas

Records (Against the Spread)
Spurs: 11-43 (24-29-1)
Mavericks: 31-23 (29-25-0)

Line: Mavericks (-11.5) Total: 242.5
Money Line: Spurs (+450), Mavericks (-600)
BPI Projection: Mavericks by 9.7, straight up 81%, 234.1 total points.

Injury Report:
Spurs: Charles Bassey, (OUT - Knee)
Mavericks: Dereck Lively II, (GTD - Nose); Kyrie Irving, (GTD - Thumb); Luka Doncic, (GTD - Nose); Maxi Kleber, (NA - Toe); Dante Exum, (OUT - Knee)

Sacramento Kings at Denver Nuggets
9 p.m., Ball Arena, Denver

Records (Against the Spread)
Kings: 30-23 (28-24-1)
Nuggets: 36-18 (22-30-2)

Line: Nuggets (-4.5) Total: 229.5
Money Line: Kings (+170), Nuggets (-200)
BPI Projection: Nuggets by 5.4, straight up 68%, 235.5 total points.

Injury Report:
Kings: Trey Lyles, (GTD - Illness); Sasha Vezenkov, (OUT - Ankle)
Nuggets: Jamal Murray, (GTD - Lower Leg); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, (GTD - Hamstring); Hunter Tyson, (OUT - Finger); Vlatko Cancar, (OUT - Knee)

Detroit Pistons at Phoenix Suns
9 p.m., Footprint Center, Phoenix

Records (Against the Spread)
Pistons: 8-45 (26-26-1)
Suns: 32-22 (23-30-1)

Line: Suns (-12.5) Total: 234.5
Money Line: Pistons (+600), Suns (-900)
BPI Projection: Suns by 12.4, straight up 86%, 240.4 total points.

Injury Report:
Pistons: Quentin Grimes, (GTD - Knee); Isaiah Stewart, (OUT - Ankle)
Suns: Bradley Beal, (NA - Hamstring); Damion Lee, (OUT - Knee)

Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz
9 p.m., Delta Center, Salt Lake City

Records (Against the Spread)
Lakers: 29-26 (25-30-0)
Jazz: 26-28 (31-23-0)

Line: Jazz (-5.5) Total: 240.5
Money Line: Lakers (+175), Jazz (-210)
BPI Projection: Jazz by 2.5, straight up 59%, 243.0 total points.

Injury Report:
Lakers: Cam Reddish, (OUT - Ankle); Max Christie, (OUT - Ankle); Gabe Vincent, (OUT - Knee); Jarred Vanderbilt, (OUT - Foot)
Jazz: None reported

LA Clippers at Golden State Warriors
10 p.m., Chase Center, San Francisco

Records (Against the Spread)
Clippers: 35-17 (28-24-0)
Warriors: 26-25 (26-23-2)

Line: Warriors (-3.5) Total: 234.5
Money Line: Clippers (+130), Warriors (-150)
BPI Projection: Warriors by 1.2, straight up 54%, 237.8 total points.

Injury Report:
Clippers: Bones Hyland, (OUT - Not Injury Related); Kawhi Leonard, (NA - Thigh); P.J. Tucker, (OUT - Not Injury Related)
Warriors: Chris Paul, (OUT - Hand)