Wise n' Shine: NBA predictions, college basketball picks and NHL best bets for Thursday, February 23
Good morning, Pickswise Nation. The NBA is returning from its All-Star break to join the NHL and college basketball on the daily schedule. Thursday also marks the beginning of the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic and the start of Week 2 in the XFL. It’s another big day in the world of sports, so let’s get right to it and make your next bet better with Wise n’ Shine!
About Last Night
#1 rolls, #2 survives
Houston and Alabama can still stake their claim to the top 2 ranking sports in college basketball, although they took much different paths to victory on Wednesday. Top-ranked Houston crushed Tulane 89-59, while #2 Alabama scraped past South Carolina 78-76 in overtime. The news wasn’t as good for #6 Virginia, which fell at Boston 63-48.
Blackhawks win AGAIN
One of the worst teams in the NHL just can’t stop winning. In sole possession of last place in the league standings last week, the Blackhawks are now out of the cellar thanks to a 4-game winning streak that includes a 3-2 upset of the Golden Knights in a shootout on Tuesday and a 4-3 victory at Dallas on Wednesday. Making it even more improbable, Chicago came back from a 3-0 deficit.
Perfect week of Champions League picks!
Our soccer handicappers nailed the midweek Champions League slate, with winning picks on all 4 games on Tuesday and Wednesday. Yesterday’s wins were RB Leipzig or tie double chance at +106 odds against Manchester City, which ended 1-1, and under 2.5 goals (-120) as Inter Milan beat Porto 1-0.
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The NBA is back
The proverbial second half of the NBA season gets started on Thursday with 9-game slate. It is highlighted by a doubleheader on TNT that begins with Memphis visiting Philadelphia before the Lakers host Golden State. Check out all of our NBA picks.
Flames, Golden Knights getting ESPN treatment
A huge 10-game lineup in the NHL will see Calgary and Vegas getting national television billing on ESPN at 9:00 pm ET. The remaining 9 contests can all be viewed on ESPN+, and a showdown between Boston (43-8-5) and Seattle (32-19-6). Don’t miss any of our NHL predictions.
Four top-25 teams in action
Today’s schedule on the college hardwood is headlined by #4 UCLA, #12 Gonzaga, #15 St. Mary’s and #21 Northwestern. UCLA is going on the road to face Utah, while Northwestern is visiting Illinois. You can read our college basketball predictions throughout the 2022-23 campaign. We also have XFL picks and soccer predictions for today’s action, which includes Manchester United vs Barcelona.
Best Bet of the Day
NHL: Boston Bruins ML over Seattle Kraken (-165)
10:00 pm ET, ESPN+
The Bruins, who are the best team in the NHL, have picked up right where they left off since the All-Star break, winning 4 of their last 5 games. On the other hand, the Kraken have struggled with only 3 wins in their last 8 games since the break. The Bruins do a great job of preventing scoring chances, ranking 4th in expected goals against while also being 1st in goals allowed per game at 1.50. Trying to crack that top-end Bruins’ defense will be a Kraken attack that just isn’t clicking, ranking 29th in expected goals since February 1. Check out our full Bruins vs Kraken predictions.
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With the proverbial second half of the NBA season tipping off today, don’t miss our best bets on NBA player futures and NBA team futures. Today’s NBA mega parlay, Grizzlies vs 76ers Same Game Parlay and Warriors vs Lakers Same Game Parlay are ready to read too, along with our NHL mega parlay, NHL player props and college basketball best bets.
We also have Honda Classic picks from golf expert Diane Knox Balas as the action at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida tees off today.
Check out more great content as it arrives throughout the day on the Analysis tab.
Stat of the Day
The over is 8-4 in the last 12 meetings between the Trail Blazers and Kings.
Quote of the Day
“If you think I went hard for other teams, just imagine how I’m going to go hard for this one.“
Chicago native Patrick Beverley, who was traded by the Lakers at the trade deadline and then signed with the Bulls after being released by the Magic
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