The Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers could end up meeting in the NBA Finals, whether ESPN/ABC likes it or not. Two of the teams that these networks regularly ignore on a day-to-day coverage basis are the hottest commodities out there when it comes to stringing together wins and playing with confidence.

That second factor should not be understated, because teams that carry themselves with moxie -- and truly believe that they can accomplish anything because they are simply the better team -- should not be dismissed.

Didn’t we learn that last year when the Miami Heat mailed in the regular season and then went all the way to the NBA Finals as a No. 9 seed that had to win a play-in game?

Where a team is at mentally is especially important on Wednesday because this is the final night before the NBA trade deadline, and it comes just one year after the most active deadline day in NBA history. More than a handful of players realize they could be lucky enough to spend the rest of the season with the Lakers but also might also end up toiling for the Wizards, depending on their current team’s choice of trading partner.

Los Angeles and Washington are expected to be two of the most active teams at the deadline -- the former because LeBron James must be placated after his hourglass tweet and the latter because it is time to sell off assets and continue the post-Bradley Beal rebuild.

So, in putting together this Wednesday night parlay, we are giving heavy consideration to players whose knees might be knocking because they are nervous about being traded. We also consider those whose knees are not knocking because their teams have been knocking off opponents. Let’s have at it…

Best NBA Parlay Picks Today – Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024: 4-leg Parlay Picks (+1204)

Cavaliers vs Wizards Prediction and Pick

Cleveland is coming off a 26-point beatdown of a very good Sacramento Kings team, and Washington has been consistently horrible all season. Why this line is not higher is inexplicable -- unless we consider the notion that the Cavs are being underestimated again despite what they have been achieving since the calendar turned to 2024.  The Cavs have covered the spread in 14 of their last 15 games, which is sorta crazy. At least one member of the Wizards, and probably two or three, will be elsewhere by Thursday night.

Leg-1 Parlay Pick: Cavs -11 1/2 at Wizards (-110)

Hawks vs Celtics Prediction and Pick

This pick has less to do with being excited about the Hawks than it does with the notion that Dejounte Murray might be playing his final game for them. The pick is also more a reflection of being underwhelmed with the Celtics of late. Boston opened 20-0 at home but has since lost to the Clippers Nuggets and Lakers. These teams last met on Nov. 26 when the Celtics beat the Hawks by 10, and that is about where we see this one coming in, with Trae Young doing his villain act and feeding of the Boston crowd’s negativity.

Leg-2 Parlay Pick: Hawks +12½ at Celtics (-120)

Spurs vs Heat Prediction and Pick 

Miami is coming off quite a nice performance in its last game -- a 26-point victory over a pretty good Orlando Magic team that was only a 3½-point underdog. It was the third win in four games for the Heat after the team endured a seven-game slide -- the longest losing streak of the Erik Spoelstra era. They will be playing the worst team in the Western Conference on Wednesday, and the Spurs have gone just 4-9 against the spread over their last 13 games. They have also have lost four in a row, and Spurs forward Keldon Johnson cannot take the court fully confident that this is not his last game with San Antonio. He would be in demand by playoff-bound teams if the Spurs are open to moving him.

Leg-3 Parlay Pick: Heat -8½ vs. Spurs (-105)

Pelicans vs Clippers Prediction and Pick 

The Clippers went over the over/under total by 21½ points in their last game and by 48½ points three games ago. Coming off a 149-point outing in their most recent game against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, they are now clicking on all cylinders. New Orleans has been playing well, too, and Brandon Ingram is the Pelicans’ hottest player. Teammate Zion Williamson’s injury status (questionable) is a concern, but we expect him to suck it up and play for the ESPN audience in the second half of a nationally-televised doubleheader.

Leg-4 Parlay Pick: Clippers-Pelicans over 231½ points (-110)

NBA PARLAY PICKS @ (+1204): Bet $10 to Win $130.25

Odds are subject to change*

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