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Free NBA Betting Picks and Best Bets (3/22/24)

Victor Wembanyama - Fantasy Basketball Rankings, DFS Picks, NBA Injury News

Happy Friday, RotoBallers! To close off the week, we have eight games on the NBA schedule tonight. I hope you enjoyed the first day of the NCAA tournament, and I encourage you to check out RotoBaller's March Madness content as well. Let's get into tonight's games.

Last night was a night to forget for me. I failed to find a winner, but that will happen from time to time, so I’m not too worried about it. I like my three picks tonight, and I hope for a nice rebound.

In this article, I'll be providing my favorite picks against the spread, game totals, parlays, and teasers for the NBA slate that tips off at 7:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 22. Follow me on X, @Jwiesel13.

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NBA Betting Picks: Totals

Oklahoma City Thunder (-14.5) at Toronto Raptors (231 total)

I was pretty surprised by this total, given the Raptors inability to score the basketball. I gave the under some thought, but I'm going to continue playing the hits and take the Raptors team total under.

On Wednesday, the Raptors got crushed 123-89 by the Sacramento Kings. This was Toronto's second straight game failing to score 100 points, and they haven't scored over 104 in their last four games. In those four games, Toronto is averaging 98 points while shooting 44.1 percent on FGA's and 31.1 percent from three. They are in the bottom eight in FGAs, and Oklahoma City is limiting opponents to the fifth-fewest FGAs in the last ten games. Toronto will have to make its shots count, and recent play tells me that's not going to happen.

I'm guessing this total is almost 230 because the books are assuming OKC is going to blow them out while scoring a ton of points. The Thunder are forcing opponents into the second-most turnovers over their last ten games. Only the Portland Trail Blazers have had more turnovers than the Raptors over the last four games. Scottie Barnes and Jakob Poeltl are hurt, and RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley are away from the team. Toronto will field the same roster tonight that failed to score 90 points against a Kings team ranked 15th in defensive rating. Oklahoma City is fifth in defensive rating this season.

The Pick: Raptors Team Total Under 107.5 (-110 ESPN BET)


Indiana Pacers (+5) at Golden State Warriors (240 total)

The Warriors were able to shake off a home loss to the Knicks on Monday night and beat the Memphis Grizzlies 137-116 on Wednesday. Golden State put up 68 first-half points, and I'm looking for them to do something similar tonight.

In the three games since returning from a brief hiatus, the Warriors have put up 67, 56, and 68 first-half points. They are averaging the fourth-most points in the NBA in the opening two quarters over their last three games. Stephen Curry & Co. are hitting 52.7 percent of their FGAs and 48.1 percent from three. What I also like to see is that GS has the second-most FGAs behind the Pacers in this three-game sample.

Golden State has actually been a bottom-five team in pace in its last three games. That makes it even more impressive that they've been able to attempt so many shots. They now play against a Pacers team that is second in pace this season. Indiana will try to speed the game up, and the Warriors are 11th in pace this season, so that does play into their style.

For the season, the Pacers are 28th in first-half defense, and they give up the second-most points per game. In the first half on the road this season, opponents have shot 51.2 percent on FGAs and 39 percent from three. Indiana gives up a lot of points in the paint, and though the Warriors aren't great at scoring inside, they could take advantage of that tonight.

The Pick: Warriors First Half Team Total Over 59.5 (-118 FanDuel)

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NBA Betting Picks: ML & Spreads

Memphis Grizzlies (+6.5) at San Antonio Spurs (216.5 total)

A little peek behind the curtain: Originally, I had the Grizzlies covering the first quarter tonight in San Antonio. I had my little paragraphs sketched out. The statistics all supported it, and Memphis has covered the first quarter in their last three games. That's all been with Desmond Bane back in the lineup. I was feeling good about the pick until I saw Bane was doubtful and not playing tonight.

Pivoting off of that, I'm taking the Spurs to cover the first half tonight. Barring any silly late injury reports, San Antonio should be ready to rock tonight in front of their home crowd. This team is still playing hard and lost a close game to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. The Spurs are 18-15 ATS in the opening two quarters at Frost Bank Center.

Neither team scores the ball well, but San Antonio does average 56.9 points at home compared to 53.9 on the road. They also shoot better on FGAs and from three. I find this important because they go up against a Grizzlies team that averaged 49.5 first-half points in four road games in February. In 12 February games, Memphis averaged 51.7 first-half points while shooting 42.3 percent on FGAs and 36.5 percent from three. I use February as a sample because they played that entire month without Bane. It sounds simple to say, but if the Spurs can just outscore the Grizzlies, I think they should cover the half.

The Spurs rank eighth among home teams in first-half defensive rating in March. In February, the Grizzlies were 27th in first-half offensive rating and 19th in defensive rating. Along with Bane, Vince Williams is also unlikely to play tonight. Williams averaged 7.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 11 February games for Memphis. Bane also had the highest assist percentage rate and best defensive rating of any Grizzlies player who's played the last three games and averaged ten or more minutes in the first half. Luke Kennard is out as well.

Victor Wembanyama is averaging 10.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in the opening two quarters at home this season. Spurs second-leading scorer Devin Vassell is averaging 9.1 points. Keldon Johnson is putting up 8.5 points while shooting 43.1 percent from deep. Point guard Tre Jones has averaged 7.3 points on over 62 percent shooting while also dishing out 4.1 assists in six March games at home. Memphis is only 13-22 ATS in the first half on the road this season. I see that record moving to 13–23 tonight.

The Pick: Spurs First Half -2.5 (-125 PointsBet)


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