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Free NBA Betting Picks - Today's Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (3/30/23)

If you read my picks article on Tuesday, you know that I split the two games I was after. There were two instances of players sitting out and we were on the right and wrong sides of it. The right side was getting in early on Toronto Raptors -3 against the Miami Heat. Jimmy Butler ended up sitting out and that line went up to -5.5. Feeling confident, the Raptors erased a slow start and won 106-92. The Cavaliers opened as -1 favorites against the Hawks in Atlanta. Once Jarrett Allen was ruled out, the line shifted, and the Hawks were now favored by two. Having those two points would’ve been nice as Atlanta would win 120-118. It’s just the price of doing business taking early lines, sometimes it works in your favor and sometimes the line shifts negatively. I move to 6-5 on straight picks. A bright spot Tuesday night was the ML parlay winning again at +179 which moves ML parlays to 3-1.

There are only two games on the slate tonight. It’s a heavyweight showdown in the Eastern Conference with the first-seeded Milwaukee Bucks hosting the second-seeded Boston Celtics. These teams have split the two games they’ve played this season and tonight’s matchup decides the series winner. In the late game, Brandon Ingram and his New Orleans Pelicans go on the road to face Nikola Jokic and the Western Conference first-seed Denver Nuggets.

In this article, I’ll have my favorite picks against the spread and a teaser for NBA games that tip-off at 7:30 PM EST on Thursday, March 30th. Follow me on Twitter @Jwiesel13. I love to interact with the community and talk about all things betting.

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NBA Betting Picks: Against the Spread

Milwaukee Bucks (-3.5) vs. Boston Celtics (236.5 Total)

Celtics:

The month of March has not been great for the Boston Celtics. Still, with an 8-6 record heading into this game, there are positive takeaways to look at. This month featured the C’s blowing a 28-point lead at home to the Brooklyn Nets, a terrible loss to the Rockets, poor late-game execution in a loss to the Utah Jazz, and a head-scratching blowout defeat against the Washington Wizards. Losses against teams the Celtics should be taking care of.

When you look at Boston’s March stats compared to the season, things aren’t overly different. They are actually scoring more points and hitting more threes per game while the shooting percentages remain around the same. This team still rebounds well, shares the ball, and blocks shots. When it comes to offensive rating, they are in the top ten this month, a little drop off from being top three on the season.

Boston’s defense has remained fierce despite some bad losses. In 14 March games, they rank in the top ten or better for opponent field goals made, field goal percentage, three-pointers, and three-point percentage. Joe Mazzulla’s squad does a good job limiting second-chance points, fastbreak points and points off turnovers. Two areas that could be of concern are opponent points in the paint and allowing a ton of three-point attempts per game.

A top-three defensive rating in March has the Celtics near the top of the league in overall net rating.

I know I’m throwing a lot of numbers at you, but this is a statistical reasoning for why things could be okay for the Boston Celtics. Bad losses happen throughout any season, but remaining consistent in important categories is what’s important in the long run.

Bucks:

Milwaukee has had a great month with an 11-4  record. They’ve been near the top of the league in points per game while not even being in the top five for field goal attempts per game. This speaks to their great field goal percentage from the floor, and they’ve been crushing it this month. Milwaukee is at the top of the league in effective field goal percentage this month.

What will be interesting is Milwaukee has been hitting the most threes this month and the Celtics are in the bottom five for most opponent three-point attempts per game. Opponents have been shooting the worst percentage from deep against the Celtics, and the Bucks are just outside the top five in three-point percentage in March.

This team surprisingly has not been elite in points in the paint, fastbreak points, second chance points, or points off turnovers despite having good personnel to excel in those categories.

An area they’ve struggled with in the third month of the year is opponent second chance points. Boston could look to use their strong rebounding and find shooters open on the court for second-chance opportunities. Nonetheless, the Bucks sit in the top ten for offensive and defensive rating this month, a team solid as ever.

Prediction:

I like the Celtics to cover here. Yes, Boston has had some weird losses this month, but I expect them to come ready to play. They are 19-19-1 ATS in road games according to Action Network, here’s to them getting their 20th.

Milwaukee is also on a back-to-back so you never know how that might affect them. It's a big game for Boston, I see them keeping it close and wouldn't be surprised if they won.

The pick- Celtics +3.5 (-110 DK)

 

Denver Nuggets (-7) vs New Orleans Pelicans (231.5 Total)

The last individual games these two teams played were notable so it’s fitting they match up tonight.

Denver took on a Philadelphia 76ers team minus Joel Embiid and James Harden on Monday night. The Nuggets found themselves up 21 points with 3:40 left in the third quarter. They were also up 19 with 5:15 left in the fourth quarter. Consistently one of the best home teams and ATS home teams all season, it felt like a given the Nuggets would win and cover the 9.5 line. Philly would race back and almost had a chance to tie the game if their coach's challenge was successful. Denver would win with a final score of 116-111. They still got the win, but it was shocking to watch Philadelphia come back like that. Like the philosophy of some of the Celtics' puzzling losses, weird stuff happens in this league. Denver is just 5-5 in their last ten games.

New Orleans had their own big lead when they were up 17 points at half against the Warriors in the Chase Center on Tuesday night. A strong first half turned into a second-half breakdown as the script flipped. Golden State would use a 39-26 third quarter and 35-20 fourth quarter to turn a 17-point deficit at halftime into a 120-109 victory. The loss ended the Pelicans' five-game win streak.

When looking at recent trends, New Orleans has been shooting the deep ball well. Over their last seven games, they rank near the top of the league in three-point percentage but are bottom five in attempts. That means, efficient takes and makes. Another stat I liked was they are top five in field goal percentage but outside the top ten in field goal attempts during this sample. Again, efficient takes and makes. They hold the best defensive rating and are top five in overall net rating in the month of March.

The Nuggets have seemed to hit a little drought. A normal top-eight-scoring team is closer to the 20th this month. They are making fewer shots this month and shooting a worse percentage in field goals and three-point attempts. Denver has struggled on defense this season and is just below the bottom 20 in defensive rating this month. Normally a great team in transition, Mike Malone’s team hasn’t been scoring as many fastbreak points lately. Denver does best when Jokic can facilitate outlet passes and they can get out and run. The Nuggets are also in the bottom ten for opponent points off turnovers in their last ten games. This will make the Pelicans' ears perk up as they are top five in turnover points per game during that stretch.

The pick: New Orleans Pelicans +7 (-110 FD)

 

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NBA Betting Picks: Parlays and Teasers

Favorite Teaser: BOS +7, NO +10.5 (+137 FD)

 

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