NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | April 1

Bryan Zarpentine pic
Bryan Zarpentine
NBA Picks and Best Bets
NBA Best Bets 2023-2024

There are just two weeks left in the NBA regular season, and no that’s not an April Fool’s Day joke. The season is winding down and most of the playoff spots in both conferences are still up for grabs. At the same time, there are countless betting apps up for grabs for anyone who wants to sign up for one. To help you get started no matter where you sign up, the USA Legal Betting team has betting picks for three of Monday’s NBA games.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Detroit Pistons Best Bet:

Pistons -3 | -110 at FanDuel

This game is obviously a tough call to make between two bad teams. But the Pistons have at least shown some signs of positive momentum lately, which is good news for folks using Michigan sportsbooks. The Pistons are 3-1 against the spread in their last four games, including a win Friday night over the Wizards to snap an eight-game losing streak. The Pistons also have a winning record against the spread this season, which is not something that can be said of Memphis.

The Grizzlies haven’t done much lately to show that they’re moving in the right direction. They’ve lost seven of their last eight games with six of those seven losses coming by 10 points or more. We’re not expecting this game to be that lopsided. But with Ja Morant out of the picture and two more starters unavailable with Demond Bane and Vince Williams Jr. both nursing injuries, Memphis isn’t going to pull out any miracles, making Detroit a safe pick with a small spread to cover.

FanDuel Sportsbook
Pistons -3 | -110 at FanDuel

Portland Trail Blazers vs Orlando Magic Best Bet:

Magic -15.5 | -110 at BetMGM

There’s no getting around the fact that BetMGM and the other sportsbooks have a big spread for this game. But that’s not going to scare us away given Orlando’s track record. The Magic is 17-5 against the spread as a home favorite this season. They’ve covered 77% of the time in this situation. They are also 24-5 against the spread when facing a team with a losing record. They are also coming off a 30-point win over Memphis on Saturday and covered double-digit spreads in two other wins during the second half of March.

Meanwhile, the miserable Trail Blazers are in the midst of a nine-game losing streak. In their last three losses, they’ve failed to cover against a double-digit spread, including a 142-82 loss in Miami on Friday. The Trail Blazers spent all weekend in the state of Florida resting, which may not be all that conducive to resting and getting back on track. Obviously, Portland's injury situation is a mess right now with starters Jerami Grant and Anfernee Simons unavailable. When you add it all up, it’s the perfect equation for another blowout loss.

BetMGM Sportsbook
Magic -15.5 | -110 at BetMGM

Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans Pelicans Best Bet:

Pelicans -1 | -112 at BetRivers

For games like this, fans in New Orleans must be thrilled that Louisiana sports betting is now legal. This game is a virtual toss-up and there is a strong case to go with the road team. The Suns finally have their big three healthy at the same time and picked up a huge road win in Denver last week, making them 5-3 in their last eight games. But this is also the last game of a five-game road trip, and after a 25-point loss in Oklahoma City on Friday, it’s tough to back Phoenix in this game.

On the other side, the Pelicans will be eager to bounce back from a home loss to the Celtics on Saturday. While New Orleans has had some ups and downs lately, this is the same team that beat the Bucks last week. They’ve been among the better home teams in the NBA this season and know they need every win they can get to hold off the Mavericks in the Southwest Division. That need for a win is enough to back New Orleans in a toss-up game.

Pelicans -1 | -112 at BetRivers

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