NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | March 21

NBA Picks and Best Bets
NBA Best Bets 2023-2024

Obviously, March Madness betting has officially taken over the betting world. But we shouldn’t be ignoring the NBA completely. After all, the playoff push is on and every game is important. That’s why our USA Legal Betting experts have picked out our three favorite bets for Thursday’s games. That makes now the perfect time to check out some basketball betting sites, find a sportsbook that you like, and start making some NBA bets. If you need help making your first bet, here are three picks for Thursday we like.

New Orleans Pelicans vs Orlando Magic Best Bet:

Magic ML | +106 at FanDuel

Louisiana sports betting is still relatively new, so we feel compelled to tell Pelicans’ fans to be careful with this game. Granted, New Orleans is one of the best road teams in the NBA. The Pelicans have also won seven of their last eight games and appear to be hitting their stride. But that’s why New Orleans shouldn’t be overconfident heading into this game. Being a road favorite can be tricky, especially against a team like Orlando.

The Magic has won four in a row and nine of the team’s last 11 games. They’ve also been dominating opponents, winning their last three games by double figures. Orlando also has one of the best home records in the NBA at 24-8. Dating back to the end of January, the Magic has just two losses in the team’s 12 home games during that stretch. With this game being a virtual tossup, we’ll back Orlando giving their success at home.

FanDuel Sportsbook
Magic ML | +106 at FanDuel

Chicago Bulls vs Houston Rockets Best Bet:

Rockets -3 | -112 at BetMGM

While the Rockets are still a couple of games under .500, they are red-hot right now. They’ve won six in a row and eight of their last nine games while going 9-1 against the spread in their last 10 games. Even if they haven't played a lot of quality opponents during that stretch, that type of streak is too much to ignore. The kicker is that Houston is 11-5-1 against the spread as a home favorite, which is a success rate of nearly 70%. With only a small spread to cover, we’re happy to back the red-hot Rockets.

The Bulls, meanwhile, have been hot and cold lately despite winning back-to-back games. Despite being a solid road team for much of the season, Chicago is just 4-6 against the spread in March. With point guard Coby White injured and Alex Caruso battling an injury as well, the Bulls have a steep hill to climb to beat Houston, which makes us think the spread should be a little bigger.

BetMGM Sportsbook
Rockets -3 | -112 at BetMGM

New York Knicks vs Denver Nuggets Best Bet:

Knicks +9 | -113 at BetRivers

We know that road games in Denver are never easy because of the altitude. However, Knicks fans using New York sportsbooks back home should believe in their team. The Knicks head to Denver riding a four-game winning streak with six wins in their last eight games. New York’s last two wins both came as road underdogs against the Kings and Warriors. It’s also worth noting that the Knicks haven’t played since Monday, giving them extra time to travel to Denver and adjust to the altitude before Thursday’s game.

In other words, the Nuggets may not have the same home-court advantage they usually do. In fact, they are just 15-16-1 against the spread this season as a home favorite. That record is partially a result of oddsmakers giving the Nuggets too much credit. That figures to be the case in this game, especially since the Nuggets also have to adjust to the altitude after being on the road for the past week. Ultimately, the spread is too big considering how good the Knicks have been lately, as we expect a close and competitive game.

Knicks + 9 | -113 at BetRivers

Top Sportsbooks for NBA Betting

BetMGM Sportsbook

New players only | 21+ | Must bet $10+ | Paid in Bonus Bets | Bonus Bets expire in 7 days | Bonus Bets not included in winnings | Full T&C apply


New players only | 21+ | Must deposit $10+ | Use bonus code SPORTS | Free Bet expire after 14 days | Free Bet not included in winnings | Full T&C apply