NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | March 7

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

A compelling week in the NBA keeps rolling on Thursday night with a compelling set of games. There are at least a couple of games on the schedule that jump off the page and could be a preview of a late-round playoff series. Of course, the USA Legal Betting team is more concerned with the best betting options than the best games.

If you’re not sure if you’re able to bet on these games, check out a full list of legal sports betting states to find out if you’re eligible where you live. If you find yourself in one of those states, here are three NBA picks to consider on Thursday.

Brooklyn Nets vs Detroit Pistons Best Bet:

Nets -3 | -110 at FanDuel

Brooklyn’s season has been an utter disappointment, but not enough to ignore such a small spread against the lowly Pistons. The Nets, even with injuries to the likes of Ben Simmons, Cam Thomas, and Cam Johnson, have won three of their last four games and are 4-2 against the spread in their last six games. Amidst those injuries, they’ve managed to beat the Hawks and 76ers in recent games, so there’s no reason to think they can’t handle the Pistons and cover such a small spread.

Keep in mind the Pistons have just one win in their last 10 games. That stretch dates back before the all-star break, so they’ve been bad for a long time. Even if Detroit has been 5-5 against the spread during that stretch, eight of those games came with a double-digit spread. While this might seem like a game they can win, Detroit’s recent track record indicates otherwise, which is why we think the Nets can win and cover this small spread.

FanDuel Sportsbook
Nets -3 | -110 at FanDuel

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Indiana Pacers Best Bet:

Timberwolves ML | -105 at BetMGM

In a virtual toss-up, we’ll take Minnesota’s moneyline because the Timberwolves are the better team, even on the road. To be fair, the Pacers are starting to look like their old selves now that Tyrese Haliburton is looking healthy again. But they’ve also lost three of their last five games. More importantly, Indiana's defense is horrendous, which is bad news against a talented Minnesota lineup. 

It’s worth noting the T’Wolves are one of the best road teams in the NBA at 20-11. Despite losing five in a row against the spread, the Timberwolves have won four of their last six games straight-up. That’s a positive trend for them as a slight road underdog. Even with Karl-Anthony Towns sidelined, Minnesota's frontcourt depth and overall scoring are enough to take advantage of Indiana’s deficiencies and score a win on the road.

BetMGM Sportsbook
Timberwolves ML | -105 at BetMGM

Boston Celtics vs Denver Nuggets Best Bet:

Over 220.5 | -113 at BetRivers

With any luck, we’ll get a high-scoring game in this potential NBA Finals preview. The Celtics are averaging 121 points per game on the season while the Nuggets are averaging over 114 points per game, which translates to a shootout. Denver has reached at least 115 points in five of its last seven games, indicating that the Nuggets are coming on strong offensively. At home, they should be able to keep that going behind Nikola Jokic, who has scored 60 total points by himself over his last two games.

As for the Celtics, they’ve hit the under in four of their last five games. But they obviously have the talent to score a ton of points. In fact, in their last 12 games, Boston has scored at least 125 points seven times. The Celtics are also coming off a brutal loss against the Cavs on Tuesday. They will be upset about that result and will want to come out strong, which could help to perpetuate a shootout in this high-level matchup.

Over 220.5 | -113 at BetRivers

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