NBA Predictions and Best Bets – April 1, 2021

| April 1, 2021 6:44 am PDT

Thursday isn’t really about the NBA. It’s the 2021 MLB season’s debut, so The Association will understandably go a bit overlooked.

If you’re among those bettors itching to bet on baseball, be sure to check out my 2021 MLB Opening Day picks.

There is still money to be made in betting on the NBA, of course. If you’re game to place some bets, let’s first take a look at Thursday’s schedule.

  • Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons
  • Charlotte Hornets vs. Brooklyn Nets
  • Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans
  • Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat
  • Atlanta Hawks vs. San Antonio Spurs
  • Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

This could very well be a sea of blowouts. The last game of the night should be a good one between the Nuggets and Hawks, but virtually every other contest will be a bit risky.

If you’re not sure how to approach it, join me for Thursday’s NBA predictions and top betting picks.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Predictions

  • 76ers to beat Cavaliers
  • Predicted total: 215-220

This one could be a lopsided affair. Philly is still without stud center Joel Embiid, but they haven’t really skipped a beat even with him sidelined.

The 76ers lost to Denver in their last game but are 7-3 over their last 10 games. They should be licking their chops in a good spot against a bad Cleveland squad.

Cleveland is going in the direction with three straight losses, as well as a 3-7 run over their last 10 games. Their inconsistent offense should find trouble scoring effectively against a good Philadelphia defense.

I love Philly to win here, and the pace of play leans this one toward the Under.

Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons Predictions

  • Wizards to beat Pistons
  • Predicted total: 230-235

Both of these teams have a chance to get a win on Thursday, as neither are particularly great. I trust Washington a bit more, as they’re at least trying to win these days.

Bradley Beal has missed Washinton’s last two games, and I’d feel even better about the Wiz if he returned.

They’re in pretty good hands with Russel Westbrook running the show, though. Just look at his insane performance from two games ago.

That said, Detroit is clearly looking to the future, so they’re not a team to bet on right now. I’d side with the Wiz, but due to Washington’s fast pace and lack of defense, the top bet figures to be the Over.

Charlotte Hornets vs. Brooklyn Nets Predictions

  • Nets to beat Hornets
  • Predicted total: 230-235

More points are to be expected in this showdown between the Hornets and Nets in Brooklyn. Bettors do want to consider a potential rest day for either James Harden or Kyrie Irving, as the Nets did play on Wednesday.

Even so, the Nets have been red hot with an 8-2 run over their last 10, and they’re also quite good (18-6) at the Barclays Center.

Charlotte keeps on trucking along despite losing rookie sensation LaMelo Ball to a wrist injury, but I think they hit a wall here. Give me the Hornets and the Over.

Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans Predictions

  • Pelicans to beat Magic
  • Predicted total: 225-230

Orlando shocked with a surprise road win over the Clippers in their last game, but I have to think that’s their last win for a while.

The Magic had a fire sale prior to the NBA trade deadline, and they simply lack reliable talent right now.

New Orleans isn’t great, but Zion Williamson has been a monster, and they’re the better team at home. Their offensive upside and lack of defense point to the Over as a fine bet, as well.

Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat Predictions

  • Heat to beat Warriors
  • Predicted total: 220-225

Stephen Curry returned to the court and helped the Dubs to a win in his last game, so Golden State is back to being a pretty tough out.

Miami hasn’t been great, but they’re at home, and they slow games down and defend pretty well. I’ll like them a lot better once Victor Oladipo is integrated into their lineup and they start getting healthier, of course.

That said, the Warriors only go as far as Curry can take them, which hasn’t been very far on the road this year. Miami stands out here, and their pace also has me interested in the Under.

Atlanta Hawks vs. San Antonio Spurs Predictions

  • Hawks to beat Spurs
  • Predicted total: 215-220

Atlanta has regressed after an impressive eight-game winning streak. They’re just 1-3 since then, although their opponents have been far from cakewalks.

San Antonio competes, but they’re probably Atlanta’s easiest task in a while. It will be interesting to see if the Hawks have the services of big man John Collins, though.

I still like Atlanta here. The Spurs can’t really stop Trae Young, and Clint Capela should dominate down low.

The Hawks stand out as the team to back, while the Spurs (4-6 over their last 10) continue their slide out of the playoff picture.

Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers Predictions

  • Nuggets to beat Clippers
  • Predicted total: 215-220

Hopefully, this will be the best game of the night, but that will surely require Paul George to make a healthy return. The Clippers will also have to have Kawhi Leonard on hand.

It’s likely too big of a game for either to sit, as Denver is just one loss behind the Clippers.

Nikola Jokic can own this game down low, but L.A. arguably has the edge in star power. In a tense game like this, I’ll favor the Clippers, who are at home and were served an eye-opening loss by the Magic in their last outing.

Best NBA Bets for Thursday, April 1st

  • Wizards to Win (-145)
  • Wizards vs. Pistons Over 222.5 (-110)
  • Nets to Win (-135)
  • Hornets vs. Nets Over 222 (-110)
  • Heat to Win (-150)

As you can see, there are several NBA bets that stand out on this slate. Washington feels like a good place to start, as they’re mild favorites against a team that simply is a terrible bet to win any games right now.

The Wiz also push the pace faster than anyone, and neither of these teams defend well. I love the Wiz to win and this game total is just not high enough.

Ditto for the Nets game. Yes, James Harden is out, but Brooklyn still plays fast, puts up points, and doesn’t defend. Kyrie Irving should be enough to get the Nets the win against Charlotte, and this game total is also too low.

It’s tough to write off the Dubs anytime Stephen Curry is out there, but Miami at -150 in this spot feels like a steal. They’ve been a better bet at home this year, going 10-8 straight up as home favorites.

There is a lot to consider tonight, but these NBA picks look the best to me. If you agree, hit up the top NBA betting sites to get in on the action.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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