NBA Predictions and Best Bets – April 15, 2021

| April 15, 2021 6:45 am PDT

After a thrilling start to the week, the NBA hits the brakes with a tiny four-game schedule on Thursday.

This is pretty abnormal for the truncated 2020-21 NBA season, but with baseball here and NBA betting being so volatile lately, it’s kind of welcome.

That said, there are four games to bet on, and they’re all interesting in their own special way.

First, take a quick look at the games you can bet on tonight.

  • Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks
  • Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers
  • Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns

This slate is going to be dominated by injury news. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Trae Young have been missing games, so this first showdown between the Bucks and Hawks could be tough to gauge initially.

Cleveland and L.A. are also banged up, while the Kings have seen Buddy Hield miss some time. Be sure to stay on top of the latest NBA player injury news, and then lean on my NBA picks and predictions for Thursday, April 15th, 2021.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks Predictions

  • Bucks to beat Hawks
  • Predicted total: 230-235

This game is impossible to bet on until we have concrete news about the top stars. Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to be nearing a return, but he’s missed Milwaukee’s last five games.

Here’s how that run has gone for the Bucks.

Opponent Result
Kings Won
Warriors Lost
Mavericks Lost
Hornets Lost
Magic Won

That isn’t ideal, so while I am tentatively expecting The Greek Freak back, I’d get off the Bucks in a hurry if he’s ruled out.

Atlanta is at home and has rounded into form over the past month, but they’re also banged up. I’d like them if Trae Young returns and Giannis is out, but given the uncertainty surrounding this game, the best bet figures to be the Over.

Milwaukee runs at the third-fastest pace in the NBA, while the Hawks have slipped (20th) in terms of defensive efficiency. I’d expect a good amount of points in this one, regardless of which players are active.

Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Predictions

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

The Warriors are playing with some serious focus. They’ve been banged up, but they’re winning again, and they have their guy back.

Stephen Curry is on a nice little heater right now, and he reminded everyone of his scoring prowess by dropping 53 points in a recent win.

Chef Curry is cooking with gas, and I would imagine him to keep it going with Golden State still within striking distance of a playoff spot.

Cleveland is slowly getting healthier, but they’re still not a team that bettors should be trusting. The Warriors have them edged out both offensively and defensively, and the Cavs simply don’t have anyone to contain Curry.

The game total could be ugly given Cleveland’s slow pace, but I love the Dubs across the board.

Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers Predictions

  • Celtics to beat Lakers
  • Predicted total: 215-220

The Lakers are surprisingly keeping it together despite not having their two biggest stars on the floor. They’re 6-4 over their last 10, and are hanging onto the 5th seed in the west.

Los Angeles could still slide all the way out of the playoffs if they go ice cold, but their recent form suggests fully betting against them is a mistake.

That said, they’re still severely under-manned, and Boston is a better, more desperate team these days.

Many left the Celtics for dead, but they’ve ripped off four straight wins (7-3 over their last 10).

Boston has climbed to 29-26, and they now have a real shot at snagging the fourth seed in the east. They’re also a solid 12-6 on the road, and this version of the Lakers isn’t formidable.

The total is another over/under I want nothing to do with, but I’m game for betting on the Celtics. 

Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns Predictions

  • Suns to beat Kings
  • Predicted total: 225-230

The Last game of the night is either going to be a lot of fun or a lopsided game we’ll want nothing to do with.

Sacramento has been surging not too long ago, but they hit a wall and have now lost seven in a row. It seems their last-ditch effort to push for the playoffs has ended.

The Kings aren’t healthy, but they’ve also played zero defense all year, and Luka Walton is probably the worst coach in the NBA.

De’Aaron Fox deserves better, but I find it hard to believe even another epic performance out of him rescues the Kings in this brutal spot.

The Kings are 10-17 on the road, and they’re going up against a giant in the Suns. Phoenix has morphed into perhaps the most complete team in basketball, and they now sit 1.5 games behind Utah for the best record in the league.

Phoenix is looking sharp, as they’ve won three in a row and nine of their last 10. Devin Booker leads a quality offense, but it’s the floor’s defensive end that sets the Suns apart.

The Suns are an elite 22-8 at home, and they tend to get it done (35-19) against the spread. I think due to Sacramento’s pace (9th) and atrocious defense, the Over is plenty palatable, but I’d otherwise mostly just be eyeing the Suns here.

Best NBA Bets for Thursday, April 15th

  • Bucks vs. Hawks Over 230 (-110)
  • Warriors (-6.5) -109
  • Lakers (+6) -108
  • Kings vs. Suns Under 234 (-110)

There isn’t enough information yet to bet on the Bucks vs. Hawks game in regards to a winner or the spread, but the pace of that game should be torrid.

The total feels palatable, so bettors can hit the Over pretty confidently. If Giannis and Trae are in, it’s even more of a lock for me.

Golden State is in playoff mode, and Stephen Curry is ablaze. Cleveland is trending in the other direction, so while 6.5 is a lot for the Dubs, I think they can get there.

L.A. should lose to a better and healthier Celtics team, but the Lakers are at home and Boston (15-19-1) just hasn’t been reliable ATS when favored this year.

Normally the Kings get me interested in the Over, but now that pricing is out, I am not excited about banking on 235 points for their road tilt against the Suns.

The Over is 28-26 in Phoenix games, but they play such good defense and play so slow, that I think 235+ is a mild reach here.

If you like my NBA picks for Wednesday, go ahead and check out the best pricing at your favorite NBA betting sites and place some bets.

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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