NBA Predictions and Top Picks – March 1, 2021

| March 1, 2021 4:52 am PDT

Monday greets NBA bettors with open arms, along with a friendly seven-game betting slate.

The action gets started with Luka Doncic leading his Mavs into Orlando, with Damian Lillard and the Blazers hosting LaMelo Ball and the Hornets in an entertaining nightcap.

Take a look at the schedule before gearing up to place bets on Monday, March 1st, 2021.

  • Dallas Mavericks vs. Orlando Magic
  • Indiana Pacers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
  • Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans
  • Brooklyn Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs
  • Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls
  • Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Houston Rockets
  • Charlotte Hornets vs. Portland Trail Blazers

This has the looks of a pretty explosive slate. There are only odds out for three games as I push this out, but each game has a total of 226 or higher.

The star power isn’t anything to sneeze at, either.

The aforementioned Doncic and Lillard are more than enough to keep you interested, but this slate also includes Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and James Harden.

There is a lot to sort through as day one of March arrives. For some assistance in making the best NBA bets, read on for Monday’s NBA predictions and top betting picks.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Orlando Magic Predictions

  • Mavericks to beat Magic
  • Predicted total: 220-225

Nikola Vucevic and the Magic hope to stop the bleeding when they host Luka Doncic and the Mavs on Monday. Orlando has lost three in a row (4-6 over their last 10), and they’re just 8-10 at the Amway Center this year.

There isn’t much to suggest Orlando will get the win here. They are severely banged up, they don’t have an efficient offense, and they don’t have anyone to corral Luka Doncic. 

Dallas got Kristaps Porzingis back in a big win over Brooklyn, and they’re now close to 100%. They’re also in terrific form, as they’ve rebounded from a slow start, and are 7-3 over their last 10 games.

Orlando are just 15-19 against the spread and they’ve lost each of their last three games by at least 12 points. I like Dallas across the board in this one.

Indiana Pacers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Predictions

  • 76ers to beat Pacers
  • Predicted total: 220-225

The Sixers hope to keep the magic going at home on Monday. They just dropped their last home game, but that was with Tobias Harris sidelined.

Harris could be back for this one, but I tend to favor the 76ers, anyways. Joel Embiid is still on an MVP-level tear, and he just waxed the Cavaliers for 42 points in his last game.

Embiid should come to play again as he and the 76ers host the Pacers. Indy is trending in the wrong direction with three straight losses, and Malcolm Brogdon is dinged up.

If this one were in Indiana, I would give the Pacers a shot. However, they’re just 14-18 against the spread this year, and they haven’t been a very reliable team lately.

Lean on Philly’s home prowess as Embiid likely beasts out again in a win.

Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans Predictions

  • Jazz to beat Pelicans
  • Predicted total: 230-235

The Jazz seem primed to start another long winning streak, as they won their last game, and will eye win number two in a row at New Orleans.

Utah has the best record in the league at 27-7, and some are already saying they’re flat out the best team in the NBA right now.

Maybe, maybe not.

Either way, the Jazz are tough to bet against right now, and they remain in strong form with an 8-2 run over their last 10 games.

Mike Conley got the night off in Utah’s last game, so expect him back for a soft matchup against the second worst defense in the league.

I love Utah and the Over in this spot.

Brooklyn Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs Predictions

  • Nets to beat Spurs
  • Predicted total: 225-230

James Harden couldn’t lead the Nets to a win sans both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last time out, but the Nets are still 8-2 over their last 10 outings.

Durant will remain out until the All-Star break, but Irving is expected to be back for this one.

Here’s what head coach Steve Nash said about Irving’s absence.

“I don’t think it’s serious; I think it’s maintenance.”

Nash also mentioned Irving would be expected back for Monday.

With Irving back in the saddle, the Nets should be able to get it going again, and a date with a beaten up Spurs team looks like a good spot to trust in them.

San Antonio will continue to be without some key role players, while the Spurs are just 8-8 on their home floor this season.

The Nets and the Over stand out as some of the best NBA bets on Monday.

Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls Predictions

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

Nikola Jokic shall feast on the Bulls on March 1st. The big man completely eradicated the interior of the Thunder in his last game, and it’s unlikely he has much trouble here.

Chicago can get it going offensively with their guards, but they have literally no answer for The Joker.

Then again, nobody does.

This is also a nice spot for Jamal Murray and the Nuggets offense as a whole, as Chicago pushes the pace (7th), but ranks just 16th in defensive efficiency.

I love Denver to win here, but the Bulls are actually a very interesting bet ATS. They’re at home, they’re in good form, they have nice offensive potential, and they’re actually the third best team against the spread (19-13) on the year.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Houston Rockets Predictions

  • Cavaliers to beat Rockets
  • Predicted total: 210-215

This will probably be the spot where Houston finally wins again, but I can’t condone that bet.

The Rockets are just an utter mess these days, as they remain very banged up, and have dropped an unfathomable 10 games in a row.

Cleveland was about as bad for a second there, but their new core is starting to come together quite nicely. They’ve now ripped off three straight wins, and Jarrett Allen has a beautiful matchup against an under-sized Houston frontcourt.

Houston is at home and even the worst teams snap out of funks like this, but it’s tough to hate the Cavs here.

Charlotte Hornets vs. Portland Trail Blazers Predictions

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

The last game of the night could be pretty explosive, as two vibrant offenses face off at the Moda Center.

Damian Lillard continues his plight to will the Blazers into the NBA playoffs, and a showdown with the mangled Hornets serves as a solid chance to snap a four-game losing streak.

Three of those losses came to strong teams in the Lakers, Nuggets, and Suns, though. 

Portland can still fill it up offensively, but they are missing their key guys these days, and they’re weirdly just 8-6 on their home floor.

LaMelo Ball pushes the pace for the Hornets, but they could be down as many as three key bodies for this one. Charlotte are also just 6-9 on the road, so I’ll give the edge to the Blazers.

Best NBA Bets for Monday, March 1st

  • Mavericks (-6.5) -115
  • Bulls (+5) -105
  • Hornets (+6) -115

The game totals are a bit out of control for this slate, and the moneylines aren’t out at the top NBA betting sites just yet. Once they emerge, of course, just roll with my NBA predictions however you want to bet.

As for the best NBA bets on this slate, I love Dallas at -6.5. It’s not a tiny spread, but I don’t feel like it’s asking too much against a battered Magic team.

Orlando just doesn’t have the firepower to keep up with Doncic and company. I also really like the Bulls at +5. Denver is the obvious straight up play, but they’ve also played down to the level of competition this year, and are a middling 9-8 on the road this season.

The Nuggets are also among the worst ATS teams (14-19), and Chicago are among the best.

Charlotte should also keep things interesting in Portland. The Blazers should win, but neither teams are healthy, both can play fast, and neither defend.

The Over is a nice secondary bet, but the Hornets are a solid 14-10-1 ATS as underdogs this year. I think they come to play and give Portland a fight.

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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