NBA Predictions and Best Bets – March 16, 2021

| March 16, 2021 5:07 am PDT

Everyone is gearing up to bet on March Madness right about now, but there is still money to be made in the NBA.

See who is hitting the hardwood on Tuesday.

  • Utah Jazz vs. Boston Celtics
  • Atlanta Hawks vs. Houston Rockets
  • Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat
  • New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers
  • Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Chicago Bulls
  • New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers
  • Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Tuesday night’s NBA betting slate gets going with the 28-10 Jazz heading to TD Garden. Utah has slipped after an amazing start, so they’ll be looking to get back on track here.

Atlanta hopes they’re not the team that allows the Rockets to snap a horrifying 16-game losing streak, too, while the Knicks head to Philly for a near-certain road loss.

It’s potentially an ugfly slate full of mismatches and traps. Not sure how to bet? Join me for my NBA predictions and top betting picks for March 16th, 2021.

Utah Jazz vs. Boston Celtics Predictions

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

This isn’t the easy bet it normally is. Utah was once running away with the best record in the NBA, but they’re now just 5-5 over their last 10 games.

The Jazz are still a tough out, of course, and they’re a solid 12-8 on the road. However, they’ve been much more human away from home (and in general) as of late.

Boston, meanwhile, is at full strength now that Marcus Smart is back. His return is embedded in a solid stretch where the Celtics have gone 6-4.

Previously faltering and sliding down the Eastern Conference standings, Boston looks more like themselves these days. They’re the understandable underdogs here, but they’re a stellar 12-5 at home.

Utah probably wins, but I actually really like Boston ATS.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Houston Rockets Predictions

  • Hawks to beat Rockets
  • Predicted total: 220-225

Apparently firing head coach Lloyd Pierce was the right move. Atlanta is now 5-0 since the move, and they looked like a refocused team.

It’s possible it doesn’t stick, but one has to imagine they keep the streak alive against the atrocious Rockets.

Houston has lost an unfathomable 16 straight games, but they’re at home, and you have to wonder when the bleeding stops.

The Rockets have unearthed a gem in Kevin Porter Jr., too.

As talented as he is, I’m not sure he’ll be enough to end this skid just yet.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat Predictions

  • Heat to beat Cavaliers
  • Predicted total: 215-220

The mismatches continue, as a far better Miami team plays host to the free falling cavs.

Miami is a solid 21-18 after a slow start to the year, as they’re riding a four-game winning streak, and are 9-1 over their last 10 games.

The Heat are a respectable 11-8 at home, and they are getting fantastic play out of Jimmy Butler these days.

It’d be nice to get Bam Adebayo back, but Miami doesn’t need him to keep this run going.

New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers Predictions

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

The Knicks head to Philly after running around with the Nets on Monday. Chances are they’re pretty tired, but even if they were fresh you’d have to bet against them here.

Philly is down Joel Embiid, of course.

Not having perhaps the best big man in the game is a big deal, especially when Embiid was among the favorites to win an NBA player award this season.

That said, Ben Simmons should have his way in this matchup. Philadelphia demolished the Spurs without Embiid in their last game, and they’ve now won five in a row.

I think they keep it going at home, where they’re a startling 17-3 on the season.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Chicago Bulls Predictions

  • Bulls to beat Thunder
  • Predicted total: 220-225

I thought OKC would have lost their last game, when they had precious few bodies in a clash with Memphis. Instead, they won.

They should be on your radar again here, but not having key players has to catch up with them eventually.

Chicago are just 4-4 ATS as home favorites, but they are the better offensive team in this spot. They’re still fighting for their playoff lives, too, so look for them to come out and get a big win.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers Predictions

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

This one will be contending for “game of the night” rights, as both of these teams play fairly fast and can put up a ton of points.

Neither side plays any defense, either.

Damian Lillard and Portland get the benefit of the doubt here. They’re just 4-6 over their last 10 games, but they’re 11-7 at the Moda Center and have been the better team all year. 

They won the only other meeting this year in a wild 126-124 shootout. I like Portland and the Over.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers Predictions

  • Lakers to beat Timberwolves
  • Predicted total: 220-225

The last game of the night features the hapless T’Wolves and the Lakers. LeBron James probably should rest after playing the night before, but I doubt he will.

He and the scraps the Lakers have are still just enough to get by, and they’ll need to establish more solid ground with Anthony Davis sidelined for at least three more weeks.

Minnesota has some nice talent, with Anthony Edwards blossoming right before our eyes.

Trouble is, this team doesn’t defend, and they struggle to finish games.

It’s led to a 2-8 run over their last 10 games, and Minnesota presently has the worst record in the NBA. It’d be silly to bet on them to beat the Lake Show.

Best NBA Bets for Tuesday, March 16th

  • Celtics (+4.5) -105
  • Bulls to Win (-180)
  • 76ers (-6.5) -115
  • Timberwolves (+8.5) -110

While I won’t bet on the Timberwolves to beat the Lakers, the 8.5-point spread is pretty steep. Minnesota isn’t winning games, but they’re still talented, and they’ll have fresher legs in this one.

That, and the Lakers are just 8-11 against the spread as home favorites this season.

I like Chicago to win, and I won’t get cute with the spread there. They’re the better offensive team, they’re at home, and it’s a little revenge for former OKC head coach Bill Donovan.

Boston likely loses as they host the Jazz, but +4.5 is pretty nice for the home team. They’re also playing well, so this feels like a steal. They also happen to be 3-1 ATS as the home dog.

Philly should still cover this spread against the Knicks. New York’s offense isn’t very good, they could be tired after playing on Monday, they’re on the road, and they’re really banged up.

The Sixers are on fire, and I’d imagine this line only gets thicker. I’d pounce on this and these other bets as soon as possible.

Whether you love these bets or not, just make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

To ensure that, hit up the best sites for betting on the NBA.

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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