NBA Predictions and Best Bets – March 23, 2021

| March 23, 2021 4:06 am PDT

After a busy string of NBA slates, things cool down on Tuesday, with just six games hitting the hardwood.

The Lakers are in action again without their top two superstars, and some teams playing tonight will have to block out lingering trade rumors.

Before we get to which bets stand out, take a quick look at which teams are in action on March 23rd.

  • Denver Nuggets vs. Orlando Magic
  • Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Pelicans
  • Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks
  • Phoenix Suns vs. Miami Heat
  • Philadelphia 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors
  • Brooklyn Nets vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Orlando is a big one to monitor for potential trade news, while the Pels, Heat, and Warriors are also likely to be involved in some trade talks.

Keep an eye on that, any big injuries, and line movement at the top basketball betting sites.

The injuries have already left their mark, with LeBron James being the latest big one. Always consider how the absence of star players may impact pricing, as well as how you should bet.

With that, let’s dig into Tuesday’s NBA predictions and top betting picks.

Denver Nuggets vs. Orlando Magic Predictions

  • Nuggets to beat Magic
  • Predicted total: 210-215

Orlando is being swept up by trade rumors these days. Pretty much all of their players are on the table, and Aaron Gordon put his name out there by himself.

Betting on the Magic becomes more volatile than ever. This team was already in decline (1-9 over their last 10 games), but it’s only going to get worse.

They did somehow upset the Nets recently, but I wouldn’t bank on them getting a surprise win again over the Nuggets.

Denver is going in the opposite direction, rolling out a nice 8-2 record over their last 10 games. 

This will likely be a game you just have to stay away from, but I love Denver across the board, and the slow pace from both sides leans toward the Under.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Pelicans Predictions

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

The Lakers are still in fine shape when you look at the big picture, but their blood pressure has to be sky high in the interim.

Anthony Davis was already shelved for the next few weeks, and now LeBron James is out indefinitely.

That’s a pretty brutal blow to a team that had been struggling without The Brow. The Lakers are still 28-15 on the year, but they’ll be tested for as long as King James is sidelined.

Even a road tilt with the Pels qualifies as a tall order. New Orleans plays zero defense, and they’re possibly looking to pull off a trade involving Lonzo Ball, but still.

Zion Williamson should still have his way in this spot, the Pels are at home, and the Lake Show just aren’t themselves right now. I love the Pels and the Over.

Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks Predictions

  • Wizards to beat Knicks
  • Predicted total: 225-230

This is another spot where you can entertain betting on the Over. Washington heads to Madison Square Garden at just 15-26, but they continue to push the pace and put up points.

Their offensive tendencies promote scoring for a Knicks team that prefers to play slower and grind out wins.

New York has slipped lately, too, especially with so many of their guards banged up. Given the upside Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal can bring to the table, I slightly favor the visiting Wiz here.

The Over is 22-19 in Washington games this year. That is still the bet that stands out.

Phoenix Suns vs. Miami Heat Predictions

  • Heat to beat Suns
  • Predicted total: 210-215

Fans are getting a slugfest in South Beach on Tuesday when two slow-paced teams in the Heat and Suns butt heads.

Miami is hitting the skids with three straight losses right now, but they’re at home, and they actually match up with Phoenix quite well.

This pick would be predicated on Goran Dragic getting back on the floor, but the Heat have to stop the bleeding eventually. Phoenix is the better team, but this feels like a spot where they could get tripped up.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors Predictions

  • Warriors to beat 76ers
  • Predicted total: 225-230

Philly will keep trying to power through on Tuesday, even though they have to play without big man Joel Embiid.

Despite not having their best player, the Sixers have won their last two games and will be a tough out for the Warriors.

Golden State doesn’t have it easy, of course, as Stephen Curry has missed the team’s last two games with a tailbone injury. I’d get off of them in a hurry if he’s still out, but I’d imagine he’s getting close to a return.

The Warriors stand out as a nice play at home, considering Philly hasn’t been at their best on the road this year. I’d keep an eye on the Curry news, but the pace and lack of defense lean toward the Over here regardless of his status.

Brooklyn Nets vs. Portland Trail Blazers Predictions

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

This is perhaps the game of the night, as the star-studded Nets head to the Moda Center to battle Damian Lillard and the Blazers.

Lillard has helped Portland to a solid 25-17 record, while the Blazers are 7-3 over their last 10, and are 14-8 at home.

Normally I’d favor them, but Brooklyn has been quite formidable even without Kevin Durant. They’ve also exhibited an ability to play defense and are 8-2 over their last 10 games.

The Over is the obvious bet here, but I also love Brooklyn.

Best NBA Bets for Tuesday, March 23rd

Nuggets (-7.5)-110
Lakers vs. Pelicans Over 221.5-110
Wizards (+3)-110
Wizards vs. Knicks Over 225-110

As mentioned in my NBA predictions, I’m high on the Nuggets. Orlando is a tad healthier than they have been, and they’re at home, but they’re still not very good.

They’re also just 14-16-1 ATS as the underdog, and Denver has the edge in this matchup across the board. 

That Lakers vs. Pelicans game is also exploitable. I like New Orleans to win, but the Over is the bet that calls to me. L.A.’s offense will be hit or miss without their top guys, but they should be able to score in the league’s third-worst defense.

New Orleans leads the league with the Over going 29-13 in their games, and this isn’t even an absurd over/under.

You can go the same route in the Wizards vs. Knicks game. I love Washington as the underdog (they’re 10-7 ATS as road dogs), but the Over also stands out.

New York’s pace makes it somewhat risky, but the Over is 22-19 in Washington games. The Knicks should have no trouble scoring here, and this 225 game total feels low for a Wizards game.

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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