NBA Predictions and Best Bets – March 31, 2021

| March 31, 2021 6:39 am PDT

The NBA isn’t as exciting as it could be. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are sidelined, teams rest players left and right, and there are more and more blowouts every night.

While these are definitely things that could be improved upon, there is one thing that you should still amp up for; betting on the NBA.

The league is back in full force come Wednesday, with 10 games hitting the hardwood. See who is in action before placing any bets.

  • Portland Trail Blazers vs. Detroit Pistons
  • Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers
  • Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics
  • Houston Rockets vs. Brooklyn Nets
  • New York Knicks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Toronto Raptors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Utah Jazz vs. Memphis Grizzlies
  • Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs
  • Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Lakers
  • Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns

This figures to be a lopsided slate, with many mismatches and pricing indicating some blowouts.

Bettors can exploit that type of market, of course. Not only can you side with expected blowouts, but in spots where you disagree, there is an edge to be had.

Let’s see which way you may want to lean with Wednesday’s NBA predictions and top betting picks.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Detroit Pistons Predictions

  • Blazers to beat Pistons
  • Predicted total: 220-225

The Blazers head to Detroit to battle a young Pistons team that has little interest in winning. Detroit are just 8-13 at home and 3-7 over their last 10 games.

Portland, meanwhile, has a bolstered starting five after trading for Norm Powell and getting big man Jusuf Nurkic back.

The Blazers are trending upward, too, as they’ve won three straight and seven of their last 10.

I think Portland is an obvious pick here, but the Pistons are 25-20-1 ATS on the year, so I’d either target the Blazers to win or go after the Over.

Portland games have seen the Over go 26-20 this year, and the total is a palatable 219.5 at BetOnline.

Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers Predictions

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

Miami may finally be ready to make their run. They’re on the road and are just 4-6 over their last 10 games, but they made a push by trading for Victor Oladipo.

Assuming he’s ready to suit up for this one, this serves as an instant revenge spot, as he can take out his former Pacers team.

Not in love with either of these teams? Just bet the Under.

Miami plays slow and only allows 107.6 points per game, while they’ve seen the Under go 26-21 in their contests this season.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics Predictions

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

The Celtics have been incredibly erratic all year, and they come into Wednesday at just 23-24. They’re still clinging to the 7th seed and will be at home, of course, where they’re a solid 13-8.

Boston is just 22-25 against the spread this year, however, and their most recent acquisition didn’t exactly pass the eye test in his debut.

My guess is Evan Fournier never has a game like that again, but that still wasn’t ideal to see.

On the other side are the Mavs, who hope to climb the Western Conference ladder. They’re in 7th place right now and are healthy after seeing Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis miss some time.

I certainly lean toward the Mavs, who are the more dynamic team and have been trending in a more positive direction.

Houston Rockets vs. Brooklyn Nets Predictions

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

This is technically another James Harden revenge spot, although he already faced his former Rockets squad earlier this year.

I’d put less of an onus on that and really just highlight the fact that Houston isn’t very good.

John Wall is still there, but the Rockets are 13-33 for a reason, and Christian Wood is banged up again.

Brooklyn, meanwhile, has gone 8-2 over their last 10 games and put up too many points to expect Houston to even keep it close. I like Brooklyn across the board, as well as the Over.

New York Knicks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Predictions

  • Knicks to beat Timberwolves
  • Predicted total: 215-220

The Timberwolves have some nice young talent to mold, but it hasn’t translated into much winning. They have the fewest wins in the NBA, and I doubt that changes before the season’s end.

Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns can be fun to watch, but their explosive scoring will likely be curbed against a slow Knicks team that plays solid defense.

New York isn’t always pretty, but they’re 24-23 because they enforce their will on opponents. I expect them to win here, and their pace and defense lean toward the Under.

Toronto Raptors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Predictions

  • Thunder to beat Raptors
  • Predicted total: 215-220

The Raptors officially can’t be trusted. They have burned me countless times this year, but getting housed by the lowly Pistons might be the last straw for me.

Toronto has the talent to compete with anyone, but they got worse after the NBA trade deadline and are now just 1-9 after their last 10 games.

It’s not like I love OKC. The Thunder care so little about winning right now that they exiled big man Al Horford.

Despite that, I can’t bring myself to back the Raptors. I’d either go with OKC or just stay away from this one.

Utah Jazz vs. Memphis Grizzlies Predictions

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

Utah feels like an easy bet in this clash with the Grizzlies. Mike Conley should be out for some revenge as he returns home, while the Jazz continues their plight to hold onto the NBA’s best record.

The Jazz are a stellar 35-11, and the Suns are breathing down their neck, behind by just 3.5 games. Utah certainly seems focused, as they’ve won six straight and eight of their last 10.

Utah is a bit more human on the road, but I expect them to take care of business against the middling Grizzlies.

Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs Predictions

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

This game is tough to peg. Sacramento has been horrendous defensively this year, but they’re actually surging thanks to a five-game winning streak.

The Kings are now 7-3 over their last 10 games, and De’Aaron Fox is playing lights out. Just look at what he did to the Warriors recently.

San Antonio is settled into the 8th seed in the west, but that feels rather tentative. They’re just 4-6 over their last 10, and they lack the veteran presences they used to hang their hat on.

I don’t mind the Kings here, but the real bet is the Over. Sacramento is still giving up over 118 points per game on the year, and both of these offenses are top-16 in pace.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Lakers Predictions

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

Los Angeles isn’t very formidable without King James and The Brow. The Lake Show has gone 6-4 over their last 10 games, but they probably won’t put up a great fight here if the Bucks bring all of their main guys.

This looks like a get-right spot for Milwaukee, who have dropped three in a row. They need to get back on track, as they had been hurting thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo tweaking his knee.

Milwaukee and the Over look like solid bets.

Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns Predictions

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

Lastly, we get the Bulls and the Suns in Phoenix. This is actually an interesting one, seeing as the Suns played on Tuesday and could be a bit worn down.

That and Chicago are a different team after swinging trades to get better down low.

The Bulls are 0-2 since doing that, but eventually, having Nikola Vucevic bolstering their paint impact has to help them at both ends.

I doubt it happens on the road against a nasty Suns team that defends as well as anyone, of course.

Best NBA Bets for Wednesday, March 31st

Heat (-1.5)-110
Blazers vs. Pistons Over 219.5-110
Thunder (+8)-110

These are my three favorite bets for Wednesday. I know Miami has been struggling, but Dipo could make his debut here, and the Heat have to get it going eventually.

Indiana isn’t any easier to trust, so I’ll hop on the value here with Miami.

The Blazers game is probably a blowout, but Detroit has been pesky on the year, and the Blazers do give up over 115 points per game. That fact, plus their offensive upside, makes the Over pretty safe.

I also love OKC with this 8-point spread. The Thunder are obviously stripped down for various reasons, but they still compete and trusting the Raptors in any capacity these days simply isn’t an option.

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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