NBA Predictions and Top Picks – March 4, 2021

| March 3, 2021 10:43 am PDT

The NBA is inching toward the 2021 All-Star Break, which means bettors have to be on their toes on Thursday.

LeBron James finally rested on Wednesday, and other teams that have dealt with injuries will surely opt to sit key players the day before their break begins.

The NBA will be gone until next Wednesday, which means Thursday is your last time to get your fix for a while.

Before you do that, though, check out Thursday’s NBA betting schedule.

  • Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics
  • Los Angeles Clippers vs. Washington Wizards
  • Detroit Pistons vs. New York Knicks
  • Denver Nuggets vs. Indiana Pacers
  • Milwaukee Bucks vs. Memphis Grizzlies
  • Miami Heat vs. New Orleans Pelicans
  • Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs
  • Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns
  • Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Toronto was down a lot of bodies on Wednesday, and that’s again very possible going into Thursday’s tilt in Boston.

Kawhi Leonard also missed L.A.’s last game with back spasms, and he’s always a rest candidate.

The news won’t be out for every situation – and the betting lines at the best NBA betting sites are subject to change – but there’s merit in taking an early look at this slate.

With that, let’s dive into Thursday’s NBA predictions and top betting picks.

Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics Predictions

  • Celtics to beat Raptors
  • Predicted total: 210-215

The Raptors are for sure without Pascal Siakam until after the All-Star break, and it’s pretty likely more bodies will stick to the sidelines tonight.

Normally I’d like Toronto here, but at far less than 100%, they’re a tough sell.

Boston has had major problems this season, but to their credit, they’ve won three in a row. Look for them to keep that hot run going into their mini-vacation.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Washington Wizards Predictions

  • Clippers to beat Wizards
  • Predicted total: 220-225

Kawhi Leonard was a surprise inactive on Tuesday, which contributed to the Clippers losing their second game in a row.

Obviously, if he’s held out again, it’s easy to warm up to the Wiz, who actually beat L.A. pretty recently.

Washington is at home and has been in strong overall form lately, winning seven of their last 10.

I’d have interest in the Wiz against the spread and the Over, but unless Leonard is for sure out, I see the Clips getting the win.

Detroit Pistons vs. New York Knicks Predictions

  • Knicks to beat Pistons
  • Predicted total: 210-215

The Pistons are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings and don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Detroit is banged up, and they also just lack talent. After playing on Wednesday, they could also come into Madison Square Garden a bit fatigued.

New York has been pretty good, and they should use this opportunity to get above .500 as they head into the break.

They also get Derrick Rose back, who entered the league’s contact tracing protocol, but has been cleared to return to the team.

Denver Nuggets vs. Indiana Pacers Predictions

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

The Nuggets should keep the good times going against the Pacers on Thursday. They’ve won three in a row and looked awesome in a big road win over the Bucks.

They made it look easy, too, while Nikola Jokic dropped the 50th triple-double of his career.

Indiana has been losing like crazy lately. They’re at home, but they rebound poorly as a team, and they really have no hope in stifling The Joker down low.

Look for Denver to stay hot as they head into the break.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Memphis Grizzlies Predictions

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

One thing I like to do with NBA betting is sense trends. One trend could be a team about to go on a streak, but another obvious one is a bounce-back bet.

Milwaukee is the mother of all bounce-backs here, as they face a middling Grizzlies team. They got humiliated by Denver in their last game, so they’ll come to eat in this one.

It’s worth noting that Ja Morant went off in his last game, of course.

Memphis could put up points and contribute to the Over (and maybe even beat the spread), but the Bucks will get back on track here.

Miami Heat vs. New Orleans Pelicans Predictions

  • Heat to beat Pelicans
  • Predicted total: 220-225

It stands to reason that the Heat will keep Jimmy Butler out for at least one more game. He’s been banged up and sat out Miami’s last two contests, so another day of rest makes sense.

Miami is pretty deep, so I think they remain a solid bet in this spot. The Pelicans play very little defense, and the Heat still have a litany of guards and Bam Adebayo to throw at New Orleans.

The Heat and the Over should be attractive bets on Thursday.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs Predictions

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

The Spurs are another team ransacked by injuries, but they’re at home against an inferior OKC squad on Thursday.

I like San Antonio here, as they could get LaMarcus Aldridge back after sitting on Tuesday, and they don’t really have enough bodies to rest anyone else.

OKC has been pesky on the year, but they’re starting to regress with a 4-6 mark over their last 10 games.

Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns Predictions

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

The Dubs just had a late game against Portland last night, and now they get a tougher assignment in the desert against the Suns.

Devin Booker may play a bit angry after getting ejected on Tuesday, too.

Phoenix waxed the Lakers in their last game, regardless, moving to 23-11 overall and second place in the Western Conference. They’re riding a nice three-game winning streak and look quite formidable right now.

Golden State has a weirdly efficient defense, but I’m not sure their free-flowing offense will find the necessary success in this spot. The Over is still appealing, but I am all about the Suns in this one.

Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers Predictions

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

The last game of the night features all of the scoring and none of the defense. Both the Blazers and Kings played on Wednesday, too, so while they could be tired, it’s a bit of a wash.

Normally the edge would then lie with the home team, but the Kings are in dire straits at the moment.

Sacramento are 1-9 over their last 10 games, and the best NBA betting sites have Luke Walton pegged as the next head coach to be fired.

I agree Walton has to go, and one more embarrassing defensive performance just might seal his fate.

Best NBA Bets for Thursday, March 4th

NBA odds are not out yet for this slate, largely due to the uncertainty surrounding a lot of teams and their decisions on player statuses.

It should still be helpful to have some NBA predictions and a little insight to work with, but you’ll want to keep tabs on which players actually suit up on Thursday.

Feel free to roll with my NBA picks above once odds come out. I’ll update this section with my best NBA bets for Thursday once pricing is made available for Thursday’s slate.

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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