Our free NBA picks are out for Monday, March 21st, 2022! Make sure you check our NBA picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA picks for the best five games on today’s schedule!
Miami Heat @ Philadelphia 76ers – 7.30pm ET
The Miami Heat have just one game on the road for Monday, when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers. The Heat will be looking to build on their current two game winning streak, which improves their season record to 47-24. The 76ers are playing on two nights in a row, and in their last game they lost to the Raptors, 88-93.
Marquee matchup on Monday night when the top two teams in the Eastern Conference square off in Philadelphia. The Sixers will host the Miami Heat who are coming off having the weekend off after their 120-108 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tyler Herro led the team with 26 points and added 7 rebounds to build on his case for sixth man of the year. The Philadelphia 76ers had a tough loss on Sunday night to the Raptors, falling 88-93. It was an off night for their dynamic duo of James Harden and Joel Embiid who combined to shoot 11-32 from the field.
The loss coupled with the Celtics win on Sunday moves Boston within a 0.5 game off the 2 seed spot that Philly is currently occupying. The Miami Heat will be the more rested team after the Sixers had to battle with the Raptors Sunday night and I think that will make all the difference. Just a couple weeks ago the Heat handed Philly a 99-82 loss and with how locked in they have been lately, we can expect another win here, even though this one may be a little closer.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat (-102)
In a battle between two of the Eastern Conference’s best squads, the Miami Heat head to “The City of Brotherly Love” to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. After a rough couple of days last weekend, the 76ers were able to bounce back and grab huge wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks. But last night they went cold again losing 88-93 to the Toronto Raptors despite limiting the Raptors to only 37.6% from the field. One can only imagine the Sixers were playing a bit conservative with their big matchup against the Heat looming just 24 hours later. They’ll need Joel Embiid to prove he’s the MVP and for James Harden to show up if they’re to take this one at home.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 21, 2022
The Heat have steamrolled their last two opponents, beating the Detroit Pistons 105-98 and the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-108. After suffering a tough loss to a young Minnesota Timberwolves team last weekend, the Heat will look to prove they belong as the one-seed with a victory over the Sixers. This one should be close, but I think the Miami Heat might just have too many shooting options for the 76ers to be able to defend. Embiid should be able to cause problems across the floor, but I’ll expect the likes of Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo to overwhelm.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat (-102)
This Monday night matchup gives us the two best teams in the Eastern Conference going head-to-head in Philadelphia. The Miami Heat enter as the one-seed, at 47-24, and the key for them is getting everyone healthy and keeping them that way. With Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro on the same roster, it’s no surprise why they’ve played so well this year, but one concern is that virtually all of them have had nagging injuries at times this season. They’ve overcome that through the regular season, but knowing that things tighten up in the playoffs, that could be a real concern moving forward.
On the other sideline, Philly comes in playing extremely well lately, after a bit of a rough stretch to start the calendar year, though a lot of that was due to Joel Embiid being out. Embiid is arguably the favorite to win league MVP at this point, and with them also managing to acquire James Harden at the trade deadline, this is clearly a team that may have the best duo in the entire league right now. One concern with this one is that, for whatever reason, the Sixers are better on the road this year than they have been at home, which seems odd this late in the year. With this one in Philly, which could mean the opposite of what it should, and with it looking like Miami should have everyone available for this matchup, I’m taking the Heat in a close one on the road.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat (-102)
Utah Jazz @ Brooklyn Nets – 7.30pm ET
The Utah Jazz are in game two of their six game road trip when they travel to Brooklyn to take on the Nets, who themselves wrap up a three game homestand tonight. The Jazz are playing on back-to-back nights, and last time out they beat the Knicks, 108-93. The Nets have won five of their last six games, with their only loss in this span coming against the Mavericks, 111-113.
The Brooklyn Nets will host the Utah Jazz coming off a 128-123 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. Kevin Durant went off for 38 points in the home win, picking up the slack for the missing Kyrie Irving. He will once again need to do that as the star guard continues to be banned from playing home games due to COVID restrictions in the state. The Nets have improved their record to 37-34 after winning five of their last six games and now are in 8th place in the Eastern Conference. The Jazz were in action on Sunday, knocking off the Knicks 108-93 in Madison Square Garden.
Donovan Mitchell went off for 36 points and 6 assists in his return to his home state and led the Jazz to the 2-0 season sweep over the Knicks. Now with a record of 45-26 they have a 2 game advantage in the West standings over the Dallas Mavericks for the 4th seed. Catching the Jazz on the back-to-back will surely have the Nets looking like the fresher team but the Jazz are by far the better team in this matchup. Donovan Mitchell and company already own a 125-103 win over Brooklyn this year and that was with Kyrie Irving in the lineup. KD will not be able to do it all on his own and beat one of the top teams in the West, so I’m confused why we are getting underdog value on the Jazz here. Give me the Utah Jazz for the outright win.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz (+102)
The Brooklyn Nets have won five of their last six, with their lone loss being against a very good Dallas Mavericks team that needed a game-winner from Spencer Dinwiddie to beat them. Still there’s always a bit of anxiety around the Brooklyn Nets’ home games, as they’re still unable to play Kyrie Irving. That was fine for their Friday night game against a struggling Portland Trail Blazers team, but the playoff-bound Utah Jazz are a different story. With multiple teams breathing down their neck for the fourth seed, the Utah Jazz have come up clutch, winning their last three games.
Prep for the week ahead 🧪 pic.twitter.com/zZFTHZs73S
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 20, 2022
This includes a 108-93 beatdown they put on the New York Knicks last night. Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson came up big in that game and they’ll look for a repeat performance against an undependable Nets defense. If the Nets had both Durant and Irving in this one, I’d give them the benefit of the doubt against a Utah team that’s been inconsistent themselves. But with Mitchell and Clarkson feeling it in the backcourt and Rudy Gobert going up against a Nets team that sometimes lacks toughness down low, I’ll pick the Jazz to squeeze out a win at Barclays Center.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz (+102)
As if we didn’t know this already, but Kevin Durant is the heart and soul of this Brooklyn Nets team. The Nets were rolling right along, looking like one of the best two or three teams in the Eastern Conference before KD got injured and missed 20+ games, where they then collapsed in a major way, but since his return they’ve looked more like the team we saw early in the year, which has to be concerning for many. The one problem is the fact that they’re still without Kyrie Irving for home games, as COVID restrictions in the state of New York are preventing him from playing. I think they’ll still be able to make a decent run without Kyrie in the lineup full time, but I do think it costs them by the time they reach the second round, or no later than the Eastern Conference Finals.
They get the Utah Jazz in this one, and it’s a Jazz roster that is actually better than they’ve been playing for much of the year. With Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, you get the best of both worlds, the paint and perimeter, and that doesn’t even mention the ability to spread the defense that Mike Conley provides. They also took care of this Brooklyn team in their first meeting this year, which should boost their confidence coming into this one. The one concern is that this is the second night of a back-to-back for Utah, which has to make you question whether fatigue, especially at this point in the year could play a factor. Most everything seems to say lean Jazz here, but I’m actually going to go with Brooklyn, as there’s something that just makes me feel like the Nets get the win. It ends up being close, but take the home team here.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets (-120)
Toronto Raptors @ Chicago Bulls – 8pm ET
The Toronto Raptors will hit the road and travel to the United Center and face off against the Chicago Bulls. The Raptors are one of the many teams that are playing on back-to-back nights, and last time out they faced off against the 76ers, in a game they won, 93-88. The Bulls will be looking to get back on track after losing their last three games in a row, against the Kings, Jazz and Suns.
The Chicago Bulls will continue to try and work their way out of this slump they are in when they host an Eastern Conference foe in the Toronto Raptors on Monday. They have only won two in their last ten games and have seen their spot in the East standings drop all the way to 5th place. Last time out for them it was a 102-129 loss to the Phoenix Suns in a game where nobody was able to cross the 20 point plateau. Now the Bulls will take on the Raptors following their 93-88 win over the 76ers on Sunday.
Pascal Siakam stepped up with no Fred VanVleet to lead the Raptors in points (26) and assists (5). It’s hard to back the Bulls as favorites in any game right now given their recent slump and especially against a team as good as the Raptors. Toronto will be riding high after their narrow victory over the Sixers on Sunday night and just beat this Bulls team in overtime last month. A revenge narrative won’t be enough to snap this slump for the Bulls and they will go down at home to the Raptors again.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors (+146)
The Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls seem to be going in opposite trajectories right now. The Raptors have won six of their last seven, with their lone loss being an overtime nailbiter to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Raptors pulled off a big win last night against the Philadelphia 76ers as they held a Joel Embiid and James Harden team to only 88 points. Even more impressive, the Raptors did it without All-Star Fred VanVleet who was sitting due to right knee injury management. The Raptors will hope to have VanVleet back tonight, as they face a Bulls team that’s struggling, but full of talent.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 20, 2022
Whereas the Raptors have been winning big games recently, the Bulls have been falling flat. Chicago have lost three in a row and have gone 2-8 in their last ten. Their two most recent games were both double-digit losses and they just narrowly avoided it being three as they lost to the Sacramento Kings by nine last Monday. Things won’t get easier for them on Monday as they face a Toronto Raptors team that is starting to click (and get healthy) at the right time. Still, the Bulls are also getting healthier, as defensive stopper Patrick Williams is set to return for the first time in months. The Bulls need to snap this skid eventually, so when better than a home game against a team that played a gritty game just yesterday? I think the Bulls use their home court to their advantage and win this one, to snap their small skid.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (-174)
The Chicago Bulls are in free fall, and it comes at the wrong time, as we’re nearing the end of the regular season. The team from the Windy City is only 2-8 in their last 10, and outside of DeMar Derozan and occasionally Zach LaVine, who have played well for much of the year, is there much of a reason to think that the struggles somehow end in this one? I just don’t think that’s likely, especially as they’re taking on a Toronto Raptors team that has been a team built on runs through the entire year.
This is a Raptors team that just got a win over Philadelphia on Sunday night, and the fatigue concern is arguably my biggest question surrounding this matchup. With the way the two have been playing, I think the only way Chicago gets the win is if Toronto comes in looking tired and exhausted from last night’s matchup. I don’t think that happens, as I think the Raptors come in riding high after the win last night, so give me Toronto to continue the streak, this time on the road in Chicago.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors (+146)
Boston Celtics @ Oklahoma City Thunder – 8pm ET
The Boston Celtics wrap up their four game road trip with a game on Monday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Celtics have gone 3-0 so far this road trip, which takes their overall record to 44-28. The Thunder have lost their last nine games in a row, and yesterday they were defeated by the Magic, 85-90.
Both of these teams were in action on Sunday and will turn right back around and play again on Monday. It was two totally different results for the teams as the Celtics stayed hot, beating the Denver Nuggets by 20, while the Thunder were on the road losing to Orlando 85-90. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum had 30 points a piece in the win, which gave them a season sweep of the Nuggets. OKC was without many of their top players on Sunday, and only had 9 players get minutes in the loss to the Magic.
Darius Basley tried his best and led the team in scoring with 18, but the Thunder will hope to at least get their top scorer on the season Shai-Gilgeous Alexander back for Monday’s game. Boston has not been taking any opponents lightly lately, and are truly on a mission. Their defense has been rock-solid and the duo of Brown and Tatum is unstoppable as you can’t put too much defensive attention on one because then the other will light you up for 30+. The Thunder were already bad and now are short handed so asking them to stay within 14 points of this red-hot Boston team is asking too much.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Boston Celtics -14 (-110)
The Boston Celtics are the NBA’s hottest team right now, and they further proved that last night as they beat down a very good Denver Nuggets team by 20 points in the Mile High City. Now they’ll go at it again 24 hours later as they face a poor Oklahoma City Thunder team. The Celtics aren’t looking to let up: they’re now tied with the Philadelphia 76ers for the three-seed and only sit .5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the two-seed. Their impressive two-way play has made them a threat not just in the Eastern Conference but the entire NBA.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 21, 2022
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder have lost nine in a row, including a sad 85-90 loss to a bad Orlando Magic team yesterday. In the Thunder’s defense, they’ve been without two of their best young players in Josh Giddey and Lu Dort. Not saying they’d be a playoff team with those two, but they’d certainly be playing a bit better than this. Also, in the Orlando loss the team was without leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. S.G.A. should be back for this matchup, but without those other two, I don’t see the Thunder having much of a chance against the Celtics, unless the C’s decide to rest the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Boston Celtics -14 (-110)
Boston, by at least 15 in this one. The Celtics have been the best team in basketball for the past month and a half, as they’re now 17-3 since the start of February, and they just destroyed a good Denver team last night. I think they’ve now shown that they’re very clearly a team that no one wants to see as we near the postseason. With Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum leading the way, and getting good depth from their bench, they’re a team that can beat anyone, if they’re playing well, which they obviously are.
On the other side, the Oklahoma City Thunder have shown some flashes of getting better, especially from where they were early in the year, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re still one of the worst teams in the NBA. They’re in need of multiple pieces before they can even try to compete against some of the league’s elite teams. Assuming Boston comes out interested at all in this matchup, I think the talent disparity in and of itself is enough to get them the easy win, so take the C’s in a major way, even on the road in OKC.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Boston Celtics -14 (-110)
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Dallas Mavericks – 8.30pm ET
The final game on Monday in the NBA will see the Minnesota Timberwolves travel to Dallas and take on the Mavericks. The Timberwolves have won their last four games in a row, and this takes their overall season record to 42-30. The Mavericks will be looking to get back on track after dropping their last two games in a row against the 76ers and Hornets.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are clicking on all cylinders, winning ten of their last eleven games dating back to February 28. It was a long road but with the Denver Nuggets losing on Sunday, the Wolves took over the 6th spot in the West, meaning they are currently out of the play-in tournament. Now it’s all up to them to keep winning to stay in the top 6 but it won’t be easy with a trip to Dallas to face Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. It’s the start of a quick 2-game homestand for the Mavs after a 108-129 loss on the road to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday. They just ran into a hot Charlotte team who has now won 4 straight and had four starters in double figures (those four starters also combined for 17 made three-pointers). Now after a day off, and a trip back home, the 5th place Mavericks will look to create some space in the standings between them and the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves have been one of the most fun teams in the league all year and now that they are learning how to win, they are becoming one of the most dangerous. You’re never going to stop their offense, which ranks first in the league in points per game, and now with their confidence building more and more, it’s truly scary how good this team can be night in and night out. The Mavericks struggled against a similarly constructed Charlotte team last time out, who ranks second in points per game and loves to run at a fast pace. The Mavs are known to be a slow-paced, defensive team so these are scary matchups for them, therefore it’s shocking to them as such big favorites here. Give me the hot Wolves and the spread, and don’t be surprised if they win this game outright.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves +3.5 (-110)
In what should be a great day of games, this Western Conference matchup might very well be the best. The Minnesota Timberwolves have become a joy to watch. This young squad is putting the league on notice, giving fair warning that they’ve arrived and plan to dominate in coming years. The Timberwolves have won 10 of their last 11, with their lone loss being an uncharacteristic performance against a poor Orlando Magic team. Still, they were able to make fans forget about that loss quickly, as they issued upset victories over both the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks since that Magic loss. The Bucks might’ve been without Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the T-Wolves will still take the confidence boost as they’re seeing young stars Karl Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards really start to gel. They’ll be put to the test on Monday as they face a Mavericks team that’s very good defensively and always has a little (Luka) magic.
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) March 21, 2022
Last week, the Mavericks were in the midst of a three-game win streak, which included huge victories over the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets. Unfortunately they’ve come up flat in their last two. In their defense, both losses were understandable: they fell 101-111 to the Philadelphia 76ers as it was the Mavs’ third game against a contender in five days. As if that wasn’t enough: they had to play 24 hours later down in Charlotte where they couldn’t keep up with an entertaining Hornets offense. Now, after a little rest, the Mavericks will look to be refueled on their home court. I think they’ll use their defense to slow down this Minnesota team, in what should be a fun game between two teams that are looking to be contenders for years to come.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks (-158)
This has the real potential to be a great matchup to close out the Monday slate in the NBA, as the Minnesota Timberwolves travel south to take on the Dallas Mavericks. The T-Wolves come into this one having won four in a row, and are in the process of trying to get a playoff spot, without having to worry about the play-in, as they only sit a half-game back of Denver for sixth in the West. With a core that features Karl Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D’Angelo Russell, the talent is certainly there to get that done, the question is whether the execution is or not.
They get a really good Dallas Mavericks team in this one, though the Mavs have dropped two in a row, including a bad loss to the Charlotte Hornets along the way. Luka Doncic has continued to be outstanding all year long, especially in 2022, as he’s started to climb in terms of MVP odds for a lot of people, but the problem is that, at this point, I’m not sure that Dallas has a true second option. That doesn’t bode well as we start getting closer to the end of the regular season and begin looking towards the postseason, which is why I’m taking Minnesota in this one on the road. If they manage to at least slow down Luka, I like their chances, and I think that’s exactly what they do.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves (+134)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.