Free NBA Picks Today for Monday, March 22nd, 2021

Free NBA Picks Today for Monday, March 22nd, 2021
Mon 22nd March 2021

We have a brand new week of NBA action kickstarting with eight games tonight and our NBA picks have the winners of all eight for you!

Our experts have studied the games, stats and form to come up with the best in depth analysis and preview for every game, along with our selection for who will win.

Sacramento Kings @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 7:30PM ET

The Sacramento Kings have reached the end of their six game East Coast road trip, playing the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight and they will be hoping to finish on a high note and also get to a 3-3 record for the trip. The Cavs may have other ideas after winning two of their last three games, all at home, including an impressive 11 point win over the Raptors last night. 

Collin Sexton continued his impressive form, putting up 36 points on 54.2% shooting while Jarrett Allen had a massive night down low with 17 points and 15 boards. Cleveland shot better than 50% from both the field and from deep whilst keeping Toronto to just 39% and 32.5% respectively. The Cavs managed to overcome a ridiculous 26 turnovers with their good shooting but also having many more assists and winning the battle on the boards convincingly. 

The Cavs will want to carry their hot shooting across tonight against a Sacramento side that has the league’s worst defensive rating and has allowed an average of 117.4 points per game on their road trip. Their most recent performance was their worst of the trip, going down to the Sixers 105-129. De’Aaron Fox managed just 16 points on 35.7% shooting as Buddy Hield was the hot hand with 25 points thanks to seven from behind the arc. 

The is the first meeting of the season between the two sides as they are to play in Sacramento on Saturday. Both teams will want this win but given it is in Cleveland, we are giving the edge to the Cavs. If Sexton can shut down Fox whilst continuing his high level of play on offense, it will go a long way to helping guide Cleveland to victory. 

NBA Pick – Cleveland Cavaliers (+155)
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Oklahoma City Thunder @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 8PM ET

Despite missing multiple players, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Oklahoma City Thunder picked up the narrow two points victory over Houston last night and now get on the road to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite having the worst record in the league, 10-32, the Wolves have been playing some competitive basketball of late, highlighted by their two game series splits with both Portland and Phoenix.

Their most recent performance, Friday night in Phoenix, saw them unable to claim the series sweep in a game where they never looked like winning. Karl-Anthony Towns led the team with 24 points while both Ricky Rubio and Anthony Edwards had double doubles but Minnesota just couldn’t keep up with the Suns. 

The issue in that contest was that the Wolves allowed Phoenix to shoot 50% or better from the field and from deep whilst committing a massive 19 turnovers themselves. They may have it easier against an OKC side that shot 46% from the field, 33% from deep and just 68% from the line last night.

Despite their woeful shooting, the Thunder managed to escape with the win thanks to 23 points from Lu Dort, 18 points and eight rebounds from Isaiah Roby and a double double from Moses Brown. OKC are just 3-5 in games that SGA doesn’t play, but both he and Al Horford are expected to be back on the second night of the back to back. 

Minnesota has played just two games this season as home favorites, which they are in this game, and are just 1-1 in those situations. They also rank bottom six in both offensive and defensive rating while the Thunder come in at 11th on the defensive end. With their pieces coming back, they should have enough to slow down Towns, Edwards, Rubio and the Wolves in order to pick up a second straight win.

NBA Pick – Oklahoma City Thunder (+160)
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Charlotte Hornets @ San Antonio Spurs – 8:30PM ET

The Charlotte Hornets continue their west coast road trip against the San Antonio Spurs tonight, but will be missing a vital piece of their rotation as LaMelo Ball is feared to have fractured his wrist. Ball has been the clear frontrunner for Rookie of the Year honours and has been a big reason why Charlotte are in the eighth seed in the East. 

Without him, players like Terry Rozier, Devonte’ Graham and Malik Monk will have to step up to the plate, something they were unable to do in the Hornets’ 98-125 loss to the Clippers on Saturday night. The trio combined for just 22 points on 5/20 shooting with just Miles Bridges and Gordon Hayward being the only positive performers for the team. 

The Hornets have already lost the first three games of their road trip and come up against a San Antonio side that has won three of their last four games. While Saturday night in Milwaukee happened to be that one loss, the Spurs were extremely competitive against a very good side, especially when at home, going down 113-120. 

Lonnie Walker had a game high 31 points on 62% shooting while DeMar DeRozan had an impressive 22 points, 13 assists and two blocks. Despite these performances, the Spurs gave up 120 points, 14 threes and lost the rebound count, something that won’t win them many games. 

With the fact that Charlotte is already struggling and will now be missing Ball, things don’t look good for them looking forward, but especially for this clash. The Spurs are in a tough race in the West and should be winning a game like this. 

NBA Pick – San Antonio Spurs (-210)
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Utah Jazz @ Chicago Bulls – 9PM ET

The Utah Jazz have finally reached the end of their five game road trip and questions over their ability to perform away from home could be put to bed with a dominant performance over the Chicago Bulls tonight. The Jazz are just 2-2 so far on the trip and now come up against a Chicago side that is 19-22 overall but just 9-14 at home this season. 

Last night saw the Bulls return to their winning ways with a 100-86 win in Detroit thanks to 18 points from Zach LaVine and a 16 point, eight rebound night from Lauri Markkanen. Chicago actually played quite average in this game, committing 18 turnovers and just three players in double figures, but a hot shooting night helped them get the win. 

The issue for Chicago is that they now return home, a place where they are over eight points worse off offensively, against a Jazz side that is ranked fourth and seventh for offensive and defensive ratings respectively. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Utah though, giving up 131 points twice over the last four games on the road and four times from their last seven.

They managed to turn things around and hold on against Toronto on Friday though, escaping with a 115-112 win and getting two days off to prepare for this one. Donovan Mitchell had another 30 point night while Joe Ingles was next best with 19 points, six assists and five rebounds off the bench. 

Utah is 6-2 so far this season when playing with a rest advantage while the Bulls are just 3-7 on the second nights of back to backs. Despite the Jazz being just 2-6 from their last eight road games, they have found some winning form and should be able to take care of a lacklustre and tired Chicago side. 

NBA Pick – Utah Jazz (-390)
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Toronto Raptors @ Houston Rockets – 9PM ET

The two longest losing streaks in the league face off tonight and only one will be able to stop their slide and return to the winners list as the Houston Rockets look to turn things around at the back end of this seven game home stand when hosting the Toronto Raptors tonight. Houston have now dropped 20 straight games and become the only team in league history to have both win 20 straight and lose 20 straight, while the Raptors have been decimated by COVID-19 related absences but are seemingly back to full strength despite losing their eight straight last night. 

In their 105-116 loss in Cleveland last night, Toronto were led by 23 points and seven assists from Fred VanVleet but the guard shot just 33.3% from the field. Both Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell added 18 points but the Raptors couldn’t stop Cleveland, allowing them to score with ease. 

These sides have met just once with the Raptors coming out on top by 11 points and they will want to sweep the season series whilst also snapping their own streak. The Rockets have now played two games with the trio of John Wall, Victor Oladipo and Christian Wood, however only managing a 13 point loss to the 12-30 Pistons and a two point loss to the Thunder, who were missing four key rotation players including SGA. 

The trio all scored over 20 points in last night’s 112-114 loss to the Thunder but ultimately they couldn’t piece it together down the stretch. The Rockets shot better from all three main areas whilst having the same amount of turnovers, but gave up a massive 19 offensive rebounds which allowed the Thunder to get up 12 more field goal attempts for the game. 

This is tough to pick as both sides are playing some awful basketball at the moment. Houston performs marginally better on the second night of back to backs, 2-4 compared to Toronto’s 1-7, but the Raptors are 9-15 on the road compared to the Rockets’ 5-15 at home. Toronto is the better all around team, despite Houston having three of the top five players in the game and you are only as good as your weakest link. Take the Raptors here. 

NBA Pick – Toronto Raptors (-370)
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Boston Celtics @ Memphis Grizzlies – 9PM ET

After dropping three straight games, the Boston Celtics bounced back last night with an impressive 112-96 win over Orlando but have to back it up again tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies. A side that has won two of their last three, most recently a 111-103 home win over the Warriors. 

Jonas Valanciunas led the way in that win, putting up 19 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks while Dillon Brooks also chipped in 19. Desmond Bane and Brandon Clarke combined for 31 points off the bench however the Grizzlies didn’t do much right besides picking up the win. They shot worse from three, made less free throws and had more turnovers but still managed to get the job done. 

They will have to perform much better in order to pick up the win here, especially since Boston beat them by 19 points in their only other matchup of the season. Jaylen Brown had a massive 42 points in that clash and had another 34 points on 10/18 from deep last night. All four other starters scored in double figures in the blowout win, with no one reaching 33 minutes and resting up for tonight.

Kemba Walker is still yet to play both legs of a back to back this season and played last night, so he would be expected to be out tonight. That doesn’t bode well for a Boston team that is just 8-14 on the road and is just 1-5 from their last six road games. 

NBA Pick – Memphis Grizzlies (-130)
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Indiana Pacers @ Milwaukee Bucks – 9PM ET

After a two game sweep in Miami over the weekend, the Indiana Pacers stay on the road to take on the Milwaukee Bucks tonight and things may be a lot tougher here. The Pacers needed overtime in last night’s 109-106 win, meaning they will have tired legs and now play a Milwaukee side that has won six straight games.

The surprising thing for the Bucks is that three of their last four have been on the road, a place they usually have struggled. Their most recent game though was the start of a five game home stand, beating the Spurs 120-113. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 26 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds while both Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday scored over 20 for the game. 

Seven different Milwaukee players scored in double figures and that is the sort of depth that will test an Indiana side that is on the second night of a back to back. However the Pacers are 5-3 when playing with no rest and their two wins in Miami will have to give them confidence heading into this one.

Indiana also had seven different players reach double figures however none reached 20 in their three points win over the third ranked defense in the league. Domantas Sabonis top scored for the Pacers with 17 points, adding 11 rebounds and three steals while Brogdon had a 12 point, 10 assists double double. 

It was a very impressive road sweep of the Heat in their two game mini series however Milwaukee are a whole different beast. Six straight wins looks like it will become seven tonight as the Bucks will be hitting shots and pushing the pace against Indiana here. 

*Update: Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to miss this clash. While that hampers Milwaukee’s chances, we still like them to win*

NBA Pick – Milwaukee Bucks (-180)
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Atlanta Hawks @ Los Angeles Clippers – 10PM ET

The Atlanta Hawks put their league leading eight game winning streak on the line when they play their second straight game in the Staples Center tonight, this time against the Los Angeles Clippers. 

LA have had some spotty form since the All Star break, going just 3-2 overall however they won both of their home games including their 125-98 beatdown of the Hornets on Saturday night. Paul George led seven different Clippers players in double figures with team highs of 21 points, 10 assists and five rebounds while Kawhi Leonard added 17 points, four assists and four steals. LA jumped to an early 37-21 lead after the first period and never looked back from there. 

This Clippers team poses the toughest test that Atlanta will have faced over their streak and the question will be whether the Hawks can keep up with the third best offense in the league. Atlanta has the ninth best offensive rating themselves, proving they are capable however Trae Young is just a game time decision after suffering a quad contusion against the Lakers on Saturday night.

John Collins had a massive night for the Hawks with a full line of 27 points, 16 rebounds, three steals and three blocks while Young added a 14 point, 11 assists double double and Danilo Gallinari had 18 off the bench. Despite these impressive individual performances, Atlanta struggled to put the Lakers away, despite them already missing Anthony Davis and LeBron James lasting just 10 minutes. 

The Hawks may have an eight game winning streak, but the teams they have beaten have all been weak or undermanned and this test may be too tough for them. If both George and Leonard show up for LA, the Clippers should be winning this comfortably. 

NBA Pick – Los Angeles Clippers (-250)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of Bet365.

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Tim is a keen follower of all American sports, in particular the NBA and NFL. He has followed both sports for over a decade and would happily sit down and watch every game, regardless of who is playing! No matter the sport, whether it be NFL and NBA or even MLB, NHL, UFC and all sports, Tim covers it from every angle, staying in the loop to bring you the most up-to-date information and the best picks and predictions on the market.