No better way to round out the weekend than nine winners handpicked for you, courtesy of our free NBA picks.
Can the Thunder bounce back from a disappointing home loss last night? Can the Sixers survive without Joel Embiid? Will the Rockets finally snap their losing streak after 15 straight games?
We have all the answers for you below in SportsTips’ NBA picks.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Oklahoma City Thunder – 2PM ET
One night after a big home loss to the Knicks, the Oklahoma City Thunder will look to bounce back when hosting the Memphis Grizzlies tonight. While the Thunder were no match for the Knicks, they will be looking to hand the Grizzlies a second straight loss here.
Friday night saw Memphis go down to the wire with Denver, but some questionable calls down the stretch prevented them from getting over the line. Ja Morant managed just 16 points on 5/16 shooting while Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke top scored with 20 a piece.
Memphis shot 46% from the field, 50% from three and 100% from the line but their 16 turnovers cost them a win. They will be looking to do a better job of keeping control of the ball against a Thunder side that committed 18 turnovers last night against New York.
Last 15 games
1. Miami Heat
2. Golden State Warriors
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. Los Angeles Lakers@SignsBroward
— Five Reasons Sports Network (@5ReasonsSports) March 13, 2021
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed last night and is just questionable for tonight. Without him, OKC may struggle to piece together a performance good enough to overcome Memphis here. Al Horford top scored but managed just 16 points and the team combined for just 25% from deep.
The Thunder are just 3-5 on the second night of back to backs this season and Memphis is rocking a defense that is ranked eighth in the league. They will be looking to dial in against OKC’s offense that comes in last so far this season, especially if Shai doesn’t play.
NBA Pick – Memphis Grizzlies (-240)
NBA Spread – Memphis Grizzlies -5.5 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Under 220.5 (-110)
Utah Jazz @ Golden State Warriors – 4PM ET
A clash between two Western Conference heavyweights sees the Utah Jazz look to make it two from two after the All Star break and hand the Golden State Warriors a fifth straight loss.
Despite some stellar play from Steph Curry, Golden State have had back to back 20+ point losses, in Phoenix and most recently, in LA against the Clippers. The Warriors had seven different players score in double figures but allowed LA to score 130 points in the blowout loss.
Utah on the other hand had a nice easing game back from the break, hosting a depleted Houston side, winning 114-99. Donovan Mitchell led six players in double figures with 28 points, adding eight assists and seven rebounds as well. Mike Conley had a great game, coming off his first All Star appearance, putting in 20 points and his play against Curry will be vital for the Jazz, who are clear favorites here.
The one redeeming factor for Golden State is that their four game losing streak has all been on the road and they get back home for this one. They are 12-6 at home compared to just 7-13 on the road. Utah on the other hand are an incredible 16-2 at home while being 12-7 when travelling.
Golden State even has the fourth ranked defense this season, however Utah are second in defense and third in offense and are the clear best team in the league this season. There are some worries with Utah given they have lost two straight and three of their last four on the road, but we like them to make a statement here.
San Antonio Spurs @ Philadelphia 76ers – 6:30PM ET
The Philadelphia 76ers are rolling right now, going 2/2 since the break and winning by a combined 48 points. Things get tougher here against the San Antonio Spurs as they will now be without MVP frontrunner, Joel Embiid.
The Sixers center has missed seven games so far this season and Philly have gone just 2-5 in those games. The positive is Ben Simmons, who missed the All Star game as well as Philly’s last two, is expected to return for this one.
Last time out, Philly picked up a road win in Washington, coming out on top 127-101. Embiid had 23 points in just 20 minutes, but Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz stepped up off the bench with 18 points each.
The Spurs will be looking for their second straight win in this one, coming off a 104-77 win over the Magic. They did all this without DeMar DeRozan, but given he will be out again tonight, against the best team in the Eastern Conference, on the road, things will be a lot tougher. Rudy Gay stepped up most in his absence, scoring 19 points off the bench, but things won’t be as easy against Philly and their third ranked defense.
NBA Pick – Philadelphia 76ers (-130)
NBA Spread – Philadelphia 76ers -1.5 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Under 225.5 (-110)
Miami Heat @ Orlando Magic – 7PM ET
The third and final matchup between the two Florida rivals sees the Miami Heat travel up-state to take on the Orlando Magic tonight. Each team has won their respective home game so far, with the Magic hosting the rubber tonight. The pair actually played on Thursday with Miami winning 111-103, despite missing Bam Adebayo.
Jimmy Butler led the way with 27 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and three steals while Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Herro both stepped up, the former with 20 points and seven rebounds and the latter with 17 points and five assists off the bench. They then backed it up with a 101-90 win in Chicago where Butler and Goran Dragic both reached 25 points and combined for 13 assists.
HERE COME THE HEAT 👀
Miami has won 9 of their last 10 and are in 4th place in the East 🔥 pic.twitter.com/mkkN0tzMvS
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 13, 2021
On the other side of the ball, you really have to feel for Nikola Vucevic. He put up 24 points and 17 rebounds against the Heat before a 26 point and nine rebound outing in their 77-104 loss in San Antonio. The Magic have been struggling with injuries this season, missing multiple starters and key players, but they seem to be stuck in mediocrity.
Miami’s two wins has resulted in them climbing above 0.500 and into fourth in the East, something they won’t want to give up. At the other end of the standings, Orlando is just second last, being just 8-12 at home. The Heat are back on track and with Butler leading the way, Orlando still being depleted and the form with the road team, we are liking Miami to get the job done.
NBA Pick – Miami Heat (-270)
NBA Spread – Orlando Magic +6.5 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Under 212.5 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Atlanta Hawks – 7:30PM ET
The Atlanta Hawks are 4-0 since firing Lloyd Pierce, winning both games since the All Star break, including a 121-106 performance against Sacramento last night. They now host a Cleveland Cavaliers side that has dropped two straight, including a 82-116 blowout loss in New Orleans on Friday night.
Collin Sexton led the team with 19 points but it wasn’t enough for the Cavs. Kevin Love returned to action for just his third game of the season while Larry Nance Jr played for the first time in over a month. Love managed just four points in only 10 minutes while Nance managed 29 minutes with just 11 points and four rebounds.
Atlanta will be looking to take advantage of an underdone Cleveland side, especially after their performance last night. Trae Young top scored for the Hawks with 28 points and nine assists while Clint Capela dominated inside with 24 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks.
These sides met two weeks ago and Cleveland escaped with a one point home win, but the Hawks have been rolling since then and should be able to take care of business here.
Boston Celtics @ Houston Rockets – 8PM ET
The Boston Celtics had their four game winning streak snapped in Brooklyn on Thursday night but will be looking to get back on track against the struggling Houston Rockets tonight. After losing their 15th straight game, in Utah on Friday night, alarm bells are ringing in Houston and they look to be beginning a fire sale for their experienced veterans.
PJ Tucker has already been pulled from games despite being healthy and now Eric Gordon, another lucrative trade piece, has been sidelined with a groin injury. The one positive is that Victor Oladipo, who is also circulating in trade talks, will return for this clash, but with no John Wall and no Christian Wood, the Rockets will still be struggling.
Kevin Porter Jr has been a revelation for the side, averaging 20 points, nine assists and two steals across his two games for Houston. His play still hasn’t helped though, with the Rockets losing those two games by a combined 35 points. Boston will look to capitalize on this, with a fully healthy roster and coming off a disappointing road loss.
Despite 31 points from Jaysom Tatum and 19 points off the bench from Marcus Smart in his return to action after almost six weeks on the sidelines. However Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker combined for just 24 points on 10/35 shooting and they gave up 121 points to the Nets.
Boston were outplayed by one of the most in form sides in the league right now, but now they play the worst team in the competition and we see them bouncing back, and in convincing fashion too.
NBA Pick – Boston Celtics (-650)
NBA Spread – Boston Celtics -10.5 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Over 223 (-110)
Portland Trail Blazers @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 8PM ET
A rematch of last night’s action sees the Portland Trail Blazers look for the two game road sweep of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite gaining a nine point lead after the first quarter and leading by as many as 13, the Blazers were outscored by 10 in the third quarter and entered the final frame trailing by one.
Behind nine points from Carmelo Anthony in the last quarter, Portland managed to pull ahead and end up with the 125-121 win. Anthony managed to lead the Blazers in scoring with 26 points off the bench while Damian Lillard and Enes Kanter both had 20+ point double doubles.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) March 14, 2021
Portland managed to snag the win despite a massive game from Karl-Anthony Towns. The Minnesota big man ended up with 34 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks but he didn’t have enough help to get over the line. Rookie Anthony Edwards has become the team’s second best player in the absence of D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley, but he isn’t polished enough for his play to help translate into wins.
Given these teams played in a nailbiter last night, there will be some tired bodies taking the floor for this one. Both Lillard and Towns played 35 minutes and that may be a hindrance to one over the other. Minnesota are just 2-6 when playing with no rest while Portland are 4-3 in the same situation. On top of that, we are comparing the eighth best offense to the 26th best offense and Minnesota might not be able to keep up again tonight.
NBA Pick – Portland Trail Blazers (-210)
NBA Spread – Minnesota Timberwolves +5 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Over 233.5 (-110)
Toronto Raptors @ Chicago Bulls – 9PM ET
A pair of teams that have started the second half of their seasons 0-2 will look to turn things around tonight when the Chicago Bulls host the Toronto Raptors. Chicago has two losses by a combined 33 points while Toronto’s two have been by just 11.
After a one point loss to the Hawks, Toronto played the Hornets last night and were blown out of the water. The Raptors allowed Charlotte to tie an NBA record and break a franchise record in making 11 first quarter three pointers. That first quarter put the Raptors in a 20 point first quarter hole and they were never able to catch back up.
Kyle Lowry was Toronto’s standout player with 19 points, eight assists and six rebounds but they will need a much better full team performance on the road, against Zach LaVine and the Bulls tonight.
The Bulls suffered an 11 point home loss to the Heat on Friday despite 30 points, six rebounds and six assists from LaVine and 20 points plus six rebounds from Lauri Markkanen in his second game back in the lineup.
Chicago is just 7-13 at home this season as well as having worse offensive and defensive ratings than the Raptors, however Toronto are still missing Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and others due to the health and safety protocols, so we like Chicago to stop their skid here tonight.
Los Angeles Clippers @ New Orleans Pelicans – 9PM ET
The New Orleans Pelicans have had a whirlwind first week back from the All Star game. First a 30 point home loss to the worst team in the league, Minnesota, before a 34 point win over the Cavs on Friday night. Will tonight be another yo-yo game when they host the Los Angeles Clippers, coming off a pretty big win of their own.
Kawhi Leonard had an efficient 28 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals while Serge Ibaka had 16 points and 14 rebounds in the 130-104 win over the Warriors on Thursday. The Clippers managed to shoot over 80% from the line as well as 44% from deep in the massive winning performance.
They will now look to pick up another win in their big to stay in touch with both the Lakers and the Suns in the race to hunt down the Jazz in the West with a win over New Orleans. While the Pelicans are now three games behind Memphis in the final play-in spot and need to keep winning in the second half of the season for a chance at the playoffs.
Brandon Ingram scored 28 points in just 25 minutes of action in the 116-82 blow out over the Cavs while Zion Williamson had 23 points in less than 18 minutes, getting some big rest ahead of a marquee matchup tonight.
Despite just a 16-22 record, the Pelicans boast the seventh best offense in the league, with their 28th ranked defense letting them down. That defense may be their downfall yet again, as they host the second best offense across the association and may not be able to keep up.
NBA Pick – Los Angeles Clippers (-230)
NBA Spread – Los Angeles Clippers -5.5 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Over 236.5 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of Bet365.