Our free NBA picks are out for Thursday, March 24th, 2022! Make sure you check our NBA picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA picks for the five games on today’s schedule!
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Toronto Raptors – 7.30pm ET
We kick things off in the NBA for Thursday with a game between The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors. The Cavaliers have split their last six games, and last time out, they went down to the Lakers, 120-131. The Raptors have won six of their last eight games, and this takes their overall season record to 40-32.
The Raptors are opening up their four-game homestand against a crucial opponent that they are chasing to get out of the play-in tournament. That team is the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that has beaten the Raptors in all three meetings so far this season. As things sit going into Wednesday’s action, the Bulls are the 5 seed, one game ahead of the Cavs, who are the 6 seed and one game ahead of the Raptors. Cleveland was handed a loss their last time out by the Lakers in LeBron James’ return to his home state. LeBron’s 38-point triple-double overshadowed the great game by Cleveland’s Darius Garland, who had 29 points and 16 assists in the loss.
Toronto has also been off since Monday like the Cavs, and also took a loss that night. It was a 99-113 result at the hands of the Chicago Bulls, so now all focus is shifted towards getting back in the win column on Thursday. The Cleveland Cavaliers have dominated this matchup all season but things are a bit different now. Those games were with All-Star Jarrett Allen and back when the Cavs were playing elite defense. Now the Cavs have been struggling with defense and injuries, while the Raptors will be at home and desperate for this win. I like the Raptors in this triple-revenge spot to finally get a win over the Cavs and tighten up that Eastern Conference race.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors (-146)
One game separates the sixth place Cleveland Cavaliers and seventh place Toronto Raptors right now with a head-to-head match looming on Thursday evening. While the Cavaliers haven’t been as consistent in the second half of the season, they’re still a playoff team, which is a massive jump for a squad that was a high lottery pick last year. They’ve seen the emergence in young star Darius Garland who has recorded a double-double in eight of his last ten games. They’ll hope to hold on to the sixth-seed as they face a hungry Toronto Raptors squad.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) March 23, 2022
After an injury-filled start to the season, the Toronto Raptors have surged ahead to become a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference. When healthy, this team is incredibly deep, and have recently shown that in wins against the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, and Los Angeles Clippers. Unfortunately they fell on Monday, to a Chicago Bulls team that was desperate for a win. They’ll hope to bounce back at home against an up-and-coming Cavaliers squad that has Garland and Rookie of the Year front-runner Evan Mobley. Right now, I trust the Raptors consistency a bit more than the Cavaliers, so I’ll pick them to win at home in a close one.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors -3 (-110)
These are two teams that have had roller coaster seasons, but are now trending in different directions. The Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the best, most surprising teams in the East all year long, despite numerous injuries that most people thought would derail their season. However, that hasn’t been the case, though they have slowed down quite a bit, which should be concerning to most Cavs fans.
In this one, they take on a Toronto Raptors team that has been all over the place this season, but finally seems as if they may have find a rhythm at the right time, as they’ve won six of their last eight, and with everyone finally getting healthier, they should continue this hot basketball down the stretch. With the Raptors trending in the better direction, and this one being north of the border, I think the safe play is to take Toronto in a close one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors -3 (-110)
Indiana Pacers @ Memphis Grizzlies – 8pm ET
The Indiana Pacers are on the road this Thursday night when they travel to FedEx Forum and go toe-to-toe with the Memphis Grizzlies. The winning streak continues on for the Pacers, who last night extended their streak out to three in a row, with a narrow 110-109 win over the Kings. The Grizzlies are also playing on two nights in a row, and in their last game they beat the Nets, 132-120.
The Indiana Pacers were dealt a heartbreaking loss at home on Wednesday at the hands of the Sacramento Kings 109-108. Damian Jones got a last-second tip in to give Sacramento the win and deal Indiana their 48th loss on the season. Now the Pacers will take on the Grizzlies who got a huge win over the Brooklyn Nets at home without Ja Morant. Desmond Bane led the way in scoring with 23 and Tyus Jones got a double-double stepping in for Ja with 16 points and 10 assists.
Both teams were in action on Wednesday so it’ll be a back-to-back for both sides meaning there’s no rest advantage here. I’d keep an eye on the injury report for this game, because if Ja Morant is ruled active which I presume he will be, I’m all over the Grizzlies with full confidence. Without Ja, I am still on Memphis who is 15-2 on the year without their star point guard and should have no issues with this rebuilding Pacers squad.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -12.5 (-110)
The Memphis Grizzlies once again showed they don’t necessarily need Ja Morant to win big games. The Grizzlies shot lights out and picked up a big win against a Brooklyn Nets squad that had both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. That takes the Grizzlies to 15-2 on the season without Morant, as guys like Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Dillon Brooks have shown they can step up. We’ll see if Morant returns on Thursday against a Pacers team that’s looking for better days ahead.
from us to you. goodnight gang 😴 pic.twitter.com/TESVVy8Cp3
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) March 24, 2022
Indiana is 25-48 on the year, and while their play has been a major disappointment, they do have some silver linings on their current roster. Point guard Tyrese Hailburton is continuing his evolution into a star and Buddy Hield has been helping add points for a Pacers offense that has looked pretty impressive lately. Unfortunately, their defense has been abysmal and things won’t get any easier for them as they face a Grizzlies team that’s looking like legitimate title contenders. The Pacers have been known to pull off a couple of shockers this season, but that doesn’t give me enough confidence to pick them over the Grizzlies.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -12.5 (-110)
The Indiana Pacers are finally playing better basketball, which has to be a welcome sign for Pacers’ fans, as they had high hopes for the season, and watched those get dashed almost immediately due to horrible defense. While this improvement, and brief winning streak doesn’t do much for this season, it should give them a bit of optimism heading into next year, which is always a good thing.
The problem is they now go on the road to take on a Memphis Grizzlies team that has been one of the best in the league all year long, and just continues to roll right along, as they’re currently the two-seed out West. Even without Ja Morant in the lineup, they’ve continued to dominate teams, including taking out Brooklyn last night, in a game that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant both played extremely well in. With the way this Grizzlies team is playing, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, I don’t think Indiana is going to be able to get enough stops to hang around, so give me Memphis by double-digits at home in this one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -12.5 (-110)
Washington Wizards @ Milwaukee Bucks – 8pm ET
The Washington Wizards are in the middle of a three game road trip when they travel to Milwaukee and face off against the Bucks. The Wizards have lost seven of their last eight games, with their only win in this span coming against the Lakers, 127-117. The Bucks, on the other hand, have won nine of their last 11 games, and this takes their overall season record to 45-27.
The Milwaukee Bucks got another win over the Chicago Bulls at home on Tuesday by the score of 126-98. Giannis Antetokounmpo came into the game with five-straight 30 point performances but fell short of that mark only getting 27 on 12-17 shooting. Jrue Holiday chipped in 12 points in the fourth quarter to improve Milwaukee’s record over the Bulls this year to 3-0. There was no Khris Middleton for that game but he hopes to be back for this meeting with the Wizards who continued their struggles with a 97-115 loss to the Houston Rockets.
Washington has now lost seven of their last eight games overall and are now tasked with winning their first game on the road since February 17. Good luck. The Milwaukee Bucks look locked in coming down the stretch with only 10 games left and are fully focused on defending their championship from last season. A mental lapse at home against this Wizards team is the last thing we will get from the Bucks here and we can trust them to cover this large spread.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -12 (-110)
With so much attention on the likes of the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers lately, it feels like the defending champs have had the benefit of avoiding media pressure, so they can just play their game. Right now the Bucks are in second place in the Eastern Conference and just pulled off a huge 126-99 win against the Chicago Bulls despite not having Khris Middleton. The Bucks will look to continue their good play, with their sights set on first place in the East.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 24, 2022
What was once a promising season for the Washington Wizards has taken a turn for the worse as the team is now in 12th place and have lost eight of their last ten. This included a blowout loss on Monday to the lowly Houston Rockets, who outscored Washington 14-354 in the fourth. Now the Wizards must face a championship contender in the Bucks, in Milwaukee on Thursday. In the NBA upsets happen all the time, but I have a hunch the Bucks will make quick work of Washington in this one.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -12 (-110)
The free fall continues for the Washington Wizards, who, after a good start to the year, utterly collapsed after about a month. It hasn’t gotten any better, as they’ve now lost seven of their last eight, and now that we’re nearing the end of the season, it seems more like they’re interested in tanking and just getting to the finish line instead of winning games. That mindset doesn’t bode well for them here, as they take on the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks have been a bit more lackadaisical than many expected to see this year, but they’re still the two seed in the East right now despite that. Add in the fact that Giannis continues to play great ball, Jrue Holiday is playing better than he did early in the year, and they should get Khris Middleton back in this one, and I think this could get out of hand in a hurry. Give me Milwaukee in a big way.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -12 (-110)
Chicago Bulls @ New Orleans Pelicans – 8pm ET
The road trip continues on for the Chicago Bulls, who will travel to New Orleans and take on the Pelicans. The Bulls have lost four of their last five games, and last time out, they went down to the Bucks, 98-126. The Pelicans have won three of their last five games, and this takes their record on the season to 30-42.
The Chicago Bulls lost on Tuesday to the Milwaukee Bucks to move to 0-3 against them on the year and it brought a very odd stat to light. The Bulls are now 0-16 against the top 3 teams in each conference which is obviously very disappointing for a team that was once seen as a true contender in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls have now lost four of their last five and are trying to avoid slipping down into a play-in spot. Their opponent for Thursday, the Pelicans, are trying to hold on to their play-in spot and will kick off this stretch of three home games in four days on Thursday.
On Monday the Pels lost a tight road game in Charlotte to the Hornets 103-106, despite Jonas Valanchiunas going off for 24 points and 18 rebounds. CJ McCollum added 27 points of his own in the loss and New Orleans is hoping the video of Zion dunking is a sign that help is on the way because they really need it. The Bulls’ struggles have come against the top teams in the league but we can always count on them to take care of business against the lower level teams in the league. I mean how else are they still a top 5 seed right? These are the exact spots we want to back the Bulls and fade them against the better teams so give me Chicago on the road.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (-112)
The New Orleans Pelicans are looking to hold on to a play-in spot as they sit at 31-42, tied with the Los Angeles Lakers in record and holding a head-to-head advantage with them for seeding. But with San Antonio making a push, the Pelicans can’t let their guard down, and with Zion Williamson definitely not coming back this year, the team will depend on the likes of CJ McCollum, Jonas Valanciunas, and hopefully Brandon Ingram, who is recovering from injury. On Thursday, they’ll face a Bulls team that’s getting back to full strength, but is still having a hard time meshing.
“We’re going through it right now, battle wounds, battle scars, taking them all on the chin right now; going to show us what we’re made of.” -DeMar
📰 | @SamSmithHoops game recap:
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 23, 2022
After an impressive 113-99 win over the surging Toronto Raptors on Monday, everything looked like it was getting back to normal in “The Windy City.” The Bulls had a chance to build on that one night later as they faced a Milwaukee Bucks that was without Khris Middleton. Unfortunately, they couldn’t handle the back-to-back dropping the game 98-126. Now they’ll look to bounce back against a Pelicans team that will likely be without Ingram but still has plenty of firepower in McCollum, Valanciunas, and rookie Herb Jones. Still, with a couple extra days rest I like the Bulls to go in and get a victory on the road. They’re getting key defenders such as Alex Caruso and Patrick Williams back in the swing and they always have DeMar DeRozan and/or Zach LaVine ready to bring the offense. I’ll pick this unpredictable Bulls squad to score a big win on the road.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (-112)
The Chicago Bulls are the very definition of a pretender. They’ve spent much of the year as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, but have struggled as of late, and more importantly, they’re horrible against the league’s best teams, as they’re 0-16 against the top 3 from each conference. This means that they play reasonably well against average teams, but just don’t have enough to hang around with the league’s best, which makes me question how real their chances at a postseason run are. Now they get a much improved New Orleans Pelicans team at home.
The good news for Chicago fans is that New Orleans isn’t one of the league’s best teams, which generally means they play well against them. The bad news is that the Pels are finally improving, in part due to them acquiring CJ McCollum at the trade deadline. This move gave them a perimeter piece to add to the paint play of Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Ingram, and I think that newfound balance has played a major role. I’m going to take New Orleans at home in this one, due to the fact that they’ve been playing better ball, but I do think it comes in close fashion.
Noah’s NBA Pick: New Orleans Pelicans (-104)
Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets – 9pm ET
The final game in the NBA for Thursday will see the Phoenix Suns travel to Denver and hit the court against the Nuggets. The Suns are playing on back-to-back nights, and last time out they got the win over the Timberwolves, 125-116. The Nuggets have won three of their last five games, and last time out they did get the win over the Clippers, 127-115.
The Phoenix Suns will be on the back-to-back after taking down the Minnesota Timberwolves 125-116 on Wednesday night. DeAndre Ayton had a career-high 35 points in the win and Devin Booker scored 22 of his 28 in the second half to lead the rally. Now the Suns will take their league-best record to Denver to take on a well rested Nuggets team that beat the Clippers 127-115 on Tuesday night.
Nikola Jokic had 30 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way for Denver’s 43rd victory of the year. The Nuggets are opposing the Suns on Thursday but were their biggest cheerleaders on Wednesday when they were playing the Wolves who are battling with Denver for the 6 seed. The Suns were able to knock Minnesota down in the standings with the loss and they will deal the same fate to Denver by beating them on their home court and improving on their 59-14 record.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (+130)
The Phoenix Suns continued to amaze last night, as they used a big second half to beat the hungry Minnesota Timberwolves 125-116. With Chris Paul out, this team has seen Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton continue to evolve into one of the best young tandems in the NBA. With additional help from Cam Payne and Mikal Bridges, the Suns just keep finding ways to win as they look to avenge their loss in last season’s NBA Finals. On Thursday they face a team that’s been a bit of a dark horse all season in the Denver Nuggets.
Let’s hear it, Nuggets Nation. What’s our favorite nickname for Nikola?👇
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) March 24, 2022
Sure, the Nuggets have reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, but they’ve been without Jamal Murray all year and Michael Porter Jr. for most of it. The Nuggets have depended heavily on the likes of Jeff Green, Monte Morris, and more night in and night out to assist Jokic and lead the team to the playoffs. The Nuggets currently sit in sixth and have shown resilience all season. Even after they had two tough losses to the Cavaliers and Celtics, the team bounced back nicely on Tuesday beating the Los Angeles Clippers by double digits. While the Nuggets will give a Suns team playing back to backs a tough time, it’s hard for me to pick against the Suns right now. I’ll pick them to get their seventh win in a row.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (+130)
Nothing seems to be capable of slowing down the Phoenix Suns this year. They’ve been the best team in basketball all year long, and that comes despite injury issues, including the current one that has kept Chris Paul sidelined for a lengthy stretch. This is going to be their second game of a back-to-back, as they cruised past Minnesota last night, but that hasn’t slowed them down at all this season, and I don’t think it does now. Denver is a virtual one-man show at this point. MVP candidate Nikola Jokic has led the team all year long, playing phenomenal basketball.
But he’s gotten limited help along the way, partially due to both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. missing the entire year with injury issues. If they could get those guys back, this would be an extremely dangerous Nuggets team, but right now I think their outlook is a bit bleak in regards to chances at a postseason run. That’s why I’m taking Phoenix on the road in this one, as they’re depth and balance should be enough to get them past Nikola Jokic and his band of guys. Jokic has led admirably, which is why Denver is still hanging onto the sixth seed out west, but I don’t think he can’t do enough against the best team in the NBA to get the win, even at home in the Mile High City.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (+130)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.