Free NBA Picks Today for Thursday, March 31st, 2022

Free NBA Picks Today for Thursday, March 31st, 2022
Thu 31st March 2022

Our free NBA picks are out for Thursday, March 31st, 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!

Philadelphia 76ers @ Detroit Pistons – 7pm ET

The first of five games in the NBA tonight will see the Philadelphia 76ers travel to Little Caesars Arena and face off against the Detroit Pistons. The 76ers will be looking to get back on track against one of the worst teams in the NBA tonight, as they have dropped their last two games, against the Suns and Bucks. The Pistons are also on a losing streak, after dropping their last three games in a row, and this takes their overall season record to 20-56.

Jeffery Thomas

The Philadelphia 76ers are back on the road in Detroit Thursday after a quick one-game stop at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. The result wasn’t in their favor, losing 116-118 when Giannis blocked Joel Embiid’s putback attempt as time expired. James Harden had 32 points and Embiid went for 29 but of course it wasn’t enough, and they’ll now look ahead to a much easier matchup in the Detroit Pistons. This Pistons team is just 20-56 on the year, but they’ve shown signs down the stretch that can give their fans a lot of hope for the future. Marvin Bagley III was brought in at the trade deadline after a disappointing tenure with the Sacramento Kings, but he has shown new life as a Piston. 

Bagley is averaging 21 a game in the last three and is seeming to gel really well with Cade Cunningham, who may be on his way to winning rookie of the year. The number one overall pick had 34 points and 6 assists in their last game, which was a 123-130 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. The Pistons are young and scrappy but are a few years away from competing with the top teams like Philadelphia. It’s possible this one stays close for a half or so but ultimately the talent will win out and Joel Embiid will be too much to handle for the undersized bigs in Detroit. Give me the Sixers here to cover on the road. 

Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -10.5 (-110)

Michael Lantz

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia 76ers fell in a battle of Eastern Conference juggernauts as they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 116-118. Giannis Antetokounmpo denied Joel Embiid at the rim to prove he’s still the best big in basketball. Despite the rough loss, the Sixers still feel they have a shot at the one seed in the Eastern Conference. That being said, it would be wise of them not to overlook their next opponent.

Yes, the Detroit Pistons are 14th in the Eastern Conference, but they have shown some major potential thanks to the play of their young talent like Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey. They’ve been able to keep it close with top teams, showing they’ll be a threat in the near future. Still I expect a Philly team that’s thinking championship or bust to bounce back nicely against a young Pistons team. I’ll go with the Sixers to win big.

Michael’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -10.5 (-110)

Noah Dunlap

This one has the real possibility of getting out of hand in a hurry. The Philadelphia 76ers have fallen just a bit over the last couple of games, as they haven’t been playing with quite the same energy as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing them play with, but they still find themselves in fourth in the East, tied with Boston. Philly has lost two straight, but getting the chance to take on Detroit in this one should be able to put an end to that streak, as the Pistons enter as one of the worst teams in the NBA. 

Detroit has been awful all year long, and while they’ve managed to be more competitive more often throughout the latter parts of the season, it’s obvious that they’re still a long way off in terms of being a team that can compete on any grand scale or even trying to be a postseason team. They’re currently a team that should be more worried about trying to get the number one pick again in this year’s draft, not winning basketball games, so with nothing to play for, and Philadelphia fighting for seeding, I think the Sixers take care of business with ease in this one, getting themselves back on track. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -10.5 (-110)

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Atlanta Hawks – 7.30pm ET

The Cleveland Cavaliers hit the road for two games, and in their first game they will face off against the Atlanta Hawks. Both teams are playing on back-to-back nights, with the Cavaliers going down to the Mavericks, 112-120, and the Hawks beating the Thunder, 136-118.

Jeffery Thomas

Both teams were in action on Wednesday and will be on the back-to-back for their meeting in Atlanta on Thursday. The Cleveland Cavaliers were at home playing the Dallas Mavericks, and losing 112-120. Darius Garland had another double-double, recording 25 points and 10 assists while shooting a perfect 4-4 from three. It was their first full game without star rookie Evan Mobley, and Moses Brown had to step in in his absence. Brown got the start and had a decent game with 12 points and 9 rebounds. The Hawks meanwhile, were in Oklahoma City beating the Thunder 136-118. It was a homecoming game for Trae, who grew up in Oklahoma and he sure did put on a show! 

Young had 41 points and 8 assists in only three quarters of action and is looking as good as ever. It’ll be interesting to see how far his dazzling performances can take Atlanta this year, as he was able to get them all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals last year. This is a battle of two teams that will most likely be in the play-in tournament in a couple weeks. The Cavs won the first meeting of the season but then dropped the next two and I think it’ll become three. The Hawks are going to be at home and are the healthier of the two teams, so depth will not be an issue. The Cavs are still trying to work Caris LeVert in and I just don’t see the cohesiveness in their offense that will be needed to keep up against this explosive Hawks offense. 

Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks (-210)

Michael Lantz

While the Atlanta Hawks have had a fairly disappointing season after making it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021, they still are in position for the play-in games. Luckily, they’re once again showing a little late season glory as their offense has come alive, giving the team a boost to win three straight games. They’ll look to make it four as they go up against their potential opponent in the play-in games, the seventh-seed Cleveland Cavaliers.

Despite Cleveland’s break out season, the team has run a bit out of steam lately, losing four of five, with their one win being against the lowly Orlando Magic. Still their exciting young team led by Darius Garland, will try to give all they have the rest of the regular season and postseason, knowing they have big things ahead. Still, as they continue to hobble into the playoffs, the Hawks seem to be soaring. I’ll pick them to take this one at home.

Michael’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks (-210)

Noah Dunlap

This Eastern Conference matchup gives us a look at two teams that are almost certainly going to be in the East play-in tournament at the end of the regular season. The Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves squarely in seventh, after spending much of the year in the top half of the conference, though injuries have played a major role for them this year. They’re still a dangerous team if they can find a way to get hot again, but I’m scared that their depleted roster has caused fatigue amongst the healthy guys, which is a bad sign for their chances in the postseason. 

In this one, they take on an Atlanta Hawks team that finds themselves in somewhat of a similar situation. The Hawks made a magical run to the Eastern Conference Finals last year, and with many of the same pieces, they were hopeful to do the same this year. However, they’ve been brought back down to earth, as they’re only 10th in the East, largely due to Trae Young’s supporting cast not giving him as much help this year as they managed to give him through last year’s postseason. If they can get there, Young has the potential to take over games with his scoring ability, but the struggle is going to be for them to get out of the East’s play-in. While I’m hesitant about either team’s chances at a playoff run, I’m going to take Atlanta at home in this one, as I like Trae to score 40+, leading the Hawks to a much needed win. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks -5 (-110)

Milwaukee Bucks @ Brooklyn Nets – 7.30pm ET

The Milwaukee Bucks hit the road on Thursday night and travel to Brooklyn to take on the Nets, in a game that promises to be one of the most interesting on tonight’s slate. The Bucks have won five of their last seven games, and this takes their record on the season to 47-28. The Nets have won four of their last six games, and last time out they proved too good for the Pistons, 130-123. 

Jeffery Thomas

Tuesday we get a battle of two of the top contenders in many people’s eyes for the NBA Championship when the Brooklyn Nets host the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s definitely a battle of two of the top teams in the East despite what the standings say and both teams were able to escape with narrow victories on Tuesday night. Milwaukee was in Philadelphia, where they took down the Sixers, 118-116, thanks to a last second block by Giannis Antetokounmpo who added 40 points and 14 rebounds. The Nets were at home hosting the Detroit Pistons who gave them a pretty good game. The Nets pulled away late for a 130-123 win on the back of 41 points from Kevin Durant. 

Defense was obviously an issue that will need to be fixed for this game, as allowing 123 to a Detroit team that is near the bottom of the league in offense is just unacceptable. This game will be so much fun, especially given the fact that all players for both teams should be active. That is, of course with the exception of Ben Simmons who has yet to suit up for his team. These two teams love to play at a fast-pace and put up a lot of points. Both teams also struggle defensively so I’m expecting a shootout here and I think the total is a better pick in this game rather than a side in what is a toss up game. Look to take a lot of props in this high-scoring affair and give me the over of 239 which we should clear with ease.

Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Over 239 (-110)

Michael Lantz

The Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets have become a must-see matchup since last season’s playoffs. In a matchup between arguably the league’s two best players, Giannis Antetokounmpo heads to Barclays Center to take on Kevin Durant and the Nets. After dismantling the Heat over the weekend, the Nets fell to the Hornets in Kyrie Irving’s first home game of the year. Luckily they bounced back against the Detroit Pistons. Now, they look for a big win in a playoff sized matchup against the Bucks.

The Bucks are just coming off a matchup of this intensity as they outlasted the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday 118-116. Giannis proved he might once again be the MVP as he racked up 40 points and 14 rebounds. Even with the recent addition of Andre Drummond, the Nets lack strength inside. They’ll rely on their scoring talent to win this one, but that can be a lot to ask against a Bucks team that when healthy, is so well-rounded. I’ll pick the Bucks to steal one on the road and keep that one-seed in their sights. 

Michael’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (+100)

Noah Dunlap

This game gives us a matchup of two of the most talented teams in the Eastern Conference, though they’re two teams that have somewhat disappointing seasons, at least based on expectations. The good news for both is that they’re playing better over the past two to three weeks, which is a good sign as we near the end of the regular season. The Milwaukee Bucks are the defending champions, and with virtually the same roster as last year, it was almost assumed that they were going to easily be the best team in the conference. While they may still be the best team, they’ve played lackadaisical at times this season, and with more injuries throughout the year than they would’ve liked, they’re record doesn’t reflect how talented they are, despite still being second in the East. 

Brooklyn comes in in a similar situation, as with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and initially James Harden on the same roster, it was assumed that they would be dominant in the conference. However, with Kyrie not being allowed to play at home for much of the year, Kevin Durant missing 20+ games, and then trading James Harden at the trade deadline, this team hasn’t been anywhere close to what we expected. They are finally playing better though, as KD is back, Kyrie is now eligible to play at home, and even though they sit at eighth in the East, they’re not a team you want to be up against in the playoffs. For this one game though, despite being in Brooklyn, I like Giannis to have a monster night, as he tries to capture the MVP award, and I like the Bucks to get a tight win at Barclays. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (+100)

Los Angeles Clippers @ Chicago Bulls – 8pm ET

The Los Angeles Clippers hit the road for two games, and the first stop is Chicago to take on the Bulls. The Clippers finally put an end to their losing streak last time out, where they ended up losing five games in a row, as they beat the Jazz, 121-115. The Bulls have lost six of their last nine games, and this takes their record on the season to 44-32.

Jeffery Thomas

The Los Angeles Clippers got a huge boost to their lineup on Tuesday night when Paul George returned from a 3-month absence. PG dropped 34 in his first game back, drilling 6 three-pointers and rallying the Clips back from a 25 point deficit to snap their five-game losing streak. Now Los Angeles will get Wednesday off before traveling up to Chicago for the second and last matchup with the Bulls of the season. The first meeting was way back on November 14 and the Bulls came away with the 100-90 win. 

Paul George was active for that one and had 27 points and 11 rebounds but DeMar DeRozan and Zach Lavine’s combined 64 points were just too much. Now with the season wrapping up, both teams are gearing up for postseason runs and will tussle in hopes of gaining some momentum heading in. I really like the fight I saw from the Clippers on Tuesday in their comeback over the Jazz and I think they will be able to carry some of that over into this game. The Bulls have not been all that good lately, losing six of nine games and are very primed to lose this game. I think the 3.5 points is too much respect for the Bulls and I’ll gladly take the underdog Clippers who I know will fight until the end. 

Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers +3.5 (-110)

Michael Lantz

It doesn’t seem that long ago that the Chicago Bulls were briefly the one-seed in the Eastern Conference. Yes, they’ve experienced a lot of injuries this season, but as of recently they’re almost back at full strength and still looking a bit off. With the postseason right around the corner, they’ll hope to figure it out quickly, as they’re slipping in the Eastern Conference standings. They’ll have a tough task Thursday as they face the Los Angeles Clippers. Just as the Clippers were looking like they were running on empty to finish the season — they were given a shot of life. 

Paul George returned from injury in the nick of time, as this team that has worked so hard to support its injured players was finally feeling the burden. George picked up right where he left off, scoring 34 points as the Clippers beat a very good Utah Jazz team. Now they’ll set their sights on this Bulls team that’s been underachieving lately. While the Clippers and George will definitely cause the Bulls some issues, I think Chicago finds a way to grab a must needed win at home. Despite a tough loss to the Knicks on Monday, the Bulls’ defense has looked better in two of their other three games. The offense has rarely been an issue; it feels like this team is close to having both sides of the ball click. 

Michael’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (-156)

Noah Dunlap

The Los Angeles Clippers have to be proud of their effort in the second half of their last outing, as they erased a 20+ point deficit against Utah to snap a five game losing streak. This is a good sign for the Clips, especially if they can use that as momentum, as they’re going to find themselves having to fight out of the play-in tournament in order to make the first round. The other good news for Los Angeles is that they finally got Paul George back after missing nearly the entire year, which should give them an extra boost. 

They travel to the Windy City to take on a struggling Chicago Bulls team in this one, which should give them at least a decent chance to add to the win on Tuesday night. The Bulls spent much of the year as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, but at roughly the three quarter mark of the season, they stumbled a bit into free fall mode, and while they’re hanging on, they haven’t been able to right the ship. They’re only 3-6 in their last nine, and I’m afraid that probably moves to 3-7, as I’m taking the Clips on the road here. I think there’s a chance they look to make a brief run with PG13 back in the lineup. Take the Clippers in a close one. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers (+132)

Los Angeles Lakers @ Utah Jazz – 10pm ET

The last game on the slate for Thursday in the NBA will see the Los Angeles Lakers go toe-to-toe with the Utah Jazz. Both teams coming into this game on losing streaks, so who’s streak will come to an end tonight? The Lakers have lost their last three games in a row, while the Jazz are currently on a five game losing streak.

Jeffery Thomas

Life is hard for the Los Angeles Lakers right now who came into the season as one of the favorites to win the NBA championship. As things sit right now, they are not slated to be a part of the postseason after this current three-game losing streak. The injuries of LeBron James and Anthony Davis couldn’t have come at a worse time and they will again be out for this game against the Jazz on Thursday. The Jazz haven’t been too good themselves recently and just had an epic collapse in Los Angeles on Tuesday, losing a 25-point lead to the Clippers. They’ll be happy to be out of that arena and back at home against the lesser of the Los Angeles teams. 

The Lakers have won both matchups so far this season but circumstances are much different this time around. This Lakers team has been outright bad all year and now are without their two best players. Russell Westbrook isn’t the same guy he was years ago that could lead his teams to a win in these spots in the past, so I don’t see a way this game is close. The Jazz being back at home is the icing on the cake here too, as this atmosphere can really rally their guys and I see a lot of large scoring runs against this porous Lakers defense. Give me the Jazz here to cover easily, you won’t have to sweat this one.  

Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -12 (-110)

Michael Lantz

The Lakers disastrous season continues to reach new highs. They’ve been bounced from a play-in position and now LeBron James is feeling the effects of carrying this team, as his ankle has flared up in recent games. He’ll be out for this matchup; so the team will continue without him and Anthony Davis. There’s still a little hope the Lakers can make the postseason, so they’ll look for a win against a team they’ve played quite well this season in the Utah Jazz — but this time they won’t have their two stars.

Speaking of disastrous, the Utah Jazz might not be there yet, but they’re definitely trending in that direction. This team continues to not look ready to compete with Western Conference’s best despite having so much star power. Even worse, they seem to crumble every time a key player gets injured. They’re pretty terrible in adversity, which has led them from at one point being a one-seed possibility, to a team that has lost five straight and now sits in sixth in the conference. Still, they get a break on Thursday as they play a hobbled Lakers team that can’t play defense if their lives depended on it. I expect the Jazz to win this one with ease to break their skid and hopefully jumpstart something positive heading into the postseason. 

Michael’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -12 (-110)

Noah Dunlap

Utah Jazz. All day long. I know Utah has been in free fall, dropping five straight, including blowing a 20+ point lead against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, but even with that, they’re still light years ahead of this Lakers team, especially with it already being reported that LeBron is out yet again for the Lakers. Despite the struggles, Utah is still one of the more talented rosters in the league, and with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert leading the way, this should be a game that can get them back on track.

Los Angeles has been atrocious all year long, and it’s simply getting worse. They started as a team that some looked at as a borderline title contender, but instead they find themselves on the outside of not only the playoffs, but even the play-in tournament. They’re currently in 11th in the West, and with LeBron still out, I’m not liking their chances to even be able to climb up to 10th, and I’m certainly not optimistic that they’re able to get a win in this one. Give me Utah at home here, with ease, over a Lakers team that looks like they’ve already quit on the season. 

Noah’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -12 (-110)

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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.

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