Our free NBA picks are out for Wednesday, March 2nd, 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!
Charlotte Hornets @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 7pm ET
The Charlotte Hornets wrap up their short two game road trip on Wednesday night when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Hornets have lost five of their last six, including their last two in a row against the Pistons and Bucks. The Cavaliers have lost four of their last five, and this takes their season record to 36-25.
After a hot start to the season, the Cleveland Cavaliers are slowly falling further and further down the Eastern Conference standings. They now sit at 5th place entering Tuesday’s action with the Celtics and Raptors hot on their heels. The main reason for the recent slide is all of the injuries they’ve had to endure but there’s a chance they will have All-Star point guard Darius Garland back for this game against Charlotte. He will be very needed against this high-powered Charlotte backcourt of Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball. Charlotte is looking to get out of a slump themselves, going 2-10 in the month of February. Their last game was the worst loss during that stretch, falling to the Bucks 106-130 on Monday. LaMelo Ball had a solid night scoring, dropping 24 points on 50% shooting.
The Cavaliers are a very strong home team and can adapt to any style of play depending on the opponent. For example, when they played Minnesota on Monday, who is a fast-paced offensive minded team, they were able to get up and down with them and produce 122 points. The game before they grinded out a 92-86 win over Washington. Charlotte will be very similar to Minnesota and try to push the pace and put up points, and with the possible return of Darius Garland, I love the Cavs to be able to get enough stops when it matters to beat this Hornets team that isn’t that good.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-152)
On Monday night, the Charlotte Hornets continued their stretch of awful defense, as they were dominated by the Milwaukee Bucks 106-130. The Hornets had five players score in double digits, including 24 from LaMelo Ball. Unfortunately the team was outscored 44-76 in the second and third quarters, which is just unacceptable if they want to have any chance at making a playoff run. They’re currently ranked ninth in the East, but have the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards breathing down their neck. They’ll hope for a better result on Wednesday as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) March 2, 2022
The Cavs have been one of the NBA’s biggest surprises this season, currently sitting at 36-25—ranked fifth in the Eastern Conference. But lately, the Cavaliers have run into some tough injuries as they’ve been without All-Star guard Darius Garland, and recent acquisition Caris LeVert. Garland is listed as questionable for this matchup, but the team will still be without LeVert and veteran guard Rajon Rondo. Their backcourt has been hit with the injury bug all season, but the Cavs have constantly had other players step up. But now it’s finally taking a toll on them: they’ve lost two of three in an ever-competitive Eastern Conference. They’ll hope for Garland’s return on Wednesday and for the Hornets’ defense to continue to struggle. This one is very dependent on Garland’s return, but I’ll still go with the Cavs to take this one at home.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-152)
The Cleveland Cavaliers are starting to look like the team that we all expected at the beginning of the season, and not the one that was hanging around in the third spot of the Eastern Conference standings for much of the year. They’re slowly beginning to fade, but I don’t actually think this is because they aren’t that good, I believe it’s more that injuries are finally beginning to get to them. They’ve been without Colin Sexton for much of the year, and Rajon Rondo, Darius Garland, and Caris LaVert have all missed time recently as well. These injuries have decimated their lineup, but as they slowly get healthy again, I think we could see them make another run.
Now they get a Charlotte Hornets team who can be extremely dangerous, especially if they could figure out how to play defense. Led by LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier, this is an offense that is one of the best in the league, but they simply refuse to play on the other side of the ball. They’re fighting for a playoff spot, largely because of the defensive issues, as without them they would be solidly in. For this one, despite the struggles, I’m going to take Charlotte on the road, as I think that high powered offense is enough to outscore the Cavs, at least while Cleveland is still depleted. The Hornets squeak out a close one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Charlotte Hornets +3.5 (-110)
New York Knicks @ Philadelphia 76ers – 7.30pm ET
We have an Atlantic Division rivalry take place on Wednesday night, when we see the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers go toe-to-toe. The Knicks are currently on a five game losing streak, which includes a 109-125 loss to the 76ers in their last game. The 76ers have won five of their last six games, including their last three in a row, and will be hoping for back-to-back wins against the Knicks in this game.
This is the second game of a home-and-home series, as these two teams just met on Sunday with the Sixers pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 125-109 victory. That game was the second for Philadelphia in the James Harden era and they are winning by an average of 23.5 points in those two games. Now with Harden coming home for his first game in front of the Philly fans we can expect an electric atmosphere on Wednesday night.
The Knicks had their best chance at beating the Sixers on their home court, but now that it’s in Philly it’s going to be a tall task. James Harden had a triple-double and Joel Embiid got to the line 27 times (he fouled out both NYK centers) en route to his 37 point game. The Knicks will continue to have no answers for those two and the Sixers will cruise.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -10.5 (-112)
The Philadelphia 76ers are on cloud nine now that James Harden has joined their squad. In the two games he’s played with the 76ers, the team has completely destroyed both of their opponents, as they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 133-102, with Harden scoring 27 points and MVP candidate Joel Embiid scoring 34. They followed that performance up with a 125-109 win over the lowly New York Knicks. In that one, Harden scored a 29-point triple-double and Embiid had 37 points himself. On Wednesday they get their second straight game against the Knicks, this time at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
the grind never stops. pic.twitter.com/s1OsHuCVkE
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 2, 2022
The New York Knicks have improved a bit on defense recently; it’s something they dominated last year on their way to the playoffs. But through the first couple of months this season, they seemed to move away from it in an attempt to be more balanced. Players who performed well last year, haven’t had the same success this season and even though they’ve had some injuries, they, for the most part, look uninspired and outplayed. They’ll have to face the 76ers for the second time in three days—with this one being in Philadelphia. I don’t see the Knicks having much of a chance here, especially against this Sixers team that’s looking like a whole new beast, with “The Beard” at point guard.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -10.5 (-112)
The New York Knicks have fallen apart following a solid start to the season, as they simply can’t get anything going. The talent is extremely limited at this point, as apart from Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, there’s not much else the roster has to offer. They have been playing a little better as of late, including in their last game, which was also against this Philadelphia 76ers team. Despite playing better in that one, they did come up short, which with this matchup now set to be in Philly instead of MSG, I think is a likely result once again.
Philly comes in as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, and it looks like they’re only getting better, as so far at least, the trade for James Harden has been paying off in a major way. I was questionable about whether or not Harden and Joel Embiid would be able to mesh immediately, but if their first few games together are any indication, it’s going extremely well. Embiid is still playing like an MVP candidate, and with Harden now being another legitimate offensive threat, he’s able to be more relaxed and at ease, which I think has helped his play even more. For this one, I like the Sixers to knock off the Knicks once again, as I just don’t think New York has enough talent to hang around.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -10.5 (-112)
Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets – 8pm ET
The Utah Jazz are on the road for this Wednesday night clash when they travel to Toyota Center and take on the Houston Rockets. The Jazz have won eight of their last nine games, and this helps to lift their overall season record to 38-22. The Rockets are playing on back-to-back nights, and last time out they lost to the Clippers, 100-113.
The Houston Rockets will be right back in action on Wednesday for the second leg of a back-to-back after losing to the Clippers 100-113 on Tuesday night. They held a one-point lead at halftime but the game got away from them in the third quarter when they were outscored 25-40. Their starting guards once again let them down in the shooting department, combining for a 13-37 performance (35%). Utah is feeling good and rested up for this one after being off since Sunday, when they took down the Suns in Phoenix 118-114.
Donovan Mitchell had a solid game with 26 points and 5 assists to lead the way. They now sit with a record of 38-22 which is good for 4th place in the Western Conference. This Houston team is not good under normal circumstances and now with them having tired legs on the back-to-back, it’s an even tougher situation. Utah has their eyes set on catching the Memphis Grizzlies for third place and this is the perfect game to gain some ground in the race. This large spread doesn’t scare me off and Utah should have no problem covering.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -12.5 (-110)
After starting 2022 with injuries to their two best players (Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert), the Utah Jazz are back near full strength and playing like the team that was the one seed in the West last season. They’ve gone 8-2 in their last ten, including two straight wins against playoff teams in the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns. Mitchell has been spectacular in both, scoring 33 and 26 respectively. They’ll look to make it three straight wins coming out of the All-Star break as they take on the Houston Rockets.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) March 2, 2022
Let’s not beat around the bush: Houston is a bad basketball team. They’re 15-46 and have arguably the worst defense in basketball. But that doesn’t mean they don’t still have some great rising talent. Youngsters Jalen Green and Jae’Sean Tate are showing plenty of promise as this team definitely has some offensive upside. But with that defense being as bad as it is, and the Jazz bringing in one of the league’s top offenses, I can’t see this one going favorably for the Rockets. Especially when they just played a game 24 hours prior (they lost 100-113 to the Clippers).
Michael’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -12.5 (-110)
The Utah Jazz are going to roll in this one. They’re one of the best teams in the league, despite struggling for an extended stretch roughly a month ago. Much of the struggles during that time was due to the fact that they were without Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, who were both dealing with separate injuries. Once they managed to get both of those guys back, they’ve been virtually on cruise control, and I actually like their chances to catch the Memphis Grizzlies from behind, at least, if not make a play for the 2-seed, as the Golden State Warriors continue to struggle.
On the other side, the Houston Rockets just aren’t on the level they need to be yet. They’ve shown flashes of what could be in the future, as with guys like Jalen Green, Christian Wood, and Kevin Porter Jr., they absolutely have a bright young core, but right now they’re just too young and inexperienced, especially for a matchup like this one, where they’re taking on one of the best teams in the NBA. Give me Rudy Gobert and company in this one, as even with this one in Houston, the Rockets just don’t have the experience to take down the Jazz.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -12.5 (-110)
Miami Heat @ Milwaukee Bucks – 8pm ET
The Miami Heat kick off a short two game road trip tonight when they travel to Milwaukee and take on the Bucks, who themselves wrap up a six game homestand. The Heat have won nine of their last 10 games, including last time out when they beat the Bulls 122-99. The Bucks have gone 2-3 in this homestand so far, and will be desperate to get the win here to get to the even .500.
We get an interesting Eastern Conference battle on Wednesday night when the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks square off. The Bucks sit as the defending Eastern Conference champions and the Heat are looking to dethrone them, as they are currently the 1 seed in the Eastern Conference standings. The Heat are looking to stay hot, winning nine of their last ten games, with their last win being a 112-99 win over the Bulls on Monday. Milwaukee is also coming off a win against an East foe, beating the Hornets 130-106 that same night. The Bucks snapped a two-game losing streak and pushed their record on the season to 37-25.
There’s been a lot of storylines going on around with all these new faces in new places around the league, and it has the Bucks flying under the radar a bit. If they want to remind everyone how dangerous they are, a statement win over this Heat team would do just that. But Miami has been too good to bet against right now and I don’t think the Bucks should be getting this many points against them. I don’t know if the Heat will pull out the win but they will keep it within this spread.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat +4.5 (-110)
This one should be a blast as the Miami Heat play the Milwaukee Bucks in an Eastern Conference showdown. After the Milwaukee Bucks suffered a frustrating defeat to a Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons-less Brooklyn Nets team on Saturday, they answered right back on Monday, destroying the Charlotte Hornets 130-106. The entire starting five scored in the double digits, with Giannis Antetokoumpo hitting 26 points and grabbing 16 rebounds against a poor Hornets defense. The Bucks will hope that team shows up—as opposed to the one that played Brooklyn—on Wednesday against the Eastern Conference’s top team, the Miami Heat.
Bobby always brings the spice. pic.twitter.com/LOq2yHddCY
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 1, 2022
Miami has come out of the All-Star break ready to claim the East’s one seed as their own. They’ve won four straight (all three since the All-Star break), including a massive win against number two seed Chicago Bulls, beating them 112-99. Even more impressive is that Miami did it without Kyle Lowry. It was no problem, as guards Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent scored 20 points apiece to put the Heat two games ahead of the Bulls. Now they’ll have another massive test as the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks play host on Wednesday. These two have gone back and forth this season, with the Heat winning the first matchup 137-95; then the Bucks answered at home winning 124-102 on December 4th; and then just four nights later the Heat answered with 113-104 win in South Beach. Home court has definitely played an advantage in this series, but with the Heat starting to separate from the competition, will that continue on Wednesday? I think the Bucks squeeze out a win here and make this season series a 2-2 tie.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-190)
This should end up being the best matchup of the night, as we get the best team in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat, taking on the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat have, for the most part, been absolutely masterful all year long, as with guys like Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo, they’ve been rolling through virtually everyone they come across, at least when they’re fully healthy. They have had some health problems along the way, which could be of some concern, but the fact that they have managed to hang on to the 1-seed shows that they’re very much a legitimate contender this year.
The Milwaukee Bucks, on the other hand, have been somewhat disappointing this year. They did win the title last year, and as they brought back much of the same roster, I think there’s some feeling of “we can turn it on when we need to” from them, but with Giannis being the other guy on the roster that is continuing to bring it night in and night out, I’m not sure if they’re actually going to be able to flip the switch as fast as they need to. That has me questioning whether they’re actually a contender in the East right now, which is why I’m going to take Miami in this one, to go on the road, travel north and sneak out of Milwaukee with an extremely tight win.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat +4.5 (-110)
Portland Trail Blazers @ Phoenix Suns – 10pm ET
The final game on Wednesday night in the NBA will see the Portland Trail Blazers hit the road and take on the Phoenix Suns. The Trail Blazers have lost their last two games in a row, which takes their season record to 25-36. The Suns have also lost their last two games in a row, to the Pelicans and Jazz, which is only the third time that has happened this season.
After a four-game winning streak heading into the All-Star break, it’s been a struggle for Portland losing two straight against the Warriors and Nuggets at home. In both of the losses, they didn’t crack 100 points and couldn’t keep the game within 30 points. Now they’re heading off to Phoenix for the first of four games away from home to start the month of March. Phoenix has a losing streak of its own going after dropping games to both New Orleans and Utah on their home court. The elevated ball handling role for Devin Booker hasn’t affected his scoring negatively, as he’s still averaging over 28 a game in the three games since CP3 went down.
The Phoenix Suns definitely fell a few tiers when Chris Paul went down, but they are still much better than this Portland team. Devin Booker will be able to lead the offense and get what he wants at will, and the loss of Nurkic will continue to be huge against DeAndre Ayton down low. Anfernee Simons is the only true threat on offense for Portland and that won’t be nearly enough to keep this one close.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns -13 (-110)
Despite Portland losing Damian Lillard and Jusef Nurkic to injuries; and trading off CJ McCollum and Norman Powell at the deadline, the team has somehow continued to stay alive in the play-in race. Young guard Anfernee Simons and recently acquired Josh Hart have brought a scoring surge to the team as they’ve won four of their last six. That being said, they’ve come back down to earth over the last two games, losing by 30+ to the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets. Things don’t get any easier for them on Wednesday as they face the NBA’s top team, the Phoenix Suns.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 1, 2022
That being said, if there were a time to beat Phoenix, it could be now. The Suns are without star point guard Chris Paul, who has been sidelined with a hand injury. In their last two games, his absence has been blinding as they’ve fallen to the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz. Still, with all their firepower including Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Mikal Bridges, I just can’t see this team falling to a Blazers squad, that despite some recent life, I just don’t see sustaining their recent success. The loss of Nurkic might be the last straw, as his absence has been a big reason for the Blazers two-game losing streak. Expect the likes of Ayton to feast without him there, and for the Suns to cruise even without CP3.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns -13 (-110)
How serious are the Phoenix Suns the rest of the way through the regular season? To me, that’s the only real question surrounding this team right now, as they managed to jump out to a massive lead in the Western Conference, and now it looks like they’ve just put everything on cruise control, which I think is a big reason why they’ve dropped two straight coming into this one. They have one of the best, most balanced rosters in the league, led by Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and DeAndre Ayton, and their role players and bench are absolutely one of the best second units in the NBA, as well. Paul will continue to be out for this one, but they do still have everyone else available, which is sure to leave Portland with their hands full.
The Trail Blazers come into this one having lost two straight, as well, though it’s more expected for them. They’re a team that has faced obstacles all year long, including losing Damian Lillard to injury, and trading CJ McCollum to New Orleans, and that’s caused a lot of the struggles that they’ve faced so far this season. That said, despite injuries, and other self-inflicted obstacles, they’re actually playing decent basketball, and have managed to stay afloat in a loaded Western Conference, at least in terms of a play-in tournament appearance. Unfortunately, they aren’t playing a mediocre team in this one, they’re taking on the best team in the league, and one that’s coming in on a two-game losing streak. With Phoenix hosting this one, I think they roll with ease, so give me the Suns to take care of business in a big way, even without CP3 in the lineup.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns -13 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.