NBA Picks Today – Free Expert Picks (3/16/2021)

Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer

Tuesday’s seven-game NBA slate has no shortage of intriguing matchups. The national-TV doubleheader will be handled by TNT, featuring the Utah Jazz at Boston Celtics & New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers.

It yet was another 3-1 night, bringing my season-long record to an incredible 51-29-2 ATS (63.8%). Here are four free NBA picks to increase your bankroll:

Utah Jazz (-4) at Boston Celtics – Total: 228

UTA: normal rest
BOS: normal rest, front-end b2b (@CLE tomorrow)

I’m well aware that the Jazz are the best team in the NBA, but they do have some flaws on the road. It’s not to say they’re necessarily bad on the road- but they are human. The Celtics, on the other hand, have been much better at home than on the road, where they have been downright awful. Boston holds a 11-6 ATS record at home, in addition to being 3-1 ATS as a home underdog- that only misnomer coming against Brooklyn in the second game of the season.

Betting Pick: Celtics (+4)

New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers (-7) – Total: 217.5

NYK: back-end b2b (@BKN yesterday), 3 games in 4 days, 4 games in 6 days
PHI: 4 games in 6 days, front-end b2b (vs. MIL tomorrow)

Both teams are in extremely difficult parts of their respective schedules, so I would expect this game to be a clunker. The Knicks just played a grueling game in Brooklyn last night are on a 3-in-4/4-in-6 string of games at the moment. Meanwhile, the 76ers will be playing their fourth game in six nights, with a matchup against the Bucks tomorrow night looming.

At the end of the day, these are two tired teams- one of them with more to play for tomorrow night. Look for this game to be a slow-tempo defensive battle that bores us to death. Three of the last four 76ers-Knicks games have gone under the total.

Betting Pick: Under 217.5 points

Oklahoma City Thunder at Chicago Bulls (-5.5) – Total: 224.5

OKC: 3 games in 4 days, 4 games in 6 days
CHI: 4 games in 6 days, front-end b2b (vs. SA tomorrow)

You may not have realized it but the Bulls-Thunder matchup has been quite the attraction in recent memory. Each of the last five meetings between the teams have gone over the total, and I’ll make the pick for this to be a half-dozen in a row.

In a roundabout way to get to the total, it should be noted that both teams have played in well tonight’s current situation. OKC plays well on the road (13-6 ATS) while Chicago has done well against teams outside of the Eastern Conference, also at 13-6 ATS. We should see a competitive game, which could get us over the 225-total via late free-throws and increased 3-point attempts.

Betting Pick: Over 224.5 points

New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers (-2) – Total: 240.5

NOR: 4 games in 6 days
POR: 3 games in 4 days, 4 games in 6 days

The Pelicans have won and covered the spread in four of their last five meetings against the Trail Blazers. This could wind up being more of the same, considering Portland’s less-than-stellar 7-11 ATS record at home and 5-8 ATS record as home favorites.

New Orleans looks strong over the last two games, with each win coming by 20+ points. This all coming after getting blown out by 30 points against Minnesota in the first game after the All-Star break. Look for the Pelicans to have received the message of Stan Van Gundy to get it in gear as they near the final stretch of the season.

Betting Pick: Pelicans (+2)