NBA Picks Today – Free Expert Picks (3/18/2021)

Thursday’s six-game NBA schedule has no shortage of great matchups on it. The national-TV doubleheader is on NBA TV, with the Utah Jazz at Washington Wizards & Charlotte Hornets at Los Angeles Lakers. Unfortunately, I will not be covering either of those games. But do not worry, as the value lies elsewhere.

There was no picks article yesterday, but I did go 3-1 on Tuesday night to bring my season-long record to 54-30-2 ATS (64.3%). Here are four more free NBA picks to get you started tonight:



Oklahoma City Thunder at Atlanta Hawks (-7) – Total: 226

OKC: 4 games in 6 days
ATL: 4 games in 6 days

I’m not going to mess with history and trends in this matchup- it would be foolish to do so. In each of the last seven meetings between the Hawks and Thunder, the total has gone over.

On a side note, the Hawks have won six straight games- all since the calendar flipped to March. They will undoubtedly want to keep that streak alive, which will eventually lead to more urgency on the offensive end.

Betting Pick: Over 226 points


Orlando Magic at New York Knicks (-5.5) – Total: 206.5

ORL: 3 days rest, front-end b2b (vs. BKN tomorrow)
NYK: 3 games in 4 days, 4 games in 6 days

While the Knicks are 6-1 ATS as home favorites this season, I can see a letdown coming tonight. And the letdown may not even mean a loss; I just don’t feel like New York will have a ton of energy. In fact, this team is just coming off a back-to-back set against two division rivals in the Nets and 76ers. After playing teams like that earlier in the week, these less-notable teams like the Magic can sneak up on the expected favorites.

Betting Pick: Magic (+5.5)


Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns (-10) – Total: 230.5

MIN: 4 games in 6 days, front-end b2b (@PHX tomorrow)
PHX: 2 days rest, front-end b2b (vs. MIN tomorrow)

This will be a tough spot for the T-Wolves tonight against one of the better teams in the NBA. In addition to the difficult matchup, this will be Minnesota’s fourth game in six days. If that wasn’t enough, the team will need to keep enough in the tank for tomorrow’s game- also against the Suns.

With a point guard like Chris Paul, you can bet that he’ll want to set the tone in this back-to-back set. Look for Phoenix to make a statement in this game and easily cover the double-digit spread.

Betting Pick: Suns (-10)


New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers (-1) – Total: 239.5

NOR: normal rest
POR: 4 games in 6 days, front-end b2b (vs. DAL tomorrow)

I know, I’m scared to death of taking the under in this spot too. But it makes sense, considering this will be the second time these teams have seen each other in a span of three days.

The last four meetings between the teams have gone over the total. However, it’s time for a change. And we might get one, as the total dropped 1.5 points since the open.

Betting Pick: Under 239.5 points


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Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer