NBA

NBA Betting Picks for Thursday 3/14/24: The Bucks Could Roll to a Win Against 76ers

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8

The 82-game NBA regular season offers us a wide variety of betting options, including point spreads, moneylines, and totals. The Association features 1,230 regular season games, which can make sifting through the odds an overwhelming task.

However, various advanced statistics can help narrow the choices. numberFire's NBA power rankings and daily projections paired with advanced stats from the NBA can help give the inside track to winning big.

While utilizing some of the mentioned tools, which NBA odds from FanDuel Sportsbook look like the best bets today?

Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.

NBA Best Bets

Phoenix Suns at Boston Celtics

Under 226 (-112)

The under is 9-1 over the Phoenix Suns' last 10 games and 4-1-1 over the Boston Celtics' previous six. Phoenix has reached 120 points only once over their previous seven contests, and they total the fourth-fewest field goals attempted per game. Additionally, Boston has the 12th-slowest pace in the league, which provides further support for a low-scoring game.

I'm clearly banking on the under for tonight's matchup, but let's take a deeper dive into the stats.

The Celtics have notable injuries; Kristaps Porzingis will be absent, and Jaylen Brown is questionable. Brown ranks second on the team in usage rate (28.9%) while Porzingis is third in usage rate (25.3%). If Boston is without both players, this should make a clear impact on their scoring total.

The Suns could deal with some struggles as Boston features the second-best defensive rating in the NBA. The under just hit in a head-to-head matchup on March 9th. Phoenix scored only 107 points while shooting 29.0% from three. This cold streak from deep could continue with the Celtics holding the second-best mark in opponent three-point percentage.

Keeping Kevin Durant under wraps looks like Boston's biggest challenge for tonight. KD was as hot as a frying pan in the previous matchup, logging 45 points with a 69.2% field goal percentage (FG%). This task will likely fall on Jayson Tatum's shoulders, and he has a solid 111.2 defensive rating.

The under has been a consistent bet for the Suns, and facing one of the league's best defenses should only continue the trend.

Washington Wizards at Houston Rockets

Under 227.5 (-110)

The Washington Wizards have the worst record in the Association at 11-54, and with the regular season nearing its end, it's hard to deny that the Wizards could be entering tank territory. According to FanDuel's NBA Draft odds, Washington is tied as the favorite to claim the No. 1 pick for the 2024 NBA Draft (+550).

The Wizards have been pretty much incompetent in nearly any area of the court. From holding the fifth-worst offensive rating to touting the worst defense rating, Washington has a long list of issues. The offense had logged only 107.0 PPG over the last four games. The FG% has been solid over the stretch at 47.0%, but the Wiz have made only 30.8% of their threes during the four-game stretch.

The Houston Rockets could be the next team in line to beat up on Washington. While Houston has lacked consistency and is a longshot to make the Play-In Tournament at +1600, they still possess the league's seventh-best defense. The Rockets have the third-best mark in opponent three-point percentage and give up the ninth-fewest made threes. With that said, the Wizards' slide from three will likely continue.

Plus, Houston allows the fifth-fewest field goals made per contest and has the sixth-best mark in opponent effective field goal percentage (eFG%). The Wizards depend on living around the rim with the 3rd-most points in the paint, but the Rockets surrender the 10th-fewest points in the paint paired with the 9th-best mark in opponent two-point percentage.

I would be surprised if Washington manages to have a good scoring night. Houston isn't known for their offense either with the 11th-fewest PPG and 3rd-worst eFG%. The under looks like the best bet.

Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks

Bucks -7.5 (-110)

The Milwaukee Bucks are a notable home favorite on Thursday against the Philadelphia 76ers. Without Joel Embiid in the lineup, the Sixers continue to struggle with a 1-4 record over the last five games. Mentioning Embiid's knee injury has been like beating on a dead horse, but the trouble keeps ringing true as Philadelphia has been a shell of themselves without their superstar center.

Meanwhile, the Bucks have played well over the last 10 games with a 7-3 record outright and against the spread (ATS). Eight of the previous 10 contests were also on the road, making the feat even more impressive. Milwaukee returns home for five of the next six games. They are 25-7 at home and are 4-1 ATS over the last five games in the Fiserv Forum.

I'm willing to back the Bucks even if the line pushes 8.5; that's how confident I am in this pick. Philly's offensive struggles help ease the concerns of Milwaukee's biggest weakness. The Bucks have the 15th-worst defensive rating, but the 76ers have logged 90.5 PPG over the previous four contests with a 38.6 FG%.

Philadelphia gives up only 33.6 three-point shots per game (eighth-fewest), but opponents are averaging 37.0 attempts over the past four games. The Bucks, who launch the sixth-most threes, could thrive from deep with the Sixers' recent dip in defending the three-ball.

Mostly due to the 76ers' scoring struggles, I like Milwaukee to roll tonight.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.