NBA Betting Picks for Thursday 3/21/24: Orlando Looks to Cast Magic at Home

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8
NBA Betting Picks for Thursday 3/21/24: Orlando Looks to Cast Magic at Home

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

New Orleans Pelicans at Orlando Magic

Magic +2.5 (-112)

The Orlando Magic have had their way with head-to-head matchups against the New Orleans Pelicans, winning 8 of the last 10 games while going 8-2 against the spread (ATS).

The Magic are also on a four-game winning streak while covering four consecutive games. Orlando has a tough test on Thursday, though; New Orleans has won four straight games on the road while going 3-0-1 ATS.

Still, the Magic as a home underdog feels a little surprising. Orlando has been a different team in the Kia Center with a 24-9 record compared to a 17-19 road record. The defense has been locking up during the win streak, holding opponents to only 99.3 points per game (PPG).

The Pelicans come off an underwhelming 104-point performance. Another low-scoring game could be imminent. Each team sits in the bottom six for possessions on the season. The Magic take the fewest field goals per game while New Orleans attempts the 10th-fewest.

The 207 total once again points to a low-scoring contest. I believe this plays into Orlando's hands. The Magic love to play slow with the fifth-slowest tempo in the league.

The Pels typically lean on their paint attack (10th-most points in the paint), but Orlando surrenders the 10th-fewest points around the rim.

Opponents are also averaging only 44.7 points in the paint per game over the Magic's previous three (47.8 for the season).

In a low-scoring contest, Orlando has the defense to come up with a cover.

Sacramento Kings at Washington Wizards

Under 237.5 (-110)

The Sacramento Kings total the eighth-most PPG, and the Washington Wizards have the worst defensive rating in the Association. This certainly plays a big part in the 237 total. However, I have a hard time trusting the Wizards' offense.

Washington touts the sixth-worst offensive rating and has totaled only 105.3 PPG over their last three games. The Wizards have shot only 43.9% from the field during the stretch.

The Kings won't strike fear into opposing offenses with a mediocre mark in defensive rating (15th-best), but they do defend the rim quite well. Why does this matter for Thursday's collision? Washington has few strengths, one of which is averaging the third-most points in the paint.

If there's one area to trust for Sacramento's defense, it's defending the rim. They surrender the 15th-fewest points in the paint and have the 14th-best mark in opponent two-point percentage. The Kings have even upped it another notch, holding teams to only 43.6 points in the paint over the last five contests (49.7 for the season).

Ultimately, the Wizards' offense could stumble due to Sacramento's strong interior defense. I'm siding with the under.

Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns

Over 225.5 (-110)

Two top-11 scoring units are colliding for the Atlanta Hawks against the Phoenix Suns. Each team is among the top 11 offensive ratings. Additionally, Atlanta has the third-worst defensive rating.

On the surface, the over looks like an easy bet. Let's take a deep dive into the stats.

The Hawks have totaled only 107.5 PPG over the last two games, but Phoenix's perimeter defense could be Atlanta's path to soaring on offense. The Hawks total the seventh-most three-point shots while the Suns allow the ninth-most three-point attempts per contest. Opponents have also made 47.4% of their three-pointers in Phoenix's last two games.

As previously mentioned, Atlanta's defense is weak, so scoring shouldn't be too difficult for Phoenix. This is a very efficient offense that ranks within the top nine of effective field goal percentage (eFG%), two-point percentage, and three-point percentage.

This could essentially be pick your poison for the Hawks, who sit among the bottom four in opponent eFG%, two-point percentage, and three percentage.

I like each offense's matchup; give me the over.

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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.