Free NBA Betting Picks – Today’s Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (3/18/22)

Welcome back, NBA betting enthusiasts! Wednesday was a 3-3 night with player props picking up the slack both the Hawks and Warriors let us down on spreads. Stephen Curry got hurt mid-game against the Celtics so that was a bit of a bad beat, but the Hawks just couldn’t pull away from Charlotte all night and Trae Young couldn’t hit a shot either. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t love betting Atlanta because they so often are dependent on Trae’s scoring but those last two big outings had me convinced he would keep up the hot shooting and I fell victim to some recency bias there. If you played the 5-team ML parlay, that hit so it was still a slightly profitable evening. No shortage of action tonight as there are twelve more games on the schedule after only one game last night.

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It’s a long season and I would strongly encourage everyone to bet responsibly and sustainably so you don’t have to sit out at any point if your discretionary funds dry up. Definitely follow me on Twitter @ThunderDanDFS as I toss out some picks and player props to the public when I get a chance. In this article, I’ll be providing my favorite picks against the spread, game totals, parlays, teasers, and player props for NBA games on Friday, March 18, 2022. I would highly encourage you to join our RotoBaller premium slack group by signing up for a premium pass!

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Thunder Dan’s NBA Best Bets for Today

  • Season Record 135-128-2
  • Against the Spread 68-60-2
  • Over / Under 28-40
  • Other / Props 39-29
  • Teasers / Parlays are not included in the overall record

I am NOT including any picks I give out on Twitter on days that this article doesn’t run, just as an FYI.

I am not tracking units with these picks. If you’re wondering how many units to bet on each pick, just assume I’m betting one unit on each spread, total, or prop and likely only a half unit at most on each parlay or teaser. Here is today’s model, which now includes my personal spread calculation. I highlighted spots in yellow where my odds are significantly different from Vegas and a few of those are going to end up as official picks, while the others you can bet at your own leisure.

One thing you may notice is that I added an AVG +/- column and an ATS margin column. These columns track the season-long trends of the margin by which teams are covering (or not covering) the spread as well as the margin by which they have been going over or under their totals.

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NBA Betting Picks Against the Spread

Denver Nuggets (-2.5) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (220.5 total)

It’s really a tough call here, but by now you know I like targeting games with close spreads much more often than games with wide spreads with NBA bets. There are quite a few projected blowouts tonight that I won’t touch. This game features one of my favorite players in Nikola Jokic who is likely the front-runner in the MVP race and my favorite team (in real life and in sports betting), the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs nearly pulled off an upset against the Sixers last time out but couldn’t hang on late. They’re without their starting center Jarrett Allen but rookie Evan Mobley has picked up much of the slack and as they have all season long, this team is grinding out games and finding ways to win or at least compete every night.

Despite the Nuggets being in better recent form (7-3 over their last ten), the Cavs are still better overall ATS this season and they’re at home tonight, too. If there is one team that has the length to combat Jokic, it’s probably Cleveland who brought in Moses Brown to help out with some backup center minutes in Allen’s absence. When Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. return to this team, the sky is the limit for Denver, but right now they are still relying mainly on Jokic and a bunch of role players. I view this game as a toss-up for the most part and in those situations, I am always looking to bet the underdog. It just happens to be a feisty young team at home and one that has treated us well this season in Cleveland. You know I hate picking my team, but here we go again – Cavs don’t just cover here, they win behind a huge night from All-Star point guard Darius Garland.

The Pick: Cavs ML (+125)

LA Clippers (+6) @ Utah Jazz (218 total)

Of all the games on the slate tonight, I didn’t think I would be picking this one until I dug in a little further this morning in my research. I haven’t paid all that much respect to the Clippers this season, but it’s kind of impressive that they are still .500 on the year despite not having Kawhi the entire year and having been without Paul George for the last two months. This team has a lot of good but not great players and it seems like they are often better than the sum of all their parts. Even having said that, there’s really no way I would be on them here if it weren’t for the Utah injury situation.

The Jazz are without their top scorer Donovan Mitchell tonight and their best shooter Bojan Bogdanovic. While I still really respect Utah and what they’ve done over the last few seasons, they simply haven’t been as dominant this year and they’ve been increasingly more reliant on Mitchell to save them with big outings. In fact, in the twelve games that D-Mitch has missed this season, they have a -1 net rating. So if they are nothing more than an average team without their star, then I’m not sure why Vegas has them as such strong favorites. Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley will pick up some of the slack, but this Utah team is vulnerable without Mitchell, and Bog’s three-point shooting is often taken for granted. I like the Clippers to cover here as they scrap every night and if you are feeling really bold, go ahead and put a little lunch money on the ML, too.

The Pick: Clippers +6 (-110)

NBA Totals Betting Picks

Dallas Mavericks (+2.5) @ Philadelphia 76ers (221.5 total)

At this point of the season, totals have become the bane of my existence. We have had some near misses lately, and I do feel confident that my recently recalibrated model is coming much closer on a nightly basis of late. So I am really only looking for some majority disparities between my model and Vegas totals here and we have one with this Mavs-Sixers game coming in over eight points under.

About five weeks ago, these two teams squared off and the Mavs pulled off a big win in Dallas against the Sixers, holding them to only 98 total points. Those were the pre-Harden Sixers so we have to take that with a grain of salt, of course, and Philly has been much better offensively since he arrived. But both these teams are really best suited for the half-court and their style of play and defensive prowess lends itself well to an under. Then take into account the fact that Joel Embiid is questionable and that helps the case for the under a bit, too, as they’d be much less efficient on offense if he sat.

I think Dallas can win or at least compete here and that this game stays close and low-scoring. Luka vs. Harden and Embiid should be a great battle and despite their offensive abilities, I still think this game brings more defense than offense and will be a battle! If Embiid gets ruled out, grab the Dallas ML, but for now I’m just on the under.

The Pick: UNDER 221.5 (good down to 220) (-110)

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NBA Prop Bet Picks

Check back around 3:00 PM for player props!

I usually post all my favorite props in our RotoBaller premium slack on a nightly basis – if you’re not a premium member for NBA content you can change that by signing up here!

We just added a new player prop tool that is available to our NBA premium and betting premium members, too!

NBA Teaser / Parlay Betting Picks

The Pick: MIA / BKN / BOS / TOR money line parlay (-130)

NBA Betting Picks: Team / Player Stats Matrix

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I use this chart when making player prop bets! I hope you find this information useful when making your bets as well.

Thanks for checking this new column out and check back every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the rest of the NBA season! Good luck and bet responsibly!

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