NBA picks: 4-leg parlay (+458) for Thursday night
Mike Ortiz Jr. reveals his NBA predictions, picks and parlays for Thursday night, with four best bets.
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This is the best time of the NBA season as we approach the final games of the regular season and everyone is making their final playoff pushes. With every basket and every play mattering, it’s crunch time all the time. We have a small slate ahead of us on Thursday night and, while all the favorites are appealing, let’s see if they’re the right choices for our parlay.
Best NBA Parlay Today - Thursday, March 23: 4-Leg Parlay Picks (+485)
New York Knicks vs Orlando Magic Prediction and Pick
Taking teams on a back-to-back is never my first choice, but the New York Knicks have had the Orlando Magic’s number this season, defeating the Magic in both of their matchups. After losing to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, the Knicks are clinging onto the fifth seed and Thursday’s game against the Magic becomes crucial as they don’t want to fall into the play-in-tournament.
Despite their 30-43 record, the Magic are a youthful team that’s showing promise and they're only going to get better. Unfortunately for the Magic, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is getting his team ready for the playoffs after they only had two losses in February.
While March has been rockier for the Knicks, the main reason for a rough month was the absence of guard Jalen Brunson. With Brunson back in the lineup and Julius Randle playing at an MVP level, expect this Knicks team to be a threat come playoff time. The Knicks win an important game on the road Thursday night.
Leg-1 Parlay Pick: New York Knicks ML (-140)
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Brooklyn Nets Prediction and PickDespite losing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving before the trade deadline, the Brooklyn Nets have not only tread water but have maintained a playoff spot, holding onto the sixth seed as they enter Thursday’s matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
These two teams just met on Tuesday when Cleveland both opened and closed the game poorly. The Cavaliers prevailed 115-109, but the Nets almost stole it. Forward Mikal Bridges, who’s been the heartbeat of this Nets team, shot poorly, going nine of 21 from the field, and will be ready to go for their rematch with Cleveland.
While the Nets story has been great after losing Durant and Irving, this Cavaliers team is one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and are deeper, bigger and more talented. The Cavaliers open and close this game out differently on Thursday night, extending their win streak to three games.
Leg-2 Parlay Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers ML (-170)
Charlotte Hornets vs New Orleans Pelicans Prediction and Pick
With star guard LaMelo Ball out for the remainder of the season and the Hornets mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, this Charlotte team is focused on building for next season and the draft lottery in a few months.
As for the New Orleans Pelicans, every game down the stretch is critical for them as they’re on the outside looking in on a play-in-tournament berth, and they will show that urgency at home against this inferior Hornets team on Thursday night.
Like their victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night, expect a similar outcome when the Pelicans host the Hornets, who are the Eastern Conference’s version of the Spurs. While the spread seems more than doable here, play it safe on the parlay and take the moneyline.
Leg-3 Parlay Pick: New Orleans Pelicans ML (-325)
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Clippers Prediction and Pick
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been a gritty team all year long and, while most would’ve thought this team would just tank, they find themselves in eighth place with a legitimate shot at making the play-in-tournament and even earning a playoff spot. This Thunder team has upset some of the top seeded teams in each conference this season, including the Clippers, who they've defeated in all three meetings this season, including on Tuesday night.
The Clippers will be without Paul George for the remainder of the regular season after suffering what appeared to be a scary injury. The Clippers are calling it a knee sprain, which is good news for Los Angeles. Despite holding the fifth seed as of Thursday, the Clippers not only have to win to avoid entering the play-in-tournament but they have to win to avoid a season series sweep.
The Thunder’s confidence will be rolling into Los Angeles on Thursday night and the Clippers will have to match their intensity and focus on instilling their defensive presence. The Clippers opened Tuesday night’s game on an 18-4 run and looked like they were going to run away with the game. The Clippers, even without George, are still the more talented and skilled team and will avoid the season series sweep at home.
Leg-4 Parlay Pick: Los Angeles Clippers ML (-155)
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Related: Mike Ortiz Jr. makes his best NBA player prop bets today for Thursday, March 23 games, including Julius Randle, Mikal Bridges, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Paolo Banchero.