NBA picks: 3-leg parlay (+701) for Thursday night
Alex Buck reveals his NBA predictions, picks, and parlays for Thursday night, with three best bets.
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With less than two weeks remaining in the NBA regular season, attention is turning towards the postseason. On Thursday night, only two games are scheduled, including a crucial matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics, who are currently the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
After briefly giving up the second spot to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Celtics have regained control with just six games left to play. They’re now two wins ahead of the Sixers, and a win tonight against the Bucks could help in their efforts to pull away and solidify their spot.
Catching the Bucks is not out of the question, but Boston is three games behind and quickly running out of time. A win tonight would certainly help to close the gap, but the Bucks have only lost 21 games all season and would need to drop at least four of their remaining six to give up the top spot.
In the later game, the Western Conference's top-seeded team will take on the New Orleans Pelicans, who are fighting to secure a spot in the play-in. The Pelicans currently sit in ninth place in the West with a .500 record, the same as the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers.
With just two games on the slate for the night, let’s analyze some NBA free picks and parlays.
Best NBA Parlays Picks Tonight – Thursday, March 30th: 3 Leg Parlay Picks (+701)
Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks Prediction and Pick
The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks have split the series this season, winning one game each. The Celtics won the first in a 21-point margin win on Christmas Day, and the Bucks claimed the second in an overtime victory on Valentine’s Day.
Boston were a 5.5-point favorite in the first matchup and a 9.5-point underdog in the second. Neither Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown played in that game and yet Boston were still able to force overtime. It will be all eyes on tonight’s full-strength lineups in what could quite easily be a preview of a future playoff series between the two sides.
The Celtics are coming into this one after a really poor performance against a Washington Wizards team that was without two of its best talents in Kyle Kuzma and Bradley Beal. The Celtics had no answer for Wizards big Kristaps Porzingis all night, allowing him easy looks from mid-range and underneath the basket. Boston were a 10.5-point favorite in the game and lost 130-111.
Perhaps they were looking ahead to the all-important matchup with Milwaukee, but winning that Washington game would have made tonight’s encounter a whole lot more interesting had there been just a two-win gap between the two sides. Alas, a missed opportunity for the Celtics, and they will need a far better performance tonight if they want to beat a high-scoring Milwaukee Bucks outfit.
The Bucks just put 149 points on the Indiana Pacers, with Giannis scoring 38 while Jrue Holiday went off for a career-high 51. Holiday got hot early and went 20-of-30 from the field, hitting three of his six three-pointers and more than making up for the sidelined Khris Middleton.
However, while the Bucks' 149-point scoring night was yet another superb offensive display, they still allowed 136 against a Pacers team that was missing starting point guard Tyrese Haliburton and guard Buddy Hield. It was an inexperienced Pacers team that dropped such a high offensive night against the Eastern Conference leaders, and allowing the same kind of looks against Jayson Tatum and the Celtics might not fare well tonight.
Milwaukee is allowing the second most field goal attempts in the NBA this season, with high-speed offense and sometimes a lack of defense being the name of the game.
Based on the Bucks' recent scoring form and the Celtics' need to keep up with their pace, I’m looking forward to a high-scoring affair where defense becomes a distant memory in the rear-view mirror. These two sides get to feel each other out one last time before a potential reunion in the post-season, and I think it might be a thriller.
Leg-1 Parlay Pick: Over 236.5 Points (-110)
Sticking with the same game for a moment here, I also have a good feeling about the Celtics winning this one on the road. Yes, they just played badly against the Washington Wizards, but I can’t help but feel like that was due to having one eye on this game as they hit the road for a short series.
Boston took the Bucks to overtime in February without their two stars being on the court, and Jayson Tatum is gearing up for post-season mode with three 34+ point performances in his last five starts.
I have the Celtics winning this one in a close game, so will take the moneyline in tonight’s NBA parlay picks.
Leg-2 Parlay Pick: Boston Celtics Moneyline (+120)
New Orleans Pelicans vs Denver Nuggets Prediction and Pick
The Denver Nuggets are on a hot streak right now, and I’m not talking about the four-game win streak that included back-to-back wins against both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Denver has cashed six unders in a row, holding both the Sixers and the Bucks to 111 points or less on home court, and will now host the New Orleans Pelicans in their third home encounter in a row.
Through their last five games, the Nuggets have allowed a league-low 26.4 per cent from three-point range, while also ranking in the top five in opposition rebounds allowed per game and total points per game.
That said, the New Orleans Pelicans are the NBA’s best in shutting out their opponents through that same five-game stretch, giving up just 100 points a game on average. They also rank first in opposition rebounding.
Tonight's game features two teams with strong defensive performances in their recent games, as they have limited the opposition's points, rebounds, and second-chance opportunities. This could mean that the Denver Nuggets are headed towards their seventh consecutive under to round out our NBA parlay tonight.
Leg-3 Parlay Pick: Under 228.5 Points (-110)
Odds subject to change*
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