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Sean B’s Best NBA Bets Today: Free Expert Betting Picks | Thursday 3/24/22

Sean Blazek

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The Memphis Grizzlies became the second team this season to reach the 50-win milestone on the season after defeating the Brooklyn Nets 132-120 despite missing their star Ja Morant. Word on the street is that New York will announce a new exemption to their vaccine mandate that would allow Kyrie Irving to participate in home games as early as this Sunday. The NBA resumes on Thursday with a five-game slate schedules across the league. Let’s dive into the best NBA bets today, picks and NBA betting tips for Thursday, March 24.

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Best NBA Bets Today: Game Tips & Betting Predictions

Suns vs. Nuggets Best Bet

The Phoenix Suns travel to Denver on Thursday to face off with the Nuggets for the third time this season. These two teams split the first two matchups, with both games taking place in Phoenix. The Suns are coming off a hard-fought battle against the Timberwolves on Wednesday, taking home the victory 125-116. Denver is coming off a 127-115 win against the Clippers on Tuesday. These two teams are very familiar with each other, having faced off in the Western Conference semifinals last season with the Suns winning the series in four games.

The Phoenix Suns (59-14) have been clicking on all cylinders the entire season, leading to the best record in the league. They have won eight of their last nine games overall and seek a seventh straight victory after taking down the Timberwolves last night in Minnesota. Deandre Ayton finished the game with a career-high 35 points. Devin Booker added 28 points and seven assists. They struggled to find their offense in the first half, trailing by as many as 15 points before exploding for 80 points in the second half to win by double digits. Phoenix will again be without Chris Paul (thumb) and Cameron Johnson (quad) in Thursday’s matchup. The Suns rank second in offensive rating and are averaging 115 points per game. Their defense has been just as impressive, ranking third in defensive rating and led by Defensive Player of the Year candidate Mikal Bridges.

Denver enters tonight’s matchup in decent form, winning 13 of their last 18 games. The Nuggets have a 43-30 record on the year and sit in the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference standings. The Nuggets had a nice bounce-back win on their home court against the Clippers on Tuesday behind a 30-point and 14-rebound performance by Nikola Jokic. Denver is still waiting on the return of Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray. They are hoping that both will return before the playoffs, but this is still to be determined. The Nuggets are averaging 111.5 points on 47.8% shooting and allowing 109 points to opponents. Denver’s bench has really stepped it up as of late, led by Bones Hyland. In his past 11 games, Hyland has posted 14 points, 4.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds and an insane 51% shooting from behind the arc.

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In their two matchups this season the game totals have ended at 208 and 223. In the four playoff matchups last season the total only surpassed 232 points once, with the series combining for an average total of 227.3 points. The over has been hot for these two teams in their recent games, but the Suns are in tough schedule spot playing in Denver with the altitude and spent a lot of energy in their comeback last night. Both teams are top in the league in defending the 3-point shot, which should help limit the success from beyond the arc for both sides. This line feels a few points too high, so ride the under with confidence in Thursday’s showdown.

Best NBA Bet for Today’s Game: Total Under 232.5 Points

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Cavaliers vs. Raptors Best Bet

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors meet Thursday in Toronto. This matchup will be a crucial game between the two for seeding purposes in Eastern Conference, with the Cavaliers sitting one game ahead of the Raptors in the sixth spot. Cleveland will look to get back in the win column after being defeated by the Lakers in a high-scoring affair behind a triple-double from LeBron James. The short-handed Raptors are coming off a 113-99 loss to the Bulls on Monday. Tonight’s matchup will be the fourth meeting between these two teams, with the Cavaliers leading the series 3-0 and covering the spread in each of these games.

After a hot start to the season, the Cavaliers have dealt with the injury bug and have done their best to manage through these challenges. Cleveland has struggled on the road as of late, losing six of their last seven games away from home. Darius Garland leads the team, averaging 21.4 points and 8.6 assists per game. Rookie of the Year favorite Evan Mobley is averaging 15.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Jarrett Allen remains out with a fractured finger, which came in their last bout with Toronto on March 6. Rajon Rondo (ankle) and Dean Wade (knee) will remain sidelined. The Cavaliers are averaging 107.4 points on 46.8% shooting and allowing 104.6 points to opponents. Cleveland’s defense has struggled as of late, ranking 22nd in defensive rating over their last eight games.

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The Raptors look to stop a three-game home slump with a victory against the Cavaliers. Toronto is 8-7 since the All-Star break and has the 23rd offensive rating and eighth-ranked defensive rating over that span. Fred VanVleet has not looked right since the All-Star break, averaging 17.4 points, 5.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds. Gary Trent Jr. (toe) and O.G. Anunoby (finger) are both questionable for Thursday’s contest. Coach Nick Nurse indicated that he did not expect Anunoby to play versus Cleveland, but keep an eye on his status in case anything changes after the morning shootaround. Trent was able to log a practice on Wednesday, and if he is able to suit up, he will provide a much-needed boost to the Raptors offense. The Raptors are averaging 108.7 points on 44.2% shooting and allowing 107.3 points to opponents.

Cleveland has beaten Toronto in all three games this season, but the only contest in Toronto was a close 102-101 win by Cleveland. One point to note is that Jarrett Allen was a big part of that victory for Cleveland in Toronto, and he will be absence in tonight’s matchup. The Raptors are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games, while the Cavaliers are 3-4-1 against the spread in their last eight games. This game should present a playoff-type atmosphere given the magnitude of the matchup. The Cavaliers have not been the same team over the few weeks, making it harder and harder to trust them on the road in such an important game. Do not anticipate a blowout performance, but back the Raptors on their home court against a banged-up Cleveland squad.

Best NBA Bet for Today’s Game: Toronto Raptors -5

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Sean Blazek (aka SweatBets) has contributed to Awesemo since November 2021 and is currently an NBA Betting Content Creator. His articles can be found on Awesemo as well as OddsShopper under the NBA Betting Articles section. Sean has a knack for identifying value in spreads and totals using an analytical approach to find his Best Bets. Follow him on Twitter @SweatBets and get ready to cash.

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