Good afternoon everyone, Matt De Saro back for Sports Intel with another pair of free NBA picks for you, for March 3.

Matt’s NBA Picks March 3

Tonight we tip off our action with the Toronto Raptors heading into Phoenix to take on the Suns.  The Raptors are a 3.5 points favorite on the road tonight. The reigning champs have been playing like anything but lately, coming into this game with a three-game losing streak and seeing injuries to Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka.  While the lack of wins last week can be attributed to those NBA injuries.
Ibaka is questionable to return tonight along with Fred VanVleet who is dealing with lingering shoulder issues.  They really need to get some of these guys back on the court after this losing streak. Remember, this team reeled off a 15 game win streak before this recent stutter.  They have yet to lose four straight games this year and the Suns might just be the team to break them out of this mini-slump.
I’m not gonna lie, things are looking bleak today.  The Raptors got roughed up the Nuggets on Sunday and really need a spark tonight. But I like their chances.
See, for all the issues plaguing the Raptors right now, the Suns got em beat. Phoenix is also in the midst of a three-game losing streak and has seen Devin Booker going four straight games scoring under his 26.0 PPG average. Their struggles have extended further back than that, however, as Phoenix has lost 10 of their last 14 games and got smoked by the lowly Warriors by 16 at home on Saturday.
The Suns are also just a bad bet team this year.  They are 7-19 ATS in their previous 26 games and 6-19 in their last 25 home games, including 0-4 in their last four. This is a clear cut case of two teams who are trending down for different reasons.  The Raptors are dealing with injuries why the Suns are just not that great.  Sorry to say.  I will, therefore, be siding with the Raptors tonight at -3.5 which I will lock in early before news that Ibaka or VanVleet playing shifts this line.

76ers v Lakers at Staples Center

The next game up in our NBA picks for March 3 is the 76ers taking on the Lakers at Staples Center, tipping off at 10:00 Eastern.  The Sixers will be looking to bounce back and avoid a second straight loss in this arena after losing to the Clippers on Sunday.  This team fell to 37-24 after that six-point loss to the other team from LA.  This is due to the Sixers playing without Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.  Ebmiid leads their team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 23.3 points and 11.8 boards per game.
Ben Simmons is their second most prolific scorer with 16.7 PPG and leads the team in dimes with 8.2 assists per game.Joel Embiid is the leading scorer and rebounder for Philadelphia with averages of 23.3 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Ben Simmons is the second-leading scorer and leader in assists with averages of 16.7 points and 8.2 assists per game. Tobias Harris is the second leading scorer with an average of 19.2 points per game.  So it’s no surprise that this team has slid in the power rankings and are 12 point road underdogs tonight.
The Lakers, meanwhile, are coming off a 122-114 win over the Pelicans on Sunday which saw Lebron James post yet another triple-double, with 34 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds.  Leading this team to a strong win despite Anthony Davis.  Davis is currently listed as questionable for tonight and it would make sense for the Lakers to rest him against such a depleted Sixers team.
Despite their leading scorer in Davis perhaps sitting out, the fact that Embiid and Simmons are also out making things much brighter on the Lakers side. The Sixers have lost eight straight on the road, going 6-19-1 ATS in their last 26 such games and just 5-13-1 ATS in their last 19 games against teams with a winning record.  LA meanwhile have gone 6-2 ATS in their last right games an are 12-4-1 ATS in their last 17 games against a team with a road record under .400.  It would be nice to see Anthony Davis’ status updated, but either way, the Lakers are probably the way to go here.
That does it for our NBA picks for March 3 at Sports Intel but be sure to check back again tomorrow for more free NBA picks against the spread.