Our free NBA picks are out for Friday, December 3rd, 2021! Make sure you check our expert NBA picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers – 7pm ET
The Miami Heat are on the road for two games, and their first stop is against the Indiana Pacers, who are in the middle of a six game homestand. The Heat have been a tad inconsistent as of late, and last time out they lost to the Cavaliers, 85-111, which brings their season record to 13-9. The Pacers are currently on a three game losing streak, with losses to the Bucks, Timberwolves and Hawks, this has had a major impact on their overall season record, which currently stands at 9-15.
A disoriented Miami Heat team will travel to Indiana in an attempt to put an end to stop their losing streak in its tracks. They underperformed in their last two matches against the Denver Nuggets and the Cleveland Cavaliers which resulted in two frenetic losses. The Heat conceded more than 110 points both times as against the Cavs they only managed to put up 85 points for the whole game. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo play a huge role in the team’s performance on the court and I think if both of them are out against Indiana, the Heat will have yet another hard time. The pressure falls on Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson who are not used to leading a team of such a caliber.
The Pacers, on the other hand, are one of the worst performing teams this season. They are 13th in the East with just 9 wins out of 24 matches. Losing three in a row recently further cemented their bad performance and inability to close out the games. Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis are doing their best to carry the team, but crucial mistakes from Chris Duarte and Myles Turner turned out to be decisive for the outcome recently. However, I think they will turn on their defense mode against the Heat and we will watch a tactical game where it won’t be that easy to drain buckets. Hence, I will go with the option for “under points” and I will also suggest picking the Pacers as the winners of this game, since Bam Adebayo will miss the meeting and Jimmy Butler is also most certainly out.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Under 206 (-110)
Denis’ NBA Bonus Pick: Indiana Pacers (-198)
Both of these teams had tough losses for various reasons; Indiana lost their second straight game by one possession as they fell short to the Atlanta Hawks 111-114, dropping their record to 9-15 on the season. Meanwhile, the Miami Heat got run over by a young Cleveland Cavaliers team, 85-111; sure, Jimmy Butler was sitting the game, but the team got some concerning news that went beyond the loss. The Heat lost Bam Adebayo to a thumb injury, which will require surgery and him missing a good chunk of time. With Adebayo out, this should be an ideal opportunity for the Pacers’ big men to feast down low.
mama said there’d be days like this pic.twitter.com/cP1o91ck7E
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 2, 2021
Even with the disappointing season they’ve been having, the Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner have been far from the problem. Sabonis is averaging 17.5 points and 12 rebounds per game. Turner is averaging 12 points and almost 8 rebounds per game. While Turner’s not quite the scoring threat of Sabonis, a lot of that has to do with the fact that in many games, Turner doesn’t get the shots/touches other players do—due to Indiana’s multiple scoring threats. But, when given the opportunity, he’s a big man who can score both in and outside. I expect these two to feast without Adebayo and Markieff Morris available for the Heat. Last time these two teams played and Miami was down a big player (Kyle Lowry) , Indiana escaped with a win. I think they’ll take down Miami for the second time in Indiana this season.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers (-198)
The Miami Heat are entering game one of their road trip against the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. In their last game they were absolutely decimated by the Cleveland Cavaliers at home. The loss to Cleveland dropped Miami’s overall record to 13-9 through their first 22 games of the season. It was also their second straight loss on their quick two game home stand as they lost the opener to the Denver Nuggets. Now they will be without Bam Adebayo who will miss time due to surgery related to his thumb injury. They will be looking to bounce back against an Indiana Pacers that has struggled of late. Despite the recent losses Miami still finds themselves in playoff contention with 75% of the season remaining.
The previously mentioned Indiana Pacers come into this game as losers of three straight. They were blown out by the defending champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, and then lost a pair of close games to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks by a combined five points. Those three straight losses dropped their overall record on the season to 9-15 as they have had a tough go of things out of the gate. They currently find themselves in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. As for the result of this game, I expect the Miami Heat to break their short losing streak and get back in the win column even without their star PF/C Adebayo.
Tony’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat (+166)
Philadelphia 76ers @ Atlanta Hawks – 7:30pm ET
The Philadelphia 76ers road trip continues on and this time they travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks. The 76ers have won just one of their previous four games, and their season record is sitting at an even 11-11. The Hawks got an important win last time out, against the Pacers, 114-111, which brings their season record to 12-10.
The Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks will come up against each other on Saturday night in a tight battle in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have been struggling in the early stages of the season, as the 76ers had Covid-19 issues, while the Hawks were unable to capitalize all the things that Trae Young was doing by himself. With a strong recent performance, the hosts are ahead of their opponents in the standings, having won 12 games out of 22 matches. They are also on an 8-1 run where they managed to defeat the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and Memphis Grizzlies.
Philly has been struggling to find the right way ever since Joel Embiid came back from his battle with Covid-19. He has even mentioned that he was glad to be alive as he wasn’t really enjoying the way he experienced it. The team finds it thoroughly difficult to come back to winning, but it will eventually happen. Keeping in mind the low-scoring head-to-head matches between these two teams, I am going to go with that option. Moreover, the 76ers managed to drop just 101 points against Orlando and 87 points against the Celtics. Their previous two matches were also a good example of that as the game with the Timberwolves had 200 points after regulation, while the Warriors outclassed them 96-116. In my opinion, the under is the right choice.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Under 214 (-112)
Ever since Joel Embiid returned from COVID protocols, the 76ers haven’t quite been able to click. In the three games since Embiid’s return, they’ve gone 1-2, with both of their losses being by one point and their win coming against a poor Magic team. After so much time not playing together, it may take a couple games for these guys to click. But they won’t have it any easier on Friday night as they face an Atlanta Hawks team that’s been picking up momentum. Atlanta grabbed a 114-111 win on Wednesday night, which was their eighth win in nine games. Now at 12-10 the Hawks are climbing up the Eastern Conference rankings, as they look to replicate the success they had last season.
That success included beating the 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. They’ll look to continue both their winning ways and torment the Sixers on Friday night at home. Even with injuries to key players DeAndre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Hawks are still giving Trae Young plenty of scoring help. From the likes of Kevin Huerter to Delon Wright, this team is deep with offensive talent. Meanwhile the 76ers have, surprisingly, been getting bullied in the paint the last three games, even with Embiid and Drummond on the roster. They’ve been outscored each game down low, and facing Clint Capela and John Collins won’t make things any easier. The Sixers will eventually be fine if they stay healthy, but for this one I’ll take the Hawks to keep climbing.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks -2 (-108)
This game is likely to be the best of the evening as Trae Young will go up against Joel Embid as the 76ers visit the Hawks in Atlanta. Not only are both players top 5 at their respective positions, they are also likely award winning players every single season. Both of these teams have had somewhat decent starts out of the gate, but not as good as they would have hoped for or wanted. Both teams are hovering around the bottom half of the conference and around the .500 mark as well. They will both be looking to use the other as a stepping stone towards some more momentum to get their seasons turned around. As they are currently within one game of each other in the overall Eastern Conference standings.
The Atlanta Hawks are currently 12-10 on the year and performing way below their own expectations. When you have a potential Most Valuable Player on your team like Trae Young, a win should be the goal every time they take the court. The same can be said for the Philadelphia 76ers and Joel Embid, but they too are performing below expectations as they are sitting at 11-11 directly on the .500 mark for the season’s first quarter. As for the result of this game, I have the Atlanta Hawks picking up the win in this one, led by Trae Young. Atlanta has just been the better team as they have won 8 of their last 9 games on the season and I look for them to make it 9 of 10 with a home win on Friday.
Tony’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks (-126)
Boston Celtics @ Utah Jazz – 9pm ET
The Boston Celtics hit the road for five games, and their first stop will be against the Utah Jazz, who end their four game homestand on Friday night. The Celtics have managed to string together two wins in a row, against the Raptors and 76ers, which takes their season record to 12-10. This will be the Jazz’s first game in December, and they will be looking to build on their two game winning streak from November, they also have an excellent season record, currently at 14-7.
The game between the Boston Celtics and the Utah Jazz will be yet another interesting matchup on Friday in the NBA. Both teams closed out November on a high gear as the Celtics are on a 5-2 run recently, while the Jazz wrapped up their games for this month with two convincing victories over the Pelicans and the Blazers. Donovan Mitchell, Jordan Clarkson, and Mike Conley are able to defeat each single team in the NBA. Their biggest problem comes from the fact that it seems they can’t keep this performance for a couple more matches. So far, the Jazz are securely in 3rd place in the West with a 14-7 record.
The Boston Celtics, on the other hand, had to go through some difficult times in the early stages of the season as they couldn’t find their rhythm on the court. The team struggled from the 3-point line and they were used to scoring below 100 points in their matches. However, recently this took a sharp turn and Boston showed consistency and started passing the 100-point mark. The main reason for this is the fact that Jayson Tatum leveled up his game. Keeping in mind both teams’ desire to drop fast 3-pointers, I think the best decision here will be to go with the option for “over points”.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Over 210 (-110)
The Boston Celtics are coming off a gritty win against their rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers, winning 88-87. It was their first win against the Sixers after losing three straight. Now this full-strength Celtics team is starting to look alive and they’ll hope to keep it going versus the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are starting to roll again after consecutive blowout wins against the Pelicans and the Blazers. They’ll look to make it three straight against a Boston Celtics team that’s starting to look like legitimate contenders. Utah has a lot going in their favor: they’re a deep squad that is both third in team points per game and fewest opponent points per game.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 3, 2021
They’ll hope to make that a trend, but it won’t be easy against a Celtics team that just shut down a fully healthy 76ers team, limiting them to only 87 points. While Boston continues to improve, I expect Utah to handle them at home; they’re just too complete of a team, I expect them to go on a big win streak soon and it feels like now might be the time to sneak under the radar while everyone is busy being focused on the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz (-360)
Boston is coming off of a big win over the Philadelphia 76ers at home. Now after their quick one home stand they will travel across the United States and several time zones to take on the Utah Jazz. The win over the 76ers was Boston’s second victory in a row after they defeated another fellow Atlantic Division team, the Toronto Raptors on the road. This game against the Utah Jazz will be the first of a lengthy five game West Coast road trip for the Celtics, against some pretty tough competition. Following this game they will play the Portland Trailblazers, both Los Angeles teams and the white hot Phoenix Suns. Boston will look to grind out as many wins as possible on this trip as they find themselves sitting at 2nd place in the Atlantic Division behind the Brooklyn Nets.
The Utah Jazz come into this game with a record of with a 14-7 record on the year which is good enough for third place in a very competitive Western Conference. They currently hold a 3.5 game lead in the Northwest division over the Portland Trailblazers and Minnesota Timberwolves. They have won three of their last four games with their only loss coming to the New Orleans Pelicans, which they avenged the very next night in the 2nd game of a back to back. Their total +/- for the two games against the Pelicans was +25 as they lost game 1 by a single point, but won game two by 26 points. As for the result of this game, I think the Utah Jazz pick up the win at home and improve upon their record and their lead in the Northwest division.
Tony’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz (-360)
Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors – 10pm ET
Two teams with the same record will face off against each other on Friday night, when the Phoenix Suns hit the road and take on the Golden State Warriors. The Suns are playing on back-to-back days and yesterday they managed a nice win against the Pistons, 114-103. This will be the Warriors first game in December and last time out they lost to the Suns, 96-104, which snapped an impressive seven game winning streak they were on.
If there is a team that can stop the Suns’ streak, that is definitely the Golden State Warriors. Although they missed their chance of doing so a couple of days ago, I wouldn’t cross them out just yet. The Warriors suffered from their worst nightmare – Steph Curry having a terrible night. Steph went for 4-21 from the field and for 3-14 from the 3-point line. His 12 points were merely any contribution to the Warriors. Andrew Wiggins also had a tough night in Arizona dropping just 10 points on 12 attempts. For me, it’s not like the Suns won the game, but it’s more like the Warriors lost it. Deandre Ayton had a fantastic double-double night, posting 24 points and 11 rebounds. Moreover, Chris Paul was clutch with his assists in the last quarter which further helped the Suns get the much-desired victory.
In my opinion, game 2 for 2021/22 between the Warriors and the Suns will be in full contrast with their first meeting. I expect a totally different match where there will be a battle between Devin Booker and Steph Curry. Cameron Payne and Jordan Poole will play a significant role in the upcoming game. However, I think that the Warriors will find a way to shut down Deandre Ayton which will make their task even easier. I would recommend picking Golden State as the final winner of the match, but I will also look for a higher value in them covering a bigger spread.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors -7 (-106)
Phoenix and Golden State had a neck and neck game the other night, until the Suns pulled away at the end of the fourth, solidifying themselves as the best team in the NBA. After their Tuesday night win they faced the lowly Detroit Pistons on Thursday night winning that game and extending their win streak to 18 games. Now, number 19 comes in a rematch for first place in the Western Conference as they face off against the Suns for the second time since Tuesday.
After the last game between these two took place in “The Valley”, Friday night’s game hits the Bay Area, giving the Golden State Warriors a nice little home court advantage. They’ll need it as Steph Curry was uncharacteristically bad on Tuesday night, shooting 4-21 and only scoring 12 points. I can almost guarantee that won’t happen again; Steph will be playing with plenty of determination not only to get Golden State back to the number one seed, but to make up for his poor performance last game. I think he’ll succeed, I can’t see Golden State losing this in front of their home crowd, and the Suns have now played three games in four nights and will definitely be feeling the fatigue. I think the Warriors will end the streak at 18.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors (-290)
This game is between the two best and the two hottest teams in the NBA currently. The Phoenix Suns are white hot at the moment as they’ve won 18 games in a row following a 1-3 start to the season. They clearly have their sights set on repeating as Western Conference Champions and winning the NBA Finals this time around. However, extending their impressive winning streak to 19 won’t be easy at all as they face the Golden State Warriors who have won seven of their last eight games, as their last loss came to the Suns.
It is never easy beating the same team twice, let alone twice in the same calendar week. Golden State is 18-3 coming into this game and like usual Steph Curry looks like the potential MVP favorite and the best player in the league. As for the result of this game, I think the Golden State Warriors will break the Suns massive win streak and pick up a huge home victory on Friday night.
Tony’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors (-290)
Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers – 10pm ET
The battle of Los Angeles is on when the Clippers and Lakers face off against each other on Friday night. The Clippers have seen a little dip in their performance as of late, and they are on a three game losing streak, which brings their season record to 11-10. The Lakers aren’t doing much better, with their season record at 12-11, but they are currently on a two game winning streak.
The first battle of Los Angeles for 2021/22 will take place on Saturday night in a period in which both teams have their concerns. Although the Lakers are on a 2-game winning streak, they have been way off-form from the start of the season. LeBron James didn’t have the chance to get into rhythm, while Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook have been missing playing with him. The Clippers, on the other hand, just started looking as if they were on the right track and then everything went south for them. One bad night for Paul George against the Chicago Bulls put an end to their 7-game winning streak. Later on, they lost to the Grizzlies and the Pelicans. Then, the Clippers got a win with the Mavs, but the most recent losses to the Warriors, the Pelicans, and the Kings put them in a really bad spot.
Both teams are in the middle of the table which doesn’t suit their potential and expectations. The Lakers might be 6th, but they have mostly played against lower-tier teams like the Thunder, the Rockets, and the Pistons. The team is in a full disarray without LeBron James in the starting lineup which is not a good sign. The superstars on the Clippers’ team, Paul George and Reggie Jackson, are not able to lead their teammates to new heights. They desperately need the help of Kawhi Leonard who has probably one of the biggest individual impacts on a team in the NBA. The game will be watched by millions of people worldwide and I think it won’t disappoint. There will be plenty of buckets and that’s why I will suggest picking the option for “over points”.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Over 218 (-110)
It’s a LA derby as the Lakers and Clippers face off for the first time this season. The Lakers sit just barely over .500 at 12-11. Albeit, they’ve had some excuses: LeBron James has faced a good amount of injuries, and the team has so many personalities, it can take some time to mesh. Now that a majority of their team seems to be in shape (for now), the Lakers hope to get on a run and climb the Western Conference standings. But, their next challenge won’t be easy as they face an always competitive Clippers team.
Nobody has scored more in the paint this season than Anthony Davis 😤 pic.twitter.com/4mYT50fCDA
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 3, 2021
The Clippers were surviving without Kawhi Leonard; through 19 games they had gone 11-8 and were getting great performances from Paul George, Reggie Jackson, and more. Unfortunately they’re currently on a three-game losing streak which has put them at 11-11. Inconsistencies have killed this team as most of the time Reggie Jackson has stepped up into a formidable number two option—but then he will have games like he did against Golden State where he scores 0 points. If this team wants to make a playoff run without Kawhi Leonard, they’ll need a player like Jackson to step up and score night in and night out—no 0-point performances allowed. That being said, this Clippers team has been pretty resilient, so can they beat a Lakers team that’s failed to play cohesive basketball this year? As much as I want to go with the Clippers, I think the Lakers take the cake in what should be a fun one to keep eyes on.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers (-116)
The Battle of Los Angeles will commence from the Staples Center for the first time this season. It couldn’t come at a worse time for either the Lakers or Clippers as they both have struggled lately. One positive for the Los Angeles Lakers is they will be expected to get Lebron James back way ahead of schedule as he was expected to miss a period of time due to the league’s COVID protocols. Both teams are loaded with star talents and former MVPs however they have both gotten off to lackluster starts to open the season up. They are currently within a half game of each other, as we are just a little past the quarter mark of the 2021-22 NBA season. They will both be looking to build off of the momentum a win against each other would bring.
The Los Angeles Clippers are the visiting team for this first edition of the Battle Of Los Angeles. They currently sit right at the .500 mark with an 11-11 record as they enter their second game for the month of December. In their first contest this month they fell to the Sacramento Kings, which brought their losing streak to three games. The Los Angeles Lakers are the home team in this one and they come into it with a record of 12-11 on the year. As for the result, I look for the Lakers to win the first battle of this four game war this season.
Tony’s NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers (-116)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.