Our free NBA picks are out for Friday, January 14th, 2022! Make sure you check our NBA picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA picks for the best five games on today’s schedule!
Phoenix Suns @ Indiana Pacers – 7pm ET
The Phoenix Suns’ road trip continues on and they travel to Indiana to take on the Pacers on Friday night. The Suns have won four of their last five games, with their only loss coming against the Heat, 100-123. The Pacers have lost eight of their last nine games, and this drops their season record to 15-27.
The Indiana Pacers take on the Phoenix Suns who managed to find the right rhythm once again after a win over the Toronto Raptors, 99-95. The Suns took away the top spot from the Warriors in the West as they now lead the NBA with 31 wins and 9 losses. They are back at full strength as Deandre Ayton made his return a couple of games ago. However, the team suffered a surprising loss to the short-handed Miami Heat, 100-123. This will be their first meeting with the Pacers this year as they will look to take revenge for the loss in their last head-to-head game.
The Pacers had to go through a lot of challenges this season. They continue to be without T.J. Warren who is still recovering from a foot injury. On top of that, the team from Indiana struggles in 13th place in the Eastern Conference with just 15 wins out of 42 games. They are also on a 1-8 run recently which raises further concerns for the Pacers. Their best attribute, their defense, has cracked under pressure as it has been 14 games already since they last held their opponent under 100 points. I think that this task will be even tougher against the Phoenix Suns who have one of the most promising and athletic offensive lines. I will take the Suns’ spread in this game as they are by far the better team at the moment.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns -5.5 (-110)
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) January 14, 2022
These are two teams that have had very different seasons so far, and I think that’s likely to continue to be the case. The Phoenix Suns enter this one as one of the best teams in basketball, which is where they’ve been all year long, and they have a very real chance to repeat as Western Conference champions if they can keep everyone healthy, especially their core of DeAndre Ayton, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul. The other key for this Suns team is the fact that their roster is pretty deep, as they can go 8-9 guys deep that can give solid minutes when needed.
For Indiana, they’ve been extremely disappointing all season long. They made it to the Eastern Conference play-in game last season, and many thought they had the potential to improve on that result and actually make it to this year’s postseason. However, due to an inconsistent offense that can’t decide whether they’re good or not, and a defense that simply disappears for long stretches, they’re instead a team that comes in at 15-27, and losers of eight of their last nine. Look for that to become nine of ten, as I think Phoenix goes on the road and gets a win in Indiana over the Pacers.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns -5.5 (-110)
Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers – 7pm ET
The Boston Celtics wrap up their two game road trip on Friday night when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics will be looking to build on their current three game winning streak, after beating the Knicks and Pacers (twice). The 76ers had their seven game winning streak snapped last time out, courtesy of the Hornets, 98-109.
The Boston Celtics have been quite inconsistent throughout the season so far as they are still looking to find the right rhythm. I think that with all of their players available, this moment presents a good enough opportunity for them to catch up in the overall standings. They are currently 10th in the East with 21 wins and 21 losses. Victories over the New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers have given them enough confidence ahead of their battle with the Philadelphia 76ers. Both Jalen Brown and Jayson Tatum have been playing on a high level since the beginning of the new year. Brown actually finished off with his first career triple-double in the 24-point win over the Knicks – 22 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists.
The Philadelphia 76ers have solely relied on Joel Embiid since his return following a tough COVID-19 experience. The Cameroonian center set a new franchise record for his team for the most straight games with at least 30 points. He also led his team to a 7-game winning streak that started with a convincing 21-point win over the Washington Wizards on December 26th. They remained undefeated until their meeting against the Charlotte Hornets who found a way past Philly in their Wells Fargo Center. They left Joel Embiid alone as their focus was switched onto the rest of the roster, holding Tyrese Maxey to just 10 points and allowing only 17 points from Tobias Harris. The 76ers will surely need some more help from the rest of the team and I think they might suffer their second straight loss on Friday against the Celtics.
Have the Boston Celtics finally found a piece of momentum that they can cling to as they try to make a run towards this year’s postseason? After an abysmal start to the year, largely due to poor shooting all over the court from virtually everyone. Now they have Jaylen Brown continuing to play solid basketball, as well as getting better play from Jayson Tatum and his supporting cast, as well. They’ve won three straight, and with the defense playing a little better as well, I think you have to at least keep an eye on them in terms of being a contender in the East, especially if they keep this high level of play going.
Philadelphia has looked like a new team since they’ve gotten to the backside of their Covid issues, as they’ve won seven of eight, including seven in a row before dropping their last outing to Charlotte. The one problem with this Sixers team is that they’re too reliant upon the MVP-level play of Joel Embiid. He’s played absolutely phenomenal ball this season, which is a key reason for the team’s success, but if his play slips I think the team does too. As for this matchup, I’m leaning towards taking Philly by a nose, due to Embiid. I think the C’s keep it close, but come up just short in a game that I could see going to OT.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (-156)
Golden State Warriors @ Chicago Bulls – 7.30pm ET
The Golden State Warriors hit the road and take on the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. The Warriors are playing on back-to-back nights, and last time out they lost to the Bucks, 99-118. The Bulls have won 10 of their last 12 games, and this lifts their season record up to 27-12.
The Chicago Bulls take on the Golden State Warriors in the most promising game for Friday night in the NBA. The Bulls have been in fantastic form in December which helped them top the Eastern Conference. However, they lost two out of their last three matches in the NBA which was more than expected, keeping in mind the sheer pressure that was one their shoulders. Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan might get washed out, so it will be a good decision for Billy Donovan to rest them sometime in January. However, first of all, they will need to face the Warriors who are now back with their “Splash Brothers” on the court.
Klay Thompson will need some more time to adapt to the high level of play in the NBA. In my opinion, we might see a prime Klay somewhere around March which will surely be highly beneficial for the Warriors’ chances. They are aiming to get their 4th NBA Championship in the last 7 years, but they all know this will be a tough journey. Facing the high-flying Chicago Bulls will be a great benchmark for them, since they will be put up to a really hard challenge. The Warriors lost three out of their last four matches suggesting that they are slightly off rhythm. On top of that, one of their leaders, Draymond Green is still recovering from a calf injury. Hence, I would say that the Bulls will come out victorious in the end, despite facing one of the best teams in the NBA.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (-154)
not our night
back at it tomorrow pic.twitter.com/xu1evslpti
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 14, 2022
This is a matchup between two of what most would consider to be top-4 teams in the league. The Golden State Warriors are rolling right along this season, despite dropping their last outing to the Bucks, not at the 73-9 pace they managed to hit a few years back clearly, but almost certainly good enough to be considered the best team in the league. With Klay Thompson returning earlier this week for the first time in nearly two and a half years, he adds another perimeter star to a roster that didn’t really need another, as they already have Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, and Andrew Wiggins playing great ball as well. They’ve slowed down a bit since Thompson’s return, however, but I think that’s more a function of them trying to integrate him back into the mix, not signs of deeper issues.
The Chicago Bulls come in as the one-seed in the Eastern Conference, even though they did get crunched by the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. That was a matchup between the top-2 teams in the conference, and despite the huge margin of victory, I don’t think it was an indication of all that much. With DeMar Derozan and Zach LaVine still playing really good basketball this 27-12 Bulls team is fine, and I think they have a real shot to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, if not deeper, in this year’s postseason. However, for this one, I’m going to lean slightly on Golden State to finally snap out of a rough skid they’ve been on throughout the week. Take the Warriors in a tight one on the road in Chicago.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors (+130)
Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat – 8pm ET
The Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat wrap up their back-to-back games against each other on Friday night. In the first game, which was played a couple of days ago, it was the Heat that proved too good, winning 115-91. Can the Hawks get revenge, or will the Heat show dominance again?
The Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks will face each other yet once again in the matter of 3 days. The Heat took a demanding 115-91 victory in their last meeting as the expectations of the sportsbooks weren’t met, since they gave a slight advantage to Atlanta. Tyler Herro missed a triple-double by just 1 rebound as he finished off with 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 11 assists. Caleb Martin was also highly effective for the Heat ending up with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Trae Young was the biggest disappointment for the Hawks as he only dropped 15 points for 32 minutes. Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Huerter didn’t manage to reach 10 points for almost 60 minutes combined time on the court.
The two teams have been on quite the opposite side to one another since the beginning of the season. The Miami Heat are flying high with their star team featuring Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Duncan Robinson. However, the first two are sidelined for quite some time due to injuries, but Herro and Robinson proved they can lead the rest of them. Gabe Vincent and Max Strus also got some more playing time that can turn out to be beneficial for the Heat at the end of the day. The Hawks are surprisingly 12th in the East with 17 wins and 23 losses. They simply cannot find the right recipe to win games as they are in a big danger of missing the 2022 NBA Playoffs. I think that the Miami Heat will once again be better than the Hawks and they will take a second straight victory over their opponent.
This is the second straight matchup between these two teams, with the first one seeing the Miami Heat get a huge 24-point win. Based on everything we’ve seen so far this season, I don’t know why one would expect anything different in this one. The Heat will still be without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, which doesn’t help, but they’ve been missing both for nearly a week, and Bam’s been out for over a month, and it hasn’t affected them all that much. Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro have shown that they can keep the team going even with these guy’s out, and I think that continues against an Atlanta Hawks team that has struggled all year long.
This Atlanta squad just can’t get things figured out. After making a run to last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, and managing to hang onto virtually everyone in the offseason, there was serious optimism that this team, led by Trae Young, could be poised to make another serious run this year. That, however, has been far from what we’ve seen, as they’re sitting at 17-23, and unless something changes, have a good chance to miss the postseason entirely. Give me the Miami Heat to go ahead and sweep this two game set over the stumbling Atlanta Hawks.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat -4 (-110)
Dallas Mavericks @ Memphis Grizzlies – 10pm ET
Two Southwest Division rivals go at it on Friday night when the Dallas Mavericks face off against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Mavericks, who are second in the Southwest Division, had their six game winning streak snapped last time out, as they lost to the Knicks. The Grizzlies, who are first in the Southwest Division, have taken their winning streak to 11, after beating the Timberwolves last night.
Both the Mavericks and the Grizzlies were off to a fantastic start of 2022. The team from Texas won six straight games before losing to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, 85-108. The Mavericks won most of these matches without Kristaps Porzingis who tested positive for COVID-19 last Monday. The Latvian continues to be in the NBA’s health and safety protocols as he still remains uncertain for the game against the Grizzlies. Luka Doncic leads the way for his team, but even in his absence, the Mavs found a way to keep up the pace. Jalen Brunson, Dwight Powell, and Dorian Finney-Smith were the one in charge as they elevated their game to a whole new level.
The Memphis Grizzlies continue their winning march in the NBA. The team hasn’t lost since December 23rd when they faced the Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry who dropped 46 points for the final score, 104-113. This was Ja Morant’s second match following his return as he was nothing less than impressive ever since that day. Desmond Bane is one of the most improved players this season as his performance reached a new peak recently. Overall, the Grizzlies took over the 3rd spot from the Utah Jazz with 30 wins and 14 losses. It will be interesting to see whether they will be able to storm the NBA in January as well. I would say that the Grizzlies are slight favorites against the Mavs who might be without Porzingis. Hence, I will pick them in this close matchup.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (-152)
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 14, 2022
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to show that they have no interest in losing another basketball game this season. They’ve now pushed their winning streak to 11, and as I’ve stated multiple times, I won’t be betting against them until they finally lose. Last night they got a win over a Minnesota team that was playing well, and they did so by holding Anthony Edwards to three points in the second half, after he scored 25 in the first half. The defensive effort has been there for the Grizz in this stretch, which is a large key to their success. They’ve faced injuries and COVID, and still have Dillon Brooks out for a few weeks, but nothing seems to slow down Ja Morant and this young Grizzlies squad.
Now they go head up against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs come in second in the division behind Memphis, and they were also on a lengthy win streak, at six games, before slipping up to the New York Knicks in their last outing. One question for this Dallas squad is how well the stars are going to play consistently. Kristaps Porzingis has shown that he can be great when he’s on the floor, but he does end up banged up far too often, and while Luka has the ability to play like an MVP candidate, as he’s done in years past, this year he appears to have taken a slight step back, which should be a bit concerning for Mavs fans. As for this one, I said I was riding with Memphis until they fall, and I’m standing by that. Take Ja and company to get a tight win at home over a really good Dallas team.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -3 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.