There are 10 games of NBA action means that we have 10 winners for you in our first NBA picks of the New Year!
Atlanta and Brooklyn go head to head again after their 286 point classic on Wednesday night while the Lakers and Spurs have a rematch of their own Wednesday night duel.
We have picked the winner of those two and the other eight games in our NBA picks below.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Charlotte Hornets – 7PM ET
The Charlotte Hornets are on a bit of a tear at the moment, beating the Brooklyn Nets before dominating the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. Memphis didn’t have such a good time on Wednesday, playing their first game without Ja Morant and falling to the Celtics by 19.
Jonas Valanciunas had a big game with 20 and 11 boards to lead five players score in double figures and exciting rookie, Desmond Bane, had an efficient 16 points off the bench.
The Hornets had an exciting rookie of their own with LaMelo Ball having a breakout game to lead the scoring for the game with 22 points on 7/10 shooting with 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
Charlotte kept the dynamic Mavericks offense to just 99 points, including a 30-12 third quarter. They should be able to do something similar against a struggling Memphis side.
NBA Pick – Charlotte Hornets (-176)
Another W in the books ☘️ pic.twitter.com/YVb4vfFyTF
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 31, 2020
Boston Celtics @ Detroit Pistons – 7PM ET
This seems to be a pretty straightforward one with Boston looking for a third straight win over the winless Pistons.
Jerami Grant has had three straight games of scoring at least 27 points however the Pistons have allowed over 110 points per game in all four of their losses. They now come up against a playoff team from last season for the first time and look like they will struggle.
Jaylen Brown went nuts against the Grizzlies on Wednesday, scoring 42 points on 15/21 shooting and is showing his capabilities to be a star in the league. Him and Jayson Tatum have flourished without Kemba Walker in the lineup and both will be looking to have big games against the Pistons.
NBA Pick – Boston Celtics (-420)
Miami Heat @ Dallas Mavericks – 7PM ET
Miami got some revenge, winning the second leg of their home back-to-back against MIlwaukee, all without Jimmy Butler.
Butler has missed the last two with an ankle injury, and in their win the whole supporting cast stepped up. Goran Dragic led the way with 26 off the bench while Tyler Herro continued his incredible form with 21 points and 15 boards.
They now travel to Dallas to take on long time rivals, the Mavericks. Dallas came off their monster victory over the Clippers and followed it up with a disappointing 19 point loss to the Hornets. Luka Doncic had just 12 points in 24 minutes and after already being down 11 at halftime, a 12-30 third quarter was the end of the Mavs.
This seems to be an intriguing matchup, especially if Butler is back in to help guard Doncic. Dallas will be looking to bounce back after their disappointing loss but Miami poses a seriously tough test and they may not be able to get the win here.
NBA Pick – Miami Heat (-102)
Atlanta Hawks @ Brooklyn Nets – 7:30PM ET
We predicted a Brooklyn win in a high scoring classic and that is exactly what happened on Wednesday night.
The Nets got the 145-141 win over the Hawks with Kevin Durant leading the way with 33 points, 11 boards and 8 assists. Kyrie Irving contributed 25 points while Joe Harris had an exceptional shooting game with 23 points and six threes.
The Hawks entered the last quarter with the lead but gave up 43 fourth quarter points to the Nets and weren’t able to keep up. Trae Young and John Collins both had 30 point double-doubles, Young with 11 assists and Collins with 10 boards.
— NBA (@NBA) December 31, 2020
Atlanta has scored at least 120 points in all four of their games, but their first loss was solely on the defense. Giving up 145 points is never going to end well and they will be looking to do a lot better in the second leg.
Both teams are working with integrating new pieces into the lineup, but Brooklyn’s are a whole lot better and should allow them to get the win again.
NBA Pick – Brooklyn Nets (-275)
Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks – 8PM ET
Chicago are coming off an impressive three point victory over the Wizards last night and are backing it up in Milwaukee.
The Bucks are coming off an unexpected loss to the Heat, giving up 118 points and allowing three Miami players to score at least 20. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday both had miserable games, combining for just 21 points on 7/30 shooting. Giannis Antetokounmpo bounced back with a 26 point triple-double in the loss, but we now know he would prefer wins over personal excellence.
He will have an opportunity to turn it around against Chicago who has a 2-3 record, however their two wins were both against the winless Wizards. Otto Porter Jr was promoted to the starting lineup and flourished with 28 points and 12 rebounds with six other players scoring in double figures.
Milwaukee is currently 14.5 point favorites and they haven’t been playing well enough to have confidence in such a large number, but they should still win this comfortably.
NBA Pick – Milwaukee Bucks (-1200)
Washington Wizards @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 8PM ET
The Washington Wizards travel to Minnesota in hope of getting their first win of the season in a very winnable game.
The Timberwolves have played their last two without Karl-Anthony Towns and struggled heavily in both. While they played both the Lakers and Clippers in LA, 36 and 23 point losses doesn’t look great. D’Angelo Russell led the scoring with 22 points on Tuesday night but averaging just 95 points without Towns doesn’t bode well against the Wizards.
Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal are continuing to give it their all for Washington however it hasn’t translated to wins. Westbrook has a triple double in each of the four games he has played while Beal is averaging 31.2 points per game.
Offense hasn’t been an issue for Washington, scoring at least 107 in all five games including 130 last night, but defense has been. They might be lucky against a flailing Timberwolves side that is struggling to score.
NBA Pick – Washington Wizards (-116)
— NBA (@NBA) December 31, 2020
Los Angeles Lakers @ San Antonio Spurs – 8PM ET
These sides went head to head on Wednesday night, with the Lakers coming out on top by 14 points.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder all scored at least 20 points for the Lakers, with three others scoring in double figures. LA has scored over 120 points in all three of their wins and will be looking to do more of the same tonight.
Dejounte Murray continued his hot form to start the season with 29 points, 7 boards and 7 assists while DeMar DeRozan chipped in 23 points as well. It wasn’t enough however and the Lakers will want to leave San Antonio with a second win and this looks like they will be able to do it.
NBA Pick – Los Angeles Lakers (-300)
Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets – 9PM ET
Phoenix is coming off an impressive win last night over the Jazz and will back it up against the Nuggets in Denver.
The Suns have started the season off nearly perfectly sitting at 4-1 with wins against some playoff teams from last season. Their offense has been on fire with Chris Paul unlocking the abilities of the young Phoenix players.
Denver on the over hand has started off quite poorly, with their record at 1-3 through four games. Their one win came against the Rockets who were missing half their time due to COVID-19 protocols. Their last loss was by 10 points at the hands of the Kings, but Jamal Murray missed that one and is expected back against the Suns.
Nikola Jokic has started the season as good as possible, with another triple double on Tuesday while Michael Porter Jr put up 30 points and 10 boards. Personal stats are fine, but after getting to the Western Conference Finals last season, a 1-3 start is not what Denver would have been hoping for, but two days’ rest against a Phoenix team on the second leg of a road back-to-back might be able to reboot their season.
NBA Pick – Denver Nuggets (-178)
A great way to close out 2020!
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) January 1, 2021
Los Angeles Clippers @ Utah Jazz – 9PM ET
Utah suffered a disappointing home loss to the Phoenix Suns last night and will be hoping to change their fate when they host the Clippers tonight.
LA’s last game saw them beat the Trail Blazers in convincing fashion, being up by 19 at half time and looking in control for the entire game. Kawhi Leonard returned from a two game absence to score 28 points in the win and Paul George contributed 23 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Clippers put up 76 points in the first half but now face a Utah team that has allowed more than 110 points just once so far this season. While they didn’t have the outcome they wanted, Utah had five players in double figures, led by Donovan Mitchell’s 23 points and Rudy Gobert’s 18 points and 15 boards.
This seems like a nightmare matchup for Utah on the second leg of a back-to-back and the Clippers will be wanting to get their fifth win of the season.
NBA Pick – Los Angeles Clippers (-158)
Portland Trail Blazers @ Golden State Warriors – 10:30PM ET
The Golden State Warriors are on a two game winning streak but now face a much better opponent than in those wins in the Portland Trail Blazers.
Portland are coming off a disappointing loss to the Clippers where they couldn’t get anything going for them on either end of the floor. Damien Lillard only scored 20 points on 3/14 shooting while CJ McCollum had 25 points with 7 threes.
We expect Dame to turn things around when he goes head to head with Steph Curry tonight. Curry has played exceptionally well on offense in the Warriors’ two wins, scoring 36 and 31 points with 10 combined threes. Andrew Wiggins had 27 points on Tuesday and is the scoring punch that Curry needs alongside him.
Draymond Green is expected to play in his first game of the season in this one, but his addition won’t be enough to help Golden State overcome the Blazers.
NBA Pick – Portland Trail Blazers (-174)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.