Our free NBA picks are out for Monday, December 13th, 2021! 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!
Miami Heat @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 7pm ET
The Miami Heat hit the road and take on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are in the middle of a three game homestand. The Heat are currently on a two game winning streak, with a season record of 16-11, which is good enough to put them in first place in their Southeast Division. The Cavaliers are currently on a three game winning streak, with wins against the Bulls, Timberwolves and Kings.
The Miami Heat will have a tough visit to Cleveland on Monday night in the NBA. The Heat will be without their center, Bam Adebayo, as Jimmy Butler will most probably miss the game as well. Miami is on a 2-game winning streak, defeating some of the best teams in the East – the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Chicago Bulls. This recent performance kept them above their upcoming opponents as the Heat are currently 4th with 16 wins and 11 losses. The Cavs, on the other hand, are surprisingly 5th in the East with a 16-12 record.
They have been without their superstar, Collin Sexton, for quite some time already, but it seems that his teammates are able to keep up the fantastic form so far. The Cavs have defeated the likes of the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Sacramento Kings in their last three games in the NBA. They have been quite dominant in doing so, as each team suffered a defeat by at least 14 points. Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Kevin Love are doing everything they can in order to keep their incredible performance running. I think that they will seize the opportunity against Miami and they will be able to cover the spread once again.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5 (-110)
The Miami Heat had a big win against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday as they won without their star players Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. This team is impressing as they continue to fight through adversity. After two big wins against the Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks, the Heat will look to keep things going against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Back on the road 🛫 pic.twitter.com/ZuHNTgeWXU
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 12, 2021
Cleveland has been one of the NBA’s breakout teams this year. They’re 16-12 and are in the midst of a three-game win streak. In their 117-103 win over the Sacramento Kings they had seven players score in the double digits. They’ve had a great season as their veteran talent and high draft picks are really meshing. While the Heat have proven no task is too big, and despite their injuries, this Cleveland team continues to play with confidence. With this matchup being at Quicken Loans Arena, I think the best bet is picking the Cavs to get their streak to four.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-194)
On Monday night we get to see two teams that continue to win, despite both having had to face some serious injury issues. The Cleveland Cavaliers were playing better basketball than many expected before Colin Sexton went out for the year with a torn meniscus, and when many expected them to fold and come crashing back down, they continued to roll along, not quite at the level they were at, but certainly still better than expected.
For Miami, they’ve looked like one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference for much of the year, apart from a stretch or two where their play slipped a bit. Behind the play of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro, they’ve shown that they have one of the best rosters in the league, although that has since been put to the test with Bam being out for 4-6 weeks, and Butler dealing with some recurring back issues. Even with these injury issues they continue to win, as they enter this one at 16-11, and they lead their division. As for this one though, I like the Cavs to get a win at home. Miami has seen their play slip at times on the road, and I could see that happening again in this one. It’s a game that comes down to the wire, but Cleveland eventually pulls it out late.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-194)
Golden State Warriors @ Indiana Pacers – 7pm ET
The Golden State Warriors play their second game of a five game road trip against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. The Warriors are coming off a tough loss last time out to the 76ers, 93-102, and this takes their season record to 21-4. The Pacers have a season record of 12-16, but they have won three games in a row.
The Golden State Warriors suffered a surprising loss in their last game to the inconsistent Philadelphia 76ers. Steph Curry is still chasing Ray Allen’s record for most 3-pointers made throughout his NBA career. The Warriors’ shooting guard went for 6-20 from the field, and sank only 3 shots from deep range out of 14 attempts. However, it’s clear that when he doesn’t have a good night, the situation for Golden State drastically worsens. Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins are still unable to cover for his bad performance when it occurs. All in all, the Warriors are right behind the Phoenix Suns in the current standings with 21 wins and 5 losses.
The Indiana Pacers are one of the worst performing teams this season. They have been projected to be an almost certain Playoffs team, but so far things are not looking that bright. The Pacers are 13th in the East with a 12-16 record that might keep them close to the top 10, but they will still have a long way to go to achieve the minimum task for this season. The team comes into this match on a 3-game winning streak after defeating the Wizards, the Knicks, and the Mavericks. Domantas Sabonis has been on fire recently as he averages a double-double for the season with 18.2 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. However, although I really like the Pacers, I think that it’s time for Curry to launch his last attacks at the all-time record. I am going with a win for the Golden State Warriors in this one and trusting them to cover the spread.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors -3.5 (-110)
After ending the Phoenix Suns’ 18-game win streak, the Golden State Warriors have gone 2-2, including a loss on Saturday night to the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite showing some vulnerabilities in recent games, the Warriors probably aren’t too worried. They still have a top-rated offense and defense, and are awaiting the return of all-star Klay Thompson and 2020 second-overall pick James Wiseman. Plus, Steph Curry has won three NBA Championships and head coach Steve Kerr has won a handful of championships between being a player and coach; they know what it takes to get to the Finals. Sometimes it can be good to get some early season losses out of the way.
Golden State now face the Indiana Pacers, a team that’s struggled mightily until last week—where they won three straight games. The scoring potential is always there for Indiana; when you look over their roster it’s easy to see the talent they have. They’ve just had a hard time functioning as a unit. While they might not be Golden State good in the team statistics, they are slowly rising up the ranks in both offensive and defensive categories. Still, even with the Pacers’ run, and the home court advantage, I can’t see the Warriors dropping their third in five games. I think they’ll depend on their hard nose defense to slow this Pacers team down.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors -3.5 (-110)
Golden State comes into this one as one of the best two teams in the NBA, as them and Phoenix are quite plainly sitting at 1-2 in some order. With Steph playing at an MVP level, and getting some real help from Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, the offense is outstanding, and they’ve actually shown the ability to be scrappy on the defensive end as well. One other thing to keep in mind about this Warriors team is that they’re yet to lose back-to-back games this season, and they lost to Philly in their last outing. I don’t expect that stat to change in this one, as I think they simply have too much talent for this Indiana team, even going on the road to Indianapolis.
The Pacers, despite coming into this one on a three game winning streak, only sit at 12-16 on the year, which is somewhat disappointing for a team that was a game away from the postseason last year. The defense has been shaky all year long, and the offense goes through different spells, as they’ve shown the ability to score in bunches, but also have the ability to completely vanish. This inconsistency doesn’t bode well for them as they welcome in the team that may be the most consistent in the league. Look for Golden State to go on the road and get a relatively easy win, as I think the Warriors offense just has too much firepower for an inconsistent Indiana team.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors -3.5 (-110)
Milwaukee Bucks @ Boston Celtics – 7pm ET
The Milwaukee Bucks have one final game on the road, against the Boston Celtics, before returning home again. The Bucks are playing on back-to-back days, and last time out they got the win against the Knicks, 112-97, which brings their season record to 18-10. The Celtics are currently on a three game losing streak, with losses to the Lakers, Clippers and Suns, and it certainly doesn’t get any easier on Monday night against the Bucks!
The Milwaukee Bucks are once again among the top teams in the Eastern Conference. After a difficult opening to this season, the reigning champions managed to pull themselves together as they found their way to 8 straight wins. Then, the team suffered two losses against the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat, but this was just a distraction from their fantastic form. They have been a pure class in the last month and their opponents find it really hard to keep them below 100 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo found his rhythm right after Khris Middleton made his return and took some of the responsibility off his shoulders. The team is looking for any mistake that the Nets might make in order to further close the gap to first place and contest it when they get the chance. The Bucks sit in 2nd place with 18 wins and 10 losses.
The Boston Celtics will try to stop their losing streak in its tracks as they have lost their most recent three matches in the NBA. However, they had to face some of the top teams in the likes of the Clippers, Lakers, and the Suns. Jayson Tatum is really doing his best to carry the Celtics on his shoulders, but his attempts are unsuccessful so far. Boston is 10th in the East with a negative win-ratio. It will be another tough season for them as they are pulling off such a performance with almost their full squad, with the exception of Jaylen Brown. I think that the Celtics are experienced enough to break Milwaukee’s game which will affect the score in the end. In my opinion, picking the option for “under points” seems really attractive at this point in the season.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Under 222.5 (-108)
Aside from a confusing loss against a hobbled Miami Heat team, the Milwaukee Bucks are on a roll lately. They’ve won 12 of their last 14 and are starting to look like the team that won last season’s NBA Championship, even without starter Brook Lopez (who is recovering from injury). They’ll set their sights on another win Monday night as they take on the Boston Celtics.
With Jaylen Brown primed to make his return tomorrow night, he gives insight into his recovery process and what he wants to add to the team upon his return. pic.twitter.com/LTkINtgB8F
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 12, 2021
Boston are just clinging onto their playoff hopes as they sit at 10th in the Eastern Conference. Yes, the season is still young, but this team has struggled, largely due to their inability to stay healthy. This includes last week, as they missed their star player Jaylen Brown. Brown’s absence was glowing, as the Celtics have lost three straight games. Luckily, Brown should be back Monday as the team returns to the TD Garden to face a Milwaukee team that they’ve had some solid battles against in recent years. When they beat the Bucks back in mid-November, they won in overtime—but a big factor was missing: Giannis Antetokounmpo. Now, the Bucks are close to full-strength, and even though Boston is too, it might take Brown a couple games to get back in rhythm with the team. I’m going to have to go with Milwaukee.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-102)
The Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks meet up in a Monday night matchup that has the potential to be a great game. Milwaukee has started to play much better basketball as of late, now that they are virtually completely healthy, with Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday coming back from injury/Covid issues. There’s a reason they won the title last year, and with these guys getting back in the lineup to help Giannis out, they’re beginning to look similar to that team from last season.
For Boston, no one’s quite sure what the issue has been so far, outside of the clear issue that they just can’t shoot the ball at all. There’s some serious talent on the team, with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown being the 1-2 punch, but outside of those two, the rest of the team is struggling to put productive minutes on the board at all, and even those main two have found the shooting efficiency idea extremely problematic. Against a team that has begun to play like one of the league’s best, I don’t like a shaky Boston team’s chances at getting a win, even at home, so give me the Bucks to go on the road and get a big win in a tough environment.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-102)
Philadelphia 76ers @ Memphis Grizzlies – 8pm ET
The Philadelphia 76ers have one game on the road before returning home again, and on Monday night they will face off against the Memphis Grizzlies. The 76ers have won four of their last five games, including a nice win last time out against the Warriors, 102-93. The Grizzlies are currently on a two game winning streak, with wins against the Lakers and Rockets, which brings their season record to 16-11.
The Philadelphia 76ers and the Memphis Grizzlies will face each other on Monday night in the NBA. Both teams have had some troubles to deal with so far this season. Philly faced Covid-19 issues that affected their top players, Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris. The Grizzlies will be without their superstar, Ja Morant, for more than two months as he limped off the floor in their game against Atlanta Hawks. Later on, it was reported that he suffered from a knee injury that required some treatment. The Grizzlies, however, entered a fantastic recent form as they are coming into this matchup against Philly on a 7-1 run.
The 76ers, on the other hand, had been merciless against the Golden State Warriors in their last match in the NBA. Joel Embiid single-handedly carried his team to the final victory as he was playing great on both ends. Following his recovery from Covid-19, the Cameroonian has been playing on a very high level for his team. He will definitely look to further improve his game as the 76ers are still in the playoff mix, sitting in 6th place with 15 wins and 12 losses. I think that this will be a very electrifying game that can go both ways. However, I am happy to trust Philly and Embiid in this one.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (-136)
After going through a couple of weeks where COVID, seemed like it was creeping across their entire team, the Philadelphia 76ers got a statement win on Saturday, knocking off the NBA’s best team, the Golden State Warriors. Joel Embiid was once again brilliant with a near double-double, but the team’s defense was key, as they held one of the NBA’s best offenses to under 100 points and only allowed 20 points in the fourth. Now, Philadelphia will look to continue that momentum against a fiery, young Grizzlies squad.
Despite star player Ja Morant being out with an injury, this young Grizzlies core is demanding respect, as they show the league they’re going to be a force to reckon with for years to come. Players including Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, and Jaren Jackson Jr., are stepping up in Morant’s absence, as they’ve won seven of their last eight. Even though Memphis has shown little fear in recent games, this 76ers team is coming off the big win they’ve been craving by beating the Warriors. I’ll pick Philly in what should be a close one.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (-136)
This is another matchup between two teams that have had their fair share of issues so far this season, as Philadelphia had to go through a lengthy stretch without Joel Embiid due to Covid protocols, and Memphis is currently without their best player in Ja Morant, who’s out for roughly two months with a knee sprain. What we learned from these two situations for each team is that Philly is glad to have Embiid back, as they were absolutely atrocious without him, while the Grizzlies don’t seem to be missing Ja all that much, as they’ve run off a record of 7-1 without him.
In this one, I think the issue becomes how much each team relies on their superstar to thrive. For Philly, clearly Joel Embiid runs things and is the main catalyst for everything that happens on the floor, whereas based on recent results it looks as if Ja Morant, while being an absolute monster, doesn’t have quite the same impact on the Grizzlies results, especially as of late. With that being said, I actually like Memphis to keep the hot run going, as I think the sum of all the parts within that roster is better than what Philly has outside of Embiid. If you slow Embiid down, you force major pressure on the rest of the Sixers team, and it’s not pressure I think they can handle. Look for Memphis to put a lot of focus on the big man from Cameroon, and trust that they can outplay the rest of the lineup. Memphis wins this one in extremely tight fashion, with it potentially coming down to the last minute or two.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (+118)
Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Clippers – 10.30pm ET
The final game on Monday night’s slate will see the Phoenix Suns take the court against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Suns have won three of their four games played so far in December, with their only loss coming against the Warriors, 96-118. The Clippers are on a three game winning streak, with wins coming against the Trail Blazers, Celtics and Magic, bringing their season record to 15-12.
The game between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers will definitely be the highlight of the day in the NBA. The Suns are off to a fantastic start this season as they managed to beat their previous franchise record for most consecutive wins. Phoenix won 18 games in a row, a streak that began in October and ended in December. The team has been outclassing their opponents quite easily throughout these games as they rarely faced any major difficulties on their way to breaking the record. Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, and Devin Booker have been just a small part of the whole team responsible for this achievement. So far, the Suns are on top of the table in the West with 21 wins and 4 losses.
The Los Angeles Clippers are still without Kawhi Leonard and they have played a couple of matches without Paul George as well. The team, however, managed to get it together and fought for 15 wins out of 27 games. This gives them 5th place in the current standings which is a fairly good performance keeping in mind the current circumstances. Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard lead the way for the Clippers in these games, as Terrance Mann continues to be a solid pick for Tyronn Lue. However, there seems to be a bit of inconsistency when it comes to big games for the team from Los Angeles. They have been pulling it through against lower-tier teams, but I doubt they will be able to find the winning recipe against the Phoenix Suns. Hence, I will support Phoenix in this one.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (-148)
The Clippers continue to stay alive in the Western Conference, despite Kawhi Leonard’s ongoing absence and Paul George missing the last two games. The team is currently on a three-game win streak and are getting major contributions from the likes of Reggie Jackson, Terrence Mann, and second rounder Brandon Boston Jr. Unfortunately, George continues to be doubtful for the game against the Suns on Monday night—a team that recently won 18 games in a row.
📊 23 PTS / 7 3PM / 8-16 FG
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 12, 2021
That being said, the Suns have their injury issues too: Devin Booker will miss the game with a hamstring injury. Booker hasn’t played a game in December, but luckily, the Suns also have a fair share of role players who are happy to step in at any time. Players like Cam Johnson, Cam Payne, and veteran Jae Crowder have picked up the scoring in Booker’s absence. Plus, it’s always nice when you have a certain Chris Paul anchoring your offense. Both of these teams have guys who are thrilled to step up when the opportunity comes their way. But, the Suns just have a bit too much firepower, even with Booker out.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns -3 (-110)
Both of these teams are among the most talented in the NBA, but one of them sits in a class of their own, along with only Golden State and Brooklyn. Los Angeles, while performing pretty well with Paul George leading the way in Kawhi Leonard’s absence, has been somewhat inconsistent so far this year, and I think that inconsistency probably continues. They’re getting pretty good production from Reggie Jackson, Terrance Mann, and company, in addition to the numbers that PG-13 is putting up, but it hasn’t been at a consistent enough pace to imagine them actually making a deep run through the postseason this year.
Phoenix, on the other hand, has been phenomenal this year, including running off 18-straight wins at one point. With Devin Booker, De’Andre Ayton, and Chris Paul all playing at a reasonably high level, and with them still getting help from guys like Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges, they’re showing how they managed to win the Western Conference last year and why they have dreams of repeating that accomplishment, if not actually winning a title this season. Even with this one being in Los Angeles, I just think the Suns have been a much more consistent team this season on both sides of the ball, which causes me to lean towards taking them in a reasonably tight one on Monday night.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (-148)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.