Our free NBA picks are out for Monday, December 27th, 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!
Chicago Bulls @ Atlanta Hawks – 7.30pm ET
The Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks play each other in back-to-back games, and this Monday night game is the first. The Bulls are on a two game winning streak, which takes their season record to 19-10. The Hawks have won only one of their last four games, with the win coming against the 76ers, 98-96.
After suffering an unpleasant 87-101 loss to the New York Knicks on Christmas Day, the Hawks will face yet another tough squad in the East. The Chicago Bulls have been quite dominant this year mainly due to their top players – DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine. The latter has been sidelined for a couple of games, but he is now cleared of the health and safety protocols. The team enjoys second place in the East, sitting right behind the Brooklyn Nets. They have won nearly two-thirds of their matches and are looking to continue their pursuit for the top spot.
The Hawks, on the other hand, have been struggling throughout the campaign so far. They are 10th in the Eastern standings with 15 wins and 17 losses. Although they have players like Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, and John Collins, they find it really hard to close out games against weaker teams. Young and Huerter will miss the fixture against the Bulls and this will further worsen the situation for the guests. In my opinion, the Chicago Bulls are huge favorites to win the first head-to-head game between these teams for the season. On top of that, they had the opportunity to rest for a whole week which might benefit them in the end. I will go with the Bulls’ spread in this one.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls -5 (-110)
The Atlanta Hawks basically have their entire starting lineup out with COVID right now, and it showed on Christmas Day: they were embarrassed by the New York Knicks, losing 87-101. In the Knicks game, their leading scorer was John Collins—who dropped 20 points—but Collins is one of those starters who is now in protocol and will not be featured in Monday’s matchup against the Bulls. They’ll depend heavily on the likes of Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Delon Wright to give them a scoring surge, but they’ll have a hard time staying in the game against a Chicago Bulls team that is currently the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
G with the fake. Sky with the make 😎
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 26, 2021
If there is a silver lining for the Hawks in this one, it’s that the Bulls are without a few players right now too. Guards Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso will both miss this game, as will head coach Billy Donovan, who is in COVID protocol. Still, the Bulls are stacked with talent as they’ll have their three all-stars DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic in this one. Those three should be more than enough to take out this depleted Atlanta team; I’ll pick them to cover.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls -5 (-110)
In the first of back-to-back games between these two teams, we get the Chicago Bulls coming in as the second best team in the East, while the Atlanta Hawks continue to disappoint. The Bulls have continued to rely on guys like Lonzo Ball, DeMar Derozan, and Zach LaVine to lead the way, while getting solid help from the bench as well, which is exactly opposite of what is going on in Atlanta.
The Atlanta Hawks are nearly solely reliant on Trae Young, as he’s the only constant on the roster. The rest of the Hawks roster has been pretty terrible for much of the year, which has limited what they can do, with them being a one-man show. Now, you can add the fact that Young is out as he’s been in Health and Safety Protocols and still won’t be cleared in time for Monday’s game, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. With Young being out, I see no way Atlanta keeps this one even remotely close, so give me Chicago in a big way.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls -5 (-110)
Boston Celtics @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 8pm ET
The Boston Celtics hit the road and on Monday night they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Celtics lost their game last time out, which drops their season record to 16-17. The Timberwolves are currently on a two game losing streak, with losses to the Mavericks and Jazz.
The Boston Celtics will travel to Minnesota on Monday to face the Timberwolves who will be without most of their top players including Patrick Beverley, Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Jarred Vanderbilt. The Celtics, on the other hand, also have troubles with Covid-19, but both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are free of it. Both teams have similar performances this year as both of them are 9th in their respective Conference. The Timberwolves have 15 wins and 17 losses from the beginning of the season, while the Celtics are slightly better with a 16-17 record.
If the Timberwolves were all healthy for this match, I’d easily say that they were going to win it due to the sheer inconsistency shown by the Celtics so far. But now, I don’t think they have a chance at withstanding the strong team from Massachusetts who almost defeated Giannis and Khris Middleton on Christmas Day. On top of that, the Celtics can use Marcus Smart and Robert Williams who have been playing on a high level recently. My suggestion here is to go for Boston’s spread as they will be eager to end the year on a high note.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Boston Celtics -8.5 (-110)
The Boston Celtics are coming off a nail biting loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas Day, in which they blew a 15-point halftime lead. Even though it was a tough loss, the Celtics need to feel pretty good they were able to hang with an almost full-strength Bucks team despite having almost no bench, due to numerous players being sidelined with COVID. They’ll hope for a better result on Monday as they face a Minnesota Timberwolves team that’s missing quite a few players themselves including D’Angelo Russell, Karl Anthony Towns, and possibly Anthony Edwards.
With all three of their star players out, the Timberwolves are going to have a hard time generating much offense. Even at home, they’ll have a hard time keeping up with the scoring abilities of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who both put up 20+ points in the loss to the Bucks. Unless Minnesota has an unbelievably hot night shooting the ball, I can’t see them providing much of a contest for the Celtics.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Boston Celtics -8.5 (-110)
These are two teams that have been extremely disappointing all year long based on the talent level that each roster features. The Boston Celtics feature Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who together have the potential to be great, much less how good they can be when you add a decent supporting cast to the mix. The problem is that they’ve gotten virtually no help from that supporting cast, and the shooting from everyone, including Brown and Tatum, has just been abysmal nearly all year long.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a similar situation, as they have a key core of Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D’Angelo Russell that should be able to win a decent number of games themselves before you even add a bench that includes a guy like Patrick Beverly. The problem is that for whatever reason, the group just hasn’t been able to win games, which has been disappointing if you’re a Wolves fan. Now you add in the fact that all three of this core for Minnesota is likely out, and this team is going to struggle to figure out how to score. I like Boston in this one, solely because they’re a bit more healthy at this point. Give me Boston and the points here, as I think this T’Wolves team is in serious trouble without KAT or Russell for sure, and potentially being without Edwards as well.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Boston Celtics -8.5 (-110)
Utah Jazz @ San Antonio Spurs – 8.30pm ET
The Utah Jazz kick off a two game road trip in San Antonio, when they take on the Spurs, who themselves are in the middle of a three game homestand. The Jazz are currently on a three game winning streak, with wins against the Hornets, Timberwolves and Mavericks. The Spurs are also on a three game winning streak, and their wins have come against the Clippers, Lakers and Pistons.
The 3rd-placed team in the West, Utah Jazz, takes on the San Antonio Spurs who will fight for a Playoffs spot until the end. They are currently 10th in the standings with 14 wins and 18 losses. The Spurs won their last three matches in the NBA, demolishing the Clippers, the Lakers, and the Pistons. There is definitely no leader to this team as they show great balance within the squad relying on all of their players for a good overall performance. Jacob Poeltl is one of the most underrated centers in the NBA nowadays as he is capable of erupting at any moment. Keita Bates-Diop made a perfect game, shooting 11-11, and finishing off with 30 points against the Lakers.
The Utah Jazz, on the other hand, survived against the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day. They came in clutch in the end to close out the game, 120-116. Donovan Mitchell finished with 33 points on 11-26 shooting. Bojan Bogdanovic is surely the most consistent player on that roster as he regularly goes for more than 20 points on more than 50% shooting. He is even 43.7% from the 3-point line which is better than some of the top players in the League. I think that the Jazz are the team with the greatest depth in the squad alongside the Phoenix Suns. They have proven that they don’t have one superstar, but more like a team full of superstars. However, there seems to be a slight decline in their performance around Christmas which is quite the opposite to what’s happening with the Spurs recently. That’s why I will suggest picking San Antonio’s spread in this game as I think it will be a much closer game than what’s offered by the bookmakers.
Denis’ NBA Pick: San Antonio Spurs +7.5 (-110)
The Utah Jazz continue to gain ground on the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns for a top two seed in the Western Conference. The Jazz have won three straight thanks to their excellent depth and the scoring of Donovan Mitchell. That being said, on Christmas they barely beat a depleted Dallas Mavericks team 120-116, and even worse, Mitchell will miss at least the next two games with a lower back sprain. On Monday, they face a young San Antonio Spurs team that beat them back on December 17th.
Keldon Johnson (27 PTS, 5 REB, 4 3PM) leads the way as the @spurs cruise to the home victory!
Jock Landale: 18 PTS, 5 REB
Jakob Poeltl: 14 PTS, 4 REB
Hamidou Diallo: 28 PTS, 3 STL
Luka Garza: 20 PTS, 6 REB pic.twitter.com/FTOn21YUkM
— NBA (@NBA) December 27, 2021
The Spurs have won four of five games, but received unfortunate news on Sunday as they lost their best player Dejounte Murray to COVID protocol. Still, that didn’t seem to bother them come game time as they dropped 144 points on the Pistons, winning 144-109. The Utah Jazz are not the lowly Pistons; even without Mitchell. Plus, not having Dejounte Murray will hurt the Spurs as Utah will look for redemption from the mid-December loss. Expect the likes of Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson to step up in this one, as Clarkson scored 30 points last time Mitchell was inactive.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz (-330)
Michael’s Bonus NBA Pick: Jordan Clarkson – Over 18.5 (-106)
Both of these teams come into this one on three game winning streak, but the two teams are of different caliber when it comes to talent level. The Utah Jazz come in as one of the most balanced teams in the league, with guys like Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell leading the way, but also having Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson to pick up the slack when needed. This roster has been one of the best in the NBA for years, and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down this year.
San Antonio is in a bit of a different situation, as they’ve been playing a bit better after a slow start to the season, but the talent still isn’t there for this to be a consistent thing. I don’t think this Spurs team, despite playing much better, largely due to the discipline instilled under coach Greg Poppavich, has the chance to really stick around and compete with the way the Jazz have been playing as of late.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -7.5 (-110)
Memphis Grizzlies @ Phoenix Suns – 9pm ET
The Memphis Grizzlies wrap up their road trip on Monday night when they take on the Phoenix Suns. The Grizzlies snapped a three game losing streak last time out, with a win against the Kings, 127-102. The Suns, on the other hand, had their five game winning streak snapped last time out, with a loss to the Warriors, 107-116.
The Memphis Grizzlies will take on the Phoenix Suns in one of the most compelling matches in the NBA on Monday night. The Suns suffered a surprising loss to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day. Their opponent has been without Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole and they still found a way to go past Chris Paul and his teammates. The main reason for the loss was Devin Booker who failed to deliver as he made just 5 out of 19 shots in the match. This raised yet another concern for the Suns who find it hard to be on top of their game in such important fixtures.
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, are 4th in the West with three consecutive losses suffered right before Christmas. They lost to the Blazers, the Thunder and the Warriors, but in their last match they managed to outplay the Sacramento Kings. They are still in the top half of the standings, but this might soon change if they continue like that. The team has been doing pretty well even without their superstar, Ja Morant, but they have a tough transition to playing with him once again. I think that this game will be a nervous one as both teams will want the victory in order to get out of the mini-crisis. Hence, I will go with the option for the “under points” here as I don’t see anybody erupting in this Western Conference clash.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Under 219 (-110)
On Christmas Day, the Phoenix Suns had a big opportunity to prove they’re the best team in basketball, as they faced the Golden State Warriors at home. Before the game things were looking up: the Warriors were without key supporting players including Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins (both are in COVID protocol). Unfortunately, an almost completely healthy Suns team couldn’t step up as they fell to the Warriors 107-116. Things won’t get any easier for them on Monday as they face a high powered Memphis Grizzlies offense.
Memphis were running into some hard times after Ja Morant returned from injury last week. This was a bit surprising; the team had done exceptional while he was out, winning 10 of 11 games. After a few games of frustration the Grizzlies picked up a big win on Sunday night, knocking off the Sacramento Kings 127-102, thanks to a big game from Desmond Bane. They’ll look to keep the wins coming as they face a Suns team that’s going to be playing angry after blowing a big opportunity against their Western Conference rivals. The Grizzlies have shown they can compete with the best this season, but they’ll be without starter Dillon Brooks and role-player De’Anthony Melton, which will cause a bit of a void in their scoring attack. They might’ve gotten off 127 without those two on Sunday, but the Suns are a lot better than the Kings. Still, with Brandon Clarke back in the lineup and plenty of other guys ready to step up, I expect the Grizzlies to at least beat the spread, to make that the best bet for your money.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies +9 (-108)
This is a game that has the potential to be extremely intriguing, depending on which Memphis Grizzlies squad shows up. If we see the team that has two separate winning streaks of 5+ games this month, the Grizzlies have the talent and ability to stick around with last year’s Western Conference champions, but if we see the Grizz team that slipped up to OKC and Portland, then I think Phoenix has the chance to run away with this one, possibly with ease.
Phoenix is still courting virtually the same roster that won the conference last year, and with Chris Paul, DeAndre Ayton, and Devin Booker all healthy, I think this is a Suns team that has the ability to match up with this Memphis roster better than most teams in the league do. For that reason, I’m going to lean Phoenix by a nose here to get the win at home, but I do think Ja Morant and the Grizz stick around and keep it close.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies +9 (-108)
Brooklyn Nets @ Los Angeles Clippers – 10.30pm ET
The Brooklyn Nets wrap up their road trip on Monday night when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers. After having three of their games postponed in a row, the Nets were able to finally get out on the court again on Christmas Day, where they won against the Lakers, 122-115. The Clippers have only won one of their last five games, and this drops their season record to 17-15.
The game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers promises to be one of the most interesting matchups for the season. However, both teams will be without two of their superstars. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are sidelined for the Nets, while Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will be missing for the Clippers. This surely has a negative impact on our expectations for the game, but it will be interesting to see how the rest of their teams will perform under such circumstances. The Nets continue their march in the East as they top the Conference with 22 wins and 9 losses. The situation within the Clippers is kind of intense as they are much closer to the last place than they are to the first and second spot, occupied by the Warriors and the Suns.
The Clippers are highly dependent on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and that has been proven throughout the last season as well. They can be a pretty good team without them, but they are not as consistent as they would like to be. The same thing goes for the Nets as they need at least two of their superstars to be playing in order to have a chance at the NBA Championship. This game will surely be a treat for the fans, but in a later stage of the season. So far, I think that the Clippers will come out on top with a better defense that will win them this match.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers (+160)
No KD, no problem, as the Brooklyn Nets were able to capture a massive Christmas Day win over the struggling Los Angeles Clippers thanks to James Harden’s triple-double and Patty Mills’ 34 points. The Nets proved that despite their best player being on COVID protocol, along with a few other key role players, that they can still step up and win big games. They’ll be without Durant again on Monday, as they face a resilient Los Angeles Clippers team that hasn’t let injuries and COVID keep them down either.
Battled to the final buzzer. pic.twitter.com/6vTj3crmqi
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 27, 2021
Even without Paul George (elbow injury) and Reggie Jackson (COVID), the Clippers were able to take the Denver Nuggets down to the wire on Sunday night, losing 100-103. Veteran Eric Bledsoe gave them 18 points, and they once again got a big game from second round pick Brandon Boston Jr., who scored 18 points and is looking like a major draft steal. Ever since last season’s playoffs, the Clippers have had a “next man up” mentality, which will serve them well as they face a Nets team that’s missing some major pieces. That being said, despite the Nets being a bit depleted, they still have a former MVP running the show in Harden, and while Blake Griffin has struggled this season, he’ll definitely relinquish the opportunity to down his former team. Ultimately, I think this one ends up being close and while I’m not totally confident in the Clippers ability to win, I will take them to cover.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers +4.5 (-110)
These are two really good teams that are trending in opposite directions. The Brooklyn Nets seem to be thriving, as they managed to pick up a win over the Lakers on Christmas Day, even without KD in the lineup. This is a Brooklyn team that also has James Harden and Patty Mills to lean on when needed, and they’re soon to have Kyrie in the mix on the road as well. With the roster they currently have, this is the kind of team that, if healthy, has a real chance to compete for a title at year’s end.
For the Los Angeles Clippers, when they’re fully healthy, I think they’re in a similar spot, as having the core of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard is one of the best duos in basketball, but the problem is that they’re now without both, as Kawhi still recovers from a torn ACL, and PG-13 is now out with a torn elbow ligament. Terence Mann and Luke Kennard can do a decent job, but without George, Leonard, or Reggie Jackson (who’s out with Covid), I question how this Los Angeles team is going to manage to stay afloat, as they’ve already been struggling for much of the year. I like Brooklyn to go ahead and take care of a Los Angeles sweep here, as they take advantage of a Clips roster that is just quite simply depleted.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets -4.5 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.