Yesterday saw some massive upsets across the league, but our NBA picks are riding with four favorites from tonights five contests!
We have one team staying undefeated and another getting their first win, but which underdog do we think will get the job done?
Find all five of our NBA picks below!
Detroit Pistons @ Atlanta Hawks – 7:30PM ET
Two teams that have started the season off in opposite directions, the 0-2 Detroit Pistons are on the road to take on the 2-0 Atlanta Hawks.
Detroit’s two games have seen them take early leads before a weaker second half allowed their opponents to run over the top of them, most recently in a double overtime loss to the Cavaliers.
Blake Griffin had an exceptional game in the loss with 26 points on the back of eight three pointers while Jerami Grant turned things around with a 28 point, 10 rebound breakout game in his second for the Pistons.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 27, 2020
They face a very tough test in the Atlanta Hawks on the road. The Hawks have managed two double-point victories to start the season, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies by 10 points on Saturday. Trae Young is averaging 36.5 points and 8 assists through two games and is getting great assistance from all of his supporting cast.
Atlanta is making serious claims as a playoff team out East and a home victory over Detroit is one that they should be getting.
NBA Pick – Atlanta Hawks (-420).
Memphis Grizzlies @ Brooklyn Nets – 7:30PM ET
The mighty Brooklyn Nets have fallen. After their first two performances, many were almost ready to crown the Nets as Eastern Conference champions already but the previously 0-2 Charlotte Hornets jumped them and held on to hand Brooklyn their first defeat.
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant combined for 50+ yet again but the Nets were bullied inside, losing the rebound count and giving up a massive 13 offensive boards to the Hornets.
The Nets now play on the second night of the back to back against a hungry Memphis Grizzlies team that is yet to notch a win on the board after losses to the Spurs and Hawks in their first two. Ja Morant is leading the way for Memphis with averages of 36 points and 8 assists through the first two.
He had more help in this one with all other starters scoring in double figures but they have now given up 131 and 122 points leading into this one and face one of the best offenses in the league.
The story here is whether Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant play on the second night of a back-to-back. Durant has stated he wants to play but has to wait and see how his body feels in the morning.
The Grizzlies line (+7.5) might be the play now, just in case one of the pair gets pulled tomorrow during the day and it comes in big time, but we have to assume they are playing and if they do, Brooklyn will win.
NBA Pick – Brooklyn Nets (-330).
Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder – 8PM ET
The Utah Jazz followed up their 20 point victory over the Trail Blazers with a disappointing five point loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves to sit at 1-1. They now get on the road to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder who has played just one game, a two-point victory over the Hornets.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been given the keys to the car of this new look Thunder outfit, having a monster game with 24 points, 7 boards and 9 assists. George Hill provided some sharp shooting assistance adding in 21 points on 8/9 from the field while Darius Bazley had a 15 point, 10 rebound double-double.
The Thunder showed resilience and a “what else can we do?” mentality against Charlotte. @NickGallo22 reports on how OKC’s mental approach resulted in a season opening win.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 27, 2020
They now face a much harder opponent in the Utah Jazz, despite their disappointing performance on Saturday. Donovan Mitchell could only manage 11 points through the first three quarters and Utah saw their deficit balloon to as big as 17-points in the third quarter.
A last quarter comeback was on the cards with Mitchell scoring 10 points in the fourth, but Minnesota, led by D’Angelo Russell’s 25 points and 6 assists, held on.
Oklahoma City has the right pieces to be a nightmare on the defensive end for some teams, but Utah has a good balance of scoring options that should allow them to overcome the Thunder’s versatility.
NBA Pick – Utah Jazz (-310).
Houston Rockets @ Denver Nuggets – 9PM ET
Two sides that are coming off heartbreaking losses, the 0-1 Houston Rockets travel to the Mile High City to take on the 0-2 Denver Nuggets.
Denver has lost in overtime to the Sacramento Kings and then were outdone by the Los Angeles Clippers on Christmas Day in the revenge game from the 2020 NBA playoffs. Jamal Murray bounced back into some sort of form against the Clippers with 23 points, while Nikola Jokic was one rebound shy of his second straight triple double.
The Nuggets never looked like winning that contest and now have an opportunity to get their first win against a short-handed Houston Rockets outfit. John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon highlight the long list of players that Houston will be missing due to COVID-19 protocols.
The lack of top level support meant that James Harden and Christian Wood went off in the Rockets’ overtime loss to Portland on Saturday night. Harden had 44 points and 17 assists while Wood had 31 points and 13 rebounds in monster performances, however it wasn’t enough to overcome the Trail Blazers.
James Harden tonight despite the L:
44 PTS – 17 AST – 54 FG% – 6/13 3PM – 14/16 FTM
Coming off a 4-day quarantine. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/FaMbSMbsmd
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) December 27, 2020
The fact that Houston is so undermanned, Denver, with an extra day’s rest, should be winning this one at home to get their season going.
NBA Pick – Denver Nuggets (-310).
Portland Trail Blazers @ Los Angeles Lakers – 10PM ET
After a major disappointment in their opening game, Portland bounced back with a two-point overtime victory over the Houston Rockets. CJ McCollum had 44 points and 8 assists in this one while Damian Lillard had a performance we are more accustomed to with 32 points and 9 assists.
This was a much better effort than their 100-point showing against Utah, with Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter both scoring in double figures as well. They now have to travel to Los Angeles to face their opponent from the opening round of the 2020 playoffs, the Lakers.
LA is on the second night of a back-to-back where they easily defeated a Minnesota team that had no Karl-Anthony Towns. Anthony Davis missed that one with an apparent calf injury, but that may just be an excuse to allow him to sit the first night of the back-to-back fixture. Given Davis missed the first, there is every chance that LeBron James may miss this contest, with the Lakers prioritising rest and easing into the season.
Portland should be looking to put another win on the board, cause the upset and get some revenge for their early playoff exit from last season, especially if one of Davis or James is missing.
NBA Pick – Portland Trail Blazers (+166).
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.