A massive eight NBA games to start the week and our NBA picks have the straight up & against the spread winners, as well as whether the game will go over or under.
Nikola Jokic put up a career high 50 last time out but the Denver Nuggets weren’t able to get the W. Can they right their wrongs when Giannis Antetokoumpo and the Milwaukee Bucks come to town?
We answer that and plenty more below in our free NBA picks.
Houston Rockets @ Charlotte Hornets – 7PM ET
The Charlotte Hornets are coming in with a full head of steam after their 119-97 victory over the Wizards last night. They now host a Houston Rockets side that lost last time out and has lost two of their last three.
John Wall had 27 points and seven assists while Boogie Cousins had a 12 point, 11 rebound double double, but the Rockets weren’t able to keep up with the Spurs late in the fourth quarter. Eric Gordon continued his good shooting form with 26 points off the bench and they will need all of their role players to perform above average against a Charlotte side that has been playing some good basketball lately.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) February 7, 2021
Winners of four from their last six, Charlotte now sits in seventh in the East. Last night saw them dominate the second and third quarters to blow Washington out of the water, winning 68-42 over the middle 24 minutes. Terry Rozier was the hot hand with 26 points, shooting 9/14 from the field and 5/9 from deep.
Houston has been a much better defensive side of late but this Charlotte offense seems to be humming along nicely. We like the home side as underdogs for the second straight night.
NBA Pick – Charlotte Hornets (+105)
NBA Spread – Charlotte Hornets +3.5 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Over 218.5 (-110)
Washington Wizards @ Chicago Bulls – 8PM ET
The Washington Wizards put up another lacklustre performance last night in Charlotte and have to back it up tonight against the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have gone 2-2 from their last four, splitting a pair with both Orlando and New York.
They will be hoping to carry momentum from their most recent performance, a 118-92 win over the Magic, winning the second quarter 30-12 to set themselves up. Zach LaVine exploded for 39 points while Denzel Valentine enjoyed his first start of the season with 20 points and four assists.
The question will be whether Russell Westbrook plays in this one. He hasn’t played both legs of a back to back set all season long and played 28 minutes last night in the loss. The issue is, Washington can’t afford to keep dropping games and need him out there alongside Bradley Beal, who had 31 points and six boards.
This is a tough game to pick as both sides are so inconsistent but Chicago are more rested, at home and have the better form coming in.
NBA Pick – Chicago Bulls (-133)
NBA Spread – Chicago Bulls -2 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Over 242.5 (-110)
Toronto Raptors @ Memphis Grizzlies – 8PM ET
The Toronto Raptors had their three game winning streak snapped by Atlanta on Saturday night but have a great opportunity to get back on track against the Memphis Grizzlies tonight. After sitting as high as fifth in the West, Memphis has dropped three straight games and have dropped all the way to 11th.
On Saturday, Memphis held a 102-95 lead with seven minutes to go but allowed New Orleans to go on a 20-2 run to lose the game. Jonas Valanciunas returned from a length COVID-19 related absence to put in 23 points and seven rebounds off the bench while Ja Morant had just 16 points on 35.7% shooting.
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) February 7, 2021
The Raptors had beaten Orlando twice and then the Nets but couldn’t quite keep up with the Hawks on Saturday, despite 25 points and 10 assists from Fred VanVleet and 29 points and 10 rebounds off the bench from Chris Boucher.
Memphis are a young, up and coming side and Valanciunas will want to have a big game against his old team but Toronto are more experienced, have better players in more positions and should take this one.
NBA Pick – Toronto Raptors (-140)
NBA Spread – Toronto Raptors -3 (-105)
Total Points Pick – Over 224 (-110)
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Dallas Mavericks – 8:30PM ET
The Dallas Mavericks bounced back from an embarrassing performance against Golden State on Thursday to turn the tables and come out on top by two points in the rematch on Saturday. They now host a Minnesota Timberwolves side that’s record isn’t a true representation of their play over the last five games.
The Wolves have gone just 2-3 over their last five but haven’t lost by more than three points in any of them, most recently by two points to the Thunder. Karl-Anthony Towns is still out due to COVID-19 but Naz Reid has been starting in his place and on Saturday he had his best game yet, putting up 29 points and six rebounds. Anthony Edwards had 20 points and eight rebounds to help pick up the slack for also missing D’Angelo Russell but it just wasn’t enough.
Things will be tougher again against Dallas who outlasted Steph Curry and the Warriors, 134-132. Curry put up 57 points on 11/19 from deep but Luka Doncic’s 42 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists was enough to help get his side the W. Despite Curry’s outburst, the Mavs, who are one of the worst three point shooting teams, made more threes and shot 44.7%, a big determining factor in the win.
Russell is just questionable for this clash and Dallas, at home, should be able to take advantage of a young and inexperienced Minnesota side and pick up the win. Dallas has a good mixture of offense and defense and are now coming together as a whole unit, which you can’t quite say about Minnesota.
NBA Pick – Dallas Mavericks (-455)
NBA Spread – Minnesota Timberwolves +8.5 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Over 222.5 (-110)
Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs – 8:30PM ET
The Golden State Warriors, fresh off splitting a two game set in Dallas, stay in Texas for a two game set with the San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors lost their most recent contest 132-134 while the Spurs have won two straight and have been doing it on the defensive end of late.
DeMar DeRozan led the way with 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while Derrick White and Rudy Gay both had 14 points. White is playing better and better as time goes on as he comes back from a long term injury and his production will only help the Spurs moving forward.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) February 7, 2021
Will he help them enough to overcome the Warriors? Despite losing, Golden State had some very positive signs from their players. Steph Curry had 57 points on 61.3% shooting from the field, 11/19 from deep and he had assistance on both ends of the floor. Draymond Green had 15 assists, six steals and four blocks while Andrew Wiggings continued to thrive as second fiddle, shooting 75% from the floor for 22 points.
Curry is obviously a big problem for opposing defenses but Dejounte Murray and White are very capable defenders and can help nullify Curry’s contributions. This is the first of a two game set and we expect the Warriors to try and turn things around straight away but San Antonio have too many pieces across the board in this one.
NBA Pick – San Antonio Spurs (-115)
NBA Spread – San Antonio Spurs -1 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Under 233 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Phoenix Suns – 9PM ET
The Phoenix Suns are in the midst of a seven game home stand and have won their first two, including yesterday over the Celtics. Phoenix will look to keep that home winning stand intact against a Cleveland side that has dropped three straight games by at least 18 points.
The Cavs had a two game home set against the Bucks, losing the pair by an average of 21.5 points. Andre Drummond had 28 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday night but leading scorer Collin Sexton had just 17 points on 33% shooting and they couldn’t score enough to keep up with Milwaukee.
Phoenix used an even approach to defeat the shorthanded Celtics yesterday, led by Mikal Bridges’ 19 points and nine rebounds but the surprise was Devin Booker dominating the playmaking responsibilities with 18 points and a season high 11 assists. Phoenix led for 47/48 minutes in this game and will be looking to be just as dominant against a struggling Cleveland side.
Deandre Ayton will need to stay out of foul trouble and have a big game against Drummond but with the Phoenix perimeter players doing what they are on both ends of the floor, they will be winning this one easily.
NBA Pick – Phoenix Suns (-333)
NBA Spread – Phoenix Suns -7 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Under 216.5 (-110)
Milwaukee Bucks @ Denver Nuggets – 9:30PM ET
This is the contest of the evening as the reigning MVP and one of the favorites for this year’s MVP go head to head as the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets face off in the Mile High City.
Denver is coming off a 114-119 loss to the Kings, all despite a career high 50 points from Nikola Jokic. Not only did he score, but with Jamal Murray missing with knee soreness, Jokic added 12 assists, eight rebounds and three blocks in the loss. No one else for Denver could really get going on offense but they will need all the help they can get against a firing Milwaukee offense that is now rated number one in the league.
Nikola Jokic is the first center with 50+ points and 10+ assists in a game since the three-point era (1980). pic.twitter.com/NwxMWgDTbB
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 7, 2021
The Bucks are on a four game winning steak, putting up just under 128 points per night with an average winning margin of 22.75. Saturday saw them win in Cleveland as Giannis, Middleton and Holiday all had 20+ while Bryn Forbes had 18 points on a perfect 6/6 shooting from downtown.
Murray is still questionable for this one and if Denver aren’t at full strength and firing on all cylinders, they won’t be able to keep up with Milwaukee. The Nuggets defense is still their achilles heel and against the highest rated offense in the league, that will be a serious issue. Look for the Bucks to push the tempo and try to out shoot Denver from deep but also dominate inside with the Greek Freak.
NBA Pick – Milwaukee Bucks (-192)
NBA Spread – Milwaukee Bucks -3.5 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Over 229.5 (-110)
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Lakers – 10PM ET
This is the first of a two game series between these two sides and the Oklahoma City Thunder will be looking for some revenge after the Los Angeles Lakers took the first meeting between these two teams four weeks ago. LeBron James dominated that matchup with 26 points, seven assists and six rebounds and will be looking for more of the same after a classic performance against Detroit on Saturday.
James missed the game winning layup as time expired but scored 10 points on 80% shooting in the two overtime periods, including two dagger deep balls to put the game out of reach. He ended with 33 points, 11 assists and four steals in the contest while Anthony Davis put up 30 points, five rebounds and 2 blocks.
Both may seem too much for OKC to handle, despite the team going 2-1 over their last three. Their two wins came over an undermanned Houston side and the struggling Timberwolves, but the positive for the Thunder is that they are 7-4 on the road, obviously playing much better when travelling. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returned from a two game absence to put in 31 points, nine rebounds and seven assists on Saturday, helping the Thunder outlast the Wolves.
While OKC have been playing better of late, the Lakers showed their might last time these sides met and we fully expect them to do the same in this matchup. James is chasing history and after watching Tom Brady cement himself as the GOAT of the NFL last night, he will want to come out hard and put in a vintage performance in this one.
NBA Pick – Los Angeles Lakers (-900)
NBA Spread – Los Angeles Lakers -12 (-110)
Total Points Pick – Under 217.5 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of Bet365.