Our free NBA picks are out for Monday, January 10th, 2022! 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!
Milwaukee Bucks @ Charlotte Hornets – 7pm ET
The Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets play each other in the second game of their back-to-back. In the first game, which was played a couple of days ago, it was the Hornets that came out victorious, 114-106. Can Bucks strike back instantly, or will the Hornets manage to get another win?
The Milwaukee Bucks will try to avoid going into further trouble with yet another loss for 2022. They have been in shambles ever since their defeat to the Detroit Pistons. The reigning champions have won just 1 out of their last 4 games. One of these losses came against the Charlotte Hornets who will be looking to double that success. In that game, Antetokounmpo, Portis, and Middleton finished off with double-doubles, which was simply not enough for the victory. Jordan Nwora, Langston Galloway, and Rodney Hood scored just 3 points from a total of 21 attempts.
The Hornets have been incredible recently. Kelly Oubre Jr. posted the all-time second-best performance in the last quarter. He dropped eight 3-pointers against the Pistons on Wednesday, helping his team snap a 2-game losing streak. Then, Terry Rozier came up huge against the Milwaukee Bucks, while Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball combined for 40 points. The Hornets are in 8th place in the East with 21 wins and 19 losses, while the Bucks are slightly ahead in 4th with a 26-16 record. I think that it’s revenge time as I don’t see how the defending champions will lose for a second time in a row against the Hornets.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-130)
The Hornets and Bucks faceoff for the second time since Saturday. In Saturday’s game, the Hornets pulled off an impressive victory where they won 114-106, despite Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 43 points. Charlotte is currently the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference; while their defense has been pretty atrocious, their offense scores the second-most points per game in the entire NBA. Sometimes they’re just able to catch heat and overpower their opponent on the defensive end. With the Bucks missing their best perimeter defender in Jrue Holiday (COVID protocol/ ankle issues), the Hornets were able to take advantage on Saturday. They’ll hope to have a repeat performance on Monday night.
All about the subtle things that help you win games.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 9, 2022
As mentioned, Milwaukee lost their best perimeter defender and always reliable scoring option Jrue Holiday last week to COVID protocols/ a nagging ankle issue. The injury report has Holiday missing Monday night’s game because of his ankle, and the Bucks will also be without key role player Pat Connaughton. Look for the Hornets to attack with their shooting again, but this time I expect the Bucks to make some defensive adjustments. They know that their offense will have no problem against this Hornets team that allows the most points per game in the NBA, but they should be able to slow them down on defense, to get back on track on Monday night.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-130)
The Charlotte Hornets knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks in the first game of what is a back-to-back set for these two. This Charlotte squad has played better as of late, with the offense getting back on track and leading the way, while the defense has played just well enough for them to pick up some wins.
For the defending champs, they’ve hit a bit of a snag with the start of the new year, starting with a loss to the Detroit Pistons. They’re 1-3 in their last four, but if there is one silver lining it’s the fact that the core has continued to play well. The problem has been the supporting cast to Khris Middleton and Giannis has struggled, but I don’t think that continues for very long. Eventually they’ll get back on track, and I think that starts in this one, as I don’t see them dropping two in a row to the Hornets. Give me Milwaukee to go on the road and get the win in this one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-130)
Utah Jazz @ Detroit Pistons – 7pm ET
The Utah Jazz wrap up their road trip on Monday night when they take on the Detroit Pistons, who also will wrap up their homestand tonight. The Jazz are currently on a two game losing streak, after suffering losses to the Raptors and Pacers. The Pistons may have a season record of 8-30, but they have won three of their last five games.
The Utah Jazz will face one of the weakest teams in the NBA nowadays as they will travel to Detroit. This will be their fifth straight away game as they have lost their last two meetings against the Toronto Raptors and the Indiana Pacers. The 2019 NBA Champions had an easy task to beat the Jazz without their starters, while the Pacers had to dig deep and push Domantas Sabonis to have a career-high 42 points in order to outclass Donovan Mitchell and his teammates. These two outcomes didn’t change much for the Jazz in the standings in the West as they remain 3rd right behind the Suns and the Warriors.
The Detroit Pistons showed some signs of rebirth as they won 3 out of their last 5 matches in the NBA. The team outplayed the San Antonio Spurs in overtime, 117-116, as Hamidou Diallo scored a career-high 34 points, while Saddiq Bey finished off with a fantastic double-double of 21 points and 17 rebounds. Then, they surprised every single NBA fan defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in their Fiserv Forum. When some of their fans saw the white light in the end of the tunnel, the Pistons took two huge hits, losing to the Charlotte Hornets and the Memphis Grizzlies by approximately 30 points. In their last match, they defeated the Orlando Magic, thus securing their 14th place in the East. I would say that the team can play better defense than usual and I would expect to see a low-scoring game.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Under 224.5 (-112)
The Utah Jazz have dropped consecutive games, but it should be noted they’ve been hit with the COVID protocol bug as Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles have both missed those games. They also were without Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Jordan Clarkson in the first of those two losses, when they fell to the Toronto Raptors. But in the second straight loss against the Pacers, they had those three back and still lost by double digits to an Indiana team that is way inferior. It’s unclear if they’ll have Gobert and Ingles back against Detroit, but the Jazz hope they can go back to their winning ways on Monday.
The Detroit Pistons may be 8-30, but after a huge 115-106 win against the Milwaukee Bucks on 1/3, the Pistons proved they should never be overlooked this season. After the way the Jazz have played without key players over the last couple games, they can’t be over-confident against this upstart Pistons team that has nothing to lose. Still, despite some promising performances recently from youngsters Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey, I’m not sure they’ll be able to hang with this Jazz team, even if they are a bit hobbled. The Jazz no if they can’t beat an 8-30 team, they’re in serious trouble. I’ll pick Utah to bounce back after consecutive losses.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -11 (-110)
The Detroit Pistons are still the worst team in basketball, but they have shown signs of trying to find something to build upon for next season, as they seem to slowly be finding footing with their young core. Even with them showing signs of improvement, I think they’re still a long way off of where they would want to be if they were looking to become a team that has the chance to compete in the immediate future of the next few years.
As for the Utah Jazz, they’re one of the top-5 teams in the league, with one of the most balanced lineups you will find in the league, led by Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Mike Conley. The problem for the Jazz currently is that Covid has finally made its way to their locker room, and has knocked a few guys into protocols. This is a key reason for them struggling just a bit as of late, but even with the Covid absences, I still like them to be able to get the win over a young, still up-and-coming Pistons team that doesn’t have the talent to compete.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -11 (-110)
Philadelphia 76ers @ Houston Rockets – 8pm ET
The Philadelphia 76ers are on the road for just one game when they take on the Houston Rockets on Monday night. The 76ers are currently on a six game winning streak, and this bumps their season record up to 22-16. The Rockets are playing on back-to-back nights, after losing, 123-141, to the Timberwolves last night.
The Philadelphia 76ers have been playing on a very high level recently, winning six straight games since Christmas. One of their victories was against the Houston Rockets, 133-113. This was a special night for Joel Embiid as he nailed down his third triple-double in his career – 31 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists. Furkan Korkmaz was also efficient from the field scoring 24 points and adding 11 rebounds. Philly is now back in contention for the top spots in the East. Before this game, they occupied 5th place with 22 wins and 16 losses.
Although the Houston Rockets did something extraordinary, they have been terrible this season. The team managed to recover from 15 straight losses with 7 wins a row. This was the first time any US sports team from either NBA, NFL, MLB, or NHL has done such a thing. The situation for the Rockets worsened as they were on the verge of entering yet another double-digit losing streak. The team found a way to beat the Wizards, thus snapping their 0-8 run before the game. I think that the Rockets shouldn’t be a problem for the 76ers and Joel Embiid who is playing at his peak, scoring 30+ points in six straight games. I will take Philly’s spread in this meeting.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -9.5 (-110)
The Philadelphia 76ers had a turbulent start to the season: there was Ben Simmons drama, injuries, and COVID sweeping across the team. Now that the team is back near full strength, they’re starting to look like the team that captured the one-seed in the Eastern Conference last season. They’ve won six straight games, as Joel Embiid has to be sneaking into some folks’ MVP discussion. The big man has been electric during this stretch, scoring 31 or more points in all six of these games. The Sixers will look to take it to seven as they face an 11-30 Houston Rockets squad.
Final from Houston. pic.twitter.com/oxBEf8Dng5
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 10, 2022
Houston may be one of the NBA’s worst teams, but lately it’s rarely been because of their offense. They’ve scored 106 or more points in seven straight games, but their defense continues to give up the second most points per game in the NBA. Still, they have an exciting young core of players including Christian Wood, Jalen Green, and Kevin Porter Jr. While they should be able to score some points against a good, but not quite elite 76ers defense, I just don’t see them slowing down the likes of Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Seth Curry.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -9.5 (-110)
The Philadelphia 76ers have finally seemed to find their winning ways, as they’ve run off six straight, with a good chance to make it seven against a Houston Rockets team that, while playing decent as we progress through the season, still lacks the talent to be able to compete at the level that would allow them to win regularly.
Joel Embiid has been playing at an MVP-level, and that has allowed this Sixers team to jump off their season following what ended up being virtually a team-wide battle with Covid protocols. As long as Embiid continues this play, and continually gets help from a supporting cast of Tobias Harris, Seth Curry, and company, I think this Philly team has the chance to keep pushing towards a run in the Eastern Conference, which continues with a win over Houston in this one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -9.5 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Sacramento Kings – 10pm ET
The road trip continues on for the Cleveland Cavaliers who take on the Sacramento Kings. Both teams are playing on back-to-back days, and last night the Cavaliers lost to the Warriors 82-96, and the Kings lost to the Trail Blazers, 88-103.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the biggest surprises so far this season in the NBA. The team sits in 6th place in the East with a decent 22-18 record. They acquired Rajon Rondo as a substitution to Ricky Rubio who will be out for the rest of the campaign. Unfortunately, Collin Sexton is not expected to make his return anytime soon, so the Cavs will need to figure something out in order to preserve their team and to continue piling up victories. With players like Darius Garland, Kevin Love, and Jarrett Allen, they have everything they need to compete like equals with the best teams out there.
The Sacramento Kings are coming into this home match following 3 straight losses. The team is still 10th in the West with 16 wins and 25 losses, but this can change soon, if they don’t do something about it. The Kings have some players who are still in the health and safety protocols which will present an issue for them, while De’Aaron Fox might miss the game due to a shoulder injury. The situation within the team is far from shiny, but they will surely do their best to keep their top 10 spot. Keeping all this in mind, I will however, trust the Cavs to take the win home.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-158)
On Sunday afternoon, the Cleveland Cavaliers had the unfortunate task of playing a Golden State Warriors that got Klay Thompson back for the first time in two years. The energy in Chase Arena was high, mighty, and just a little too much for this up-and-coming Cavaliers team. They fell 82-96 to the Warriors, but they’ll look to bounce back and maintain their playoff positioning on Monday as they take on a Sacramento Kings team that’s lost four straight.
The Cavs will have their hands full in the backcourt as the Kings have a lethal guard combo in De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. Even during the team’s current losing streak they’ve been able to impress. With the Cavs backcourt being a bit depleted (Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio are both out for the year), I’d expect these two to continue to flourish. Still, the bigger question comes for the Kings frontcourt which is often described as soft. Meanwhile, the Cavs have an upstart frontcourt that’s led by the youthful Jarrett Allen, Lauri Markkanen, and Evan Mobley. This one should be interesting, and after both teams got beaten badly last night, it’s a bit up-in-the-air. I’ll go with the Cavs, who lost to the tougher opponent last night and are a bit more resilient overall.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-158)
Both of these come into this one having lost yesterday, with both losses coming by double-digits. The Sacramento Kings fell to the Portland Trail Blazers, while the Cleveland Cavaliers slipped up to the Golden State Warriors in Klay Thompson’s return. The other thing with both of these teams is that they now find themselves in similar situations after the Cavs started the year off hot. Injuries appear as if they might’ve done the Cavs in, which could end up being problematic for the playoff push they were looking to make this year.
For Sacramento, they seem to be improving, but I still think their roster is too limited in terms of trying to compete for a playoff spot in a loaded Western Conference. Outside of De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes, and Tyrese Halliburton at times, I think the Kings bench is just lacking, which is why I’m taking the Cavs in this one, despite the injuries they’re facing. Give me Cleveland here in a tight one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -3.5 (-110)
Brooklyn Nets @ Portland Trail Blazers – 10pm ET
The Brooklyn Nets kick off a two game road trip on Monday night when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers. The Nets have won just two of their last six games, with their record currently sitting at 25-13. The Trail Blazers are playing on back-to-back nights, and last time out they won, 103-88, against the Kings.
The Portland Trail Blazers will host the Brooklyn Nets in their Moda Center on Monday night. Portland has been horrible throughout the first part of the season and they will need to make a lot of amendments in order to level up their game. The team sits in 12th place with 15 wins and 24 losses, but the most concerning thing is their most recent form. The Blazers lost 6 out of their last 8 games in the NBA. It’s obvious that without Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the team won’t be able to be competitive enough to fight for the Playoffs.
The Brooklyn Nets struggled recently and their two victories over the Pacers and the Spurs don’t really help them much. These games proved their lack of defense as both of their opponents dropped around 120 points against them. The Nets might have one of the most merciless attacks in the NBA, but when it comes to defensive qualities, they are nowhere near the top teams. Durant and Harden continue working on their mission to qualify the Nets for the Playoffs, but when time comes, they will need some more help either from Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, or from somebody else. Keeping in mind both teams’ shaky performance recently, I will stay away from picking a winner, but I will go with the option for “over points” in the game.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Over 228 (-110)
The Portland Trail Blazers have been missing their two star players lately as Damian Lillard has continued to battle an abdomen injury and CJ McCollum is out indefinitely with a collapsed lung. The team had dropped their last two going into Sunday night, but were able to stifle the Sacramento Kings 103-88, thanks to Anfernee Simons’ 31 points. The Blazers will continue to rely on Simons, as Lillard and McCollum will continue to miss time, and Norman Powell will miss a few days in COVID protocol. They’ll have their hands full on Monday against Kevin Durant, James Harden, and the Brooklyn Nets.
No quit in the Nets today pic.twitter.com/ONrvyPjYt7
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 9, 2022
Brooklyn won a nail biter on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs, edging them out 121-119 in overtime. Immediately after the game, they had to fly cross-country to take on the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland on Monday night. This could take a toll on an aging Nets squad. Luckily, their special road-only player, Kyrie Irving will be eligible to play on Monday, giving the Nets a well-rested scoring punch that should take some pressure off of Durant and Harden. The Nets are incredibly unpredictable; sometimes they play down to their opponent or just don’t seem to care. Both of these could be the case against a hobbled Trail Blazers team. But I think the Nets find a way to overpower the Blazers in this one. They just have too much power, and the Blazers don’t have enough healthy players to answer.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets -11 (-106)
Do the Brooklyn Nets plan on playing better basketball anytime soon? That’s the real question in this one. Despite the elite-level talent, they’ve found themselves struggling over the past two weeks or so, and seem to be in a hole they can’t get out of. Eventually I think that changes though, as with Kevin Durant and James Harden, it’s only a matter of time before they get rolling again. The bigger issue with Brooklyn currently is the defense, as it has been absolutely atrocious during this stretch, which they’re going to have to fix if they want to actually be able to make a run in the Eastern Conference, which is what everyone was expecting them to do.
Portland has been disappointing all year long, coming in at 15-24, and struggling in a major way as of late. Similar to Brooklyn, this Blazer defense has been absolutely horrendous all season long, which has been the biggest reason for their struggles not only this season, but in years past as well. Until that changes, I don’t know how anyone could take this Portland team against any quality opponent until they show massive improvement.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets -11 (-106)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.