Our free NBA picks are out for Saturday, January 15th, 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!
Toronto Raptors @ Milwaukee Bucks – 6.30pm ET
The Toronto Raptors are in the second game of their road trip, and on Saturday night they take on the Milwaukee Bucks. The Raptors are currently on a two game losing streak, after going down to the Suns and Pistons. The Bucks snapped their two game losing streak last time out, with a nice win over the Warriors, 118-99.
The Milwaukee Bucks will try to get their first win over the Toronto Raptors for the season. The reigning champions are struggling against their opponent from the East as they have lost their last four meetings against the Raptors, two of which came during this campaign. The Bucks have been quite inconsistent recently losing twice to the Hornets and getting surprised by Toronto and Detroit. However, in their last match, they dismantled the Warriors with the “Splash Brothers” by 19 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished off with a triple-double (30 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists), while Khris Middleton added 23 points for the victory. Despite their downfall, the Bucks remain in the top 4 in the East with 27 wins and 17 losses.
The Toronto Raptors have been struggling a lot in November when they were without Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. On top of that, Fred VanVleet has been forced to miss some fixtures which was later on reflected in their results. They went on a 3-10 run which was later on diminished since the Raptors won six straight games to start the new year. This helped them climb to 9th place in their Conference, holding a 20-19 record. Siakam and VanVleet have been playing very well together recently which gives me the impression that the Raptors might have a chance at competing for the win tomorrow. However, I will choose a safer bet that will be Toronto to cover their spread against Milwaukee.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors +8 (-110)
After two disappointing losses to the Charlotte Hornets, the Milwaukee Bucks grabbed one of, if not their. biggest win(s) of the season on Thursday as they destroyed the Golden State Warriors 118-99, reminding the league that they’re still the defending NBA champs. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton got some big help from Bobby Portia as these three scored 30, 23, and 20 points respectively. Now they’ll look to continue their dominance against the Toronto Raptors.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 15, 2022
Toronto was looking like a playoff team again when they won six straight games to start the year. But they had a close loss against a good Phoenix Suns team the other night and then followed it up with an inexcusable loss to a bad Detroit Pistons team last night, 87-103. Only scoring 87 against the Pistons is inexcusable and the Raptors can’t play that stale against a team of the Bucks calibre. Even with the likes of Pascal Siakam and Precious Achiuwa trying to stuff Giannis in the paint, I think the Bucks ride off that win against the Warriors and squeeze out a close win at home.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-335)
After a horrendous stretch of basketball from the defending champions that saw them drop two games to Charlotte, and one to Detroit, they came out and absolutely destroyed the Golden State Warriors in their last outing. With the way they had been playing, this came as a shock to many people, especially with the fact that Klay Thompson has now returned for the Warriors. The question now becomes whether or not the big win over Golden State can prove to be a launching point for this Milwaukee team to convince people that they’re still a legitimate contender in a wide open Eastern Conference.
The Toronto Raptors have been a team of runs so far this season, as they started the year looking like a real contender, before falling on hard times and utterly collapsing through the late part of November and much of December. However, since then they’ve found their rhythm and health once again, they are beginning to resemble the contender they looked like early in the season. However, as for this matchup, I like Giannis and the Bucks to continue the momentum they gained in the win over Golden State, so give me Milwaukee in a tight one here.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks (-335)
New Orleans Pelicans @ Brooklyn Nets – 7.30pm ET
The New Orleans Pelicans kick off a three game road trip on Saturday when they face off against the Brooklyn Nets. The Pelicans have won three of their last four games, with wins over the Warriors, Timberwolves and Clippers. The Nets have been a little inconsistent as of late, and this has taken their season record to 26-15.
Although Kyrie Irving made his return for the Brooklyn Nets (for away games), they still seem to be in shambles following some really bad losses in the beginning of the new year. The team has won just three out of their last nine matches in the NBA as only the victory over the Chicago Bulls represents their real potential and strength. They were outplayed by some of their direct rivals for the Playoffs including the 76ers and the Bucks and on top of that, the Nets suffered a 21-point defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder in their last meeting. This was once again a reminder to all of us that each one of their top players might have been a star player back in the years, but now they are struggling to carry the team on their own. James Harden had that task in the game, but he failed miserably scoring just 7-22 from the field and finishing off with 26 points for the night.
The New Orleans Pelicans have been quite successful recently. However, this improvement was seen mainly in their home games in Smoothie King Center. They defeated the Golden State Warriors, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Los Angeles Clippers. However, the team is still looking to put an end to their 3-game losing streak on the road that started back in 2021 with a loss to the OKC Thunder. Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas have been the top guns for the Pelicans this year as they are simply doing the impossible to lead their team to some really vital victories. They sit in 12th place with 16 wins and 26 losses, keeping their chances for the Playoffs somewhat high. I think that they can surprise the Nets on Saturday who are expected to be once again without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. However, I will play it safer and choose the Pelicans’ spread for my pick.
Denis’ NBA Pick: New Orleans Pelicans +7 (-110)
After gaining their win of the year against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday in Chicago, the Nets seemed plain fatigued playing the Oklahoma City Thunder less than 24 hours later. Kevin Durant sat the game out, Kyrie Irving was forced to sit out (game was in NYC), and the team was without various role players as well. They lost to Oklahoma City 109-130, but with no Durant and a team that was pretty exhausted, it doesn’t make much sense to look into that seemingly brutal defeat. Still they’ll have no excuses after almost 48 hours of rest, as they face the New Orleans Pelicans back at home on Saturday night.
Despite New Orleans 16-26 record, the team is fully capable of taking any team to the brink when they are entirely healthy. They’ve shown this in their last two wins over the Timberwolves and Clippers, both teams that are currently sitting in their way of making the playoffs. When the Pelicans have Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas and Devonte Graham going, they can be a hard team to keep up with. Still, their inability to play much defense will provide a Nets team with so much firepower a major advantage. Last time these two teams faced off in NOLA, the Nets won with ease. I expect a similar result this time as the Nets will want to bounce back after a double-digit loss to the lowly OKC Thunder.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets -7 (-110)
The New Orleans Pelicans are playing better basketball as of late, including solid wins over the Los Angeles Clippers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The problem is that even with them playing better ball lately, the roster still isn’t that of a team that has a real chance to compete, which is why they’re still sitting at 16-26 on the year.
Now they get a tough ask, as they get set to take on the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn had hit a bit of a tough stretch, before coming out Wednesday night and beating the one seed in the East, the Chicago Bulls by nearly 30. Unfortunately, they then came out the next night and lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder by 20+, which simply can’t happen if you want to be considered a postseason threat. However, even with the slip up to OKC on the second night of a back-to-back, they now come in fresh with a home game against the Pels. Give me Brooklyn to get back on track once again, with a big night from Kevin Durant in this one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets -7 (-110)
Philadelphia 76ers @ Miami Heat – 8pm ET
The Philadelphia 76ers kick off a two game road trip on Saturday when they take on the Miami Heat. The 76ers have won nine of their last 11 games, and this lifts their season record up to 24-17. The Heat are currently on a four game winning streak, and this includes wins over the Trail Blazers, Suns and Hawks (twice).
The Philadelphia 76ers took yet another win for their 2022 collection. The team defeated the Boston Celtics, 111-99, as Joel Embiid erupted for 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists. After suffering a surprising loss to the Charlotte Hornets which snapped their 7-game winning streak, the 76ers are once again back on the board. They improved to 5th place with 24 wins and 17 losses. With Joel Embiid finding his rhythm, the team becomes more and more dangerous for everyone from the top contenders for the NBA Championship.
The Miami Heat had to go through a tough challenge against the Atlanta Hawks who led throughout most of the game. However, in the end, the fans in FTX Arena went home happy as the Heat took a narrow victory. This game also marked Jimmy Butler’s return to the NBA following three matches in which he took some rest to strengthen his ankle. Tyler Herro was once again clutch for his team, draining down some important shots in the last quarter. The team from Miami now sits in 2nd place with 27 wins and 15 losses. In my opinion, this will be a tough encounter for the Heat who will have to find a way to stop the 76ers’ center. In my opinion, Embiid will be able to lead his team to the first victory for Philly in Miami since 2018.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (+108)
The Philadelphia 76ers are basketball’s hottest team as they’ve now won eight of their last nine games. They knocked off rivals the Boston Celtics last night 111-99. Now they play another recent rival in the Miami Heat, who have continued to cruise despite numerous injuries hitting their squad.
Can’t get enough of tonight’s W.
Take a look Through the Lens at some of the top photos 📸
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 15, 2022
The Heat have won four games in a row and with Jimmy Butler back from injury and Bam Adebayo just a few days away, Miami is ready to bring back that energy that got them to the 2020 NBA Finals. Both these teams could end up being contenders in the Eastern Conference if they’re at full strength, so this one should be a battle. When these two last played (almost exactly a month ago) a depleted Heat team snuck by the near full strength 76ers 101-96. But in the last month, both teams have changed astronomically. The Heat have their best player back in Jimmy Butler and the 76ers are currently one of the league’s hottest teams. This one should be as close as their previous meeting, but I’ll pick Philly to pull the upset.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (+108)
The Philadelphia 76ers have been a new team since getting virtually the entire roster back from COVID and injury issues. They recently won seven straight, before slipping up to Charlotte, but then got right back to their winning ways with a victory over Boston. They’re still getting MVP-level play from Joel Embiid, which has been a key reason for the recent success.
Now they travel down to South Beach to take on the team that I still have as my favorite to win the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat. The Heat have faced all different types of obstacles so far this season, but have still managed to stay afloat with all of that. They had been without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo for a significant amount of time, but that hasn’t slowed them down either, with Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro showing they have the ability to carry the team. Now Butler is back, I look for that to continue in this one, with the Heat getting a huge win at home over a really good Philadelphia team.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat (-126)
Chicago Bulls @ Boston Celtics – 8.30pm ET
The Chicago Bulls hit the road for two games, and their first stop is Boston when they take on the Celtics. The Bulls have won just one of their last four games, as they have lost to teams like the Mavericks, Nets and Warriors. The Celtics had their three game winning streak snapped last time out, as they lost to the 76ers, 99-111.
The Chicago Bulls’ form took a severe hit following two awful defeats in which they conceded 138 points. They were off to a fantastic start to 2022, winning three straight games and then erupting for a 46-point win over the Detroit Pistons, but they eventually cracked under pressure. The team lost their last two matches in the United Center to some of their toughest rivals this season – the Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors. Patty Mills and Day’Ron Sharpe erupted for at least 20 points each which made the difference in the match, helping the Nets win by 26 points in the end. When everybody thought that they just had a single bad game, they went on to lose 96-138 to the Warriors who were without Klay Thompson.
The Boston Celtics have been playing well recently, but they find it hard to keep that performance throughout the week. They only managed to get three wins in a row over the Knicks, and the Pacers who got outplayed on two occasions. In their last game prior to this fixture, the Celtics lost once again to Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. The team from Massachusetts is currently 11th in the East and they will need to do something as soon as possible to escape from that tight position. With their squad suited and ready, I think that the Celtics have all the potential in the world to pile up some more wins in January. What a better way to start a streak than overcoming the leader in the Conference, the Chicago Bulls? I would like to see a mature performance from Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum who will lead their team to the final victory.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Boston Celtics (-188)
After rising to the top of the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Bulls have hit some bumps in the last couple of games. What’s worse is they’ve both been blow outs to two of the NBA’s best teams, the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors. Now, some have their doubts whether the Bulls are true contenders or just pretenders. Sure, they’re missing some of their best defenders to injuries right now (Alex Caruso, Derrick Jones Jr.), but that’s not really an excuse for them to get destroyed with all the talent they still have. They’ll look to get back on track tonight as they face the Boston Celtics.
Boston got worked once again by the Philadelphia 76ers last night, as they fell to Joel Embiid and Co. 99-111. This comes right after the Celtics were starting to figure it out. They had won three straight games and Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were starting to really click to their potential. But, those wins were against lower ranked teams like the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks, when the C’s had to face the league’s hottest team in Philadelphia, they were simply no match. Now they’ll have to face another juggernaut in the Chicago Bulls. Even though the Bulls have looked pitiful in their last two, I expect them to bounce back against this Celtics team that still struggles to win big games
Michael’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls (+158)
Are the Chicago Bulls recent struggles a cause for concern, or just a reality in what is a long NBA season? They got destroyed by Brooklyn Wednesday night, and then came out last night and got blown out again by the Golden State Warriors. To make matters worse, Zach LaVine is set to have an MRI on his knee following a knee injury in the loss to Golden State. With LaVine being one of the two leaders of this team, along with DeMar Derozan, a lengthy absence for him could prove to be disastrous for Chicago.
Boston comes in as one of the more disappointing teams in the league to this point in the season, as they simply can’t get any type of consistent play from anyone not named Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum. On top of that, the shooting has been atrocious virtually all year, which is the key reason for the disappointment so far. However, despite all the negatives, I like their chances to take advantage of a Chicago Bulls team without one of their stars, who’s already struggling so far this week. Give me Boston to get a much needed win at home in this one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Boston Celtics (-188)
Los Angeles Lakers @ Denver Nuggets – 9pm ET
The Los Angeles Lakers wrap up their two game road trip on Saturday night when they take on the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers are currently on a two game losing streak, after losing to the Grizzlies and Kings. The Nuggets have won three of their last four games, and this takes their season record up to 21-19.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been the disappointment of the season so far. There might be other teams like the Clippers and the Hawks who are underperforming as well, but what the Lakers are doing is unparalleled. In contrast to the aforementioned rosters, the team from Los Angeles has only been missing Anthony Davis. LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and the rest of the squad fail to deliver on the big promises in the beginning of the campaign. The team is currently 7th with a 21-21 record, but that performance is quite far from their expectations and high ambitions. It seems that there is nobody who is as consistent as LeBron James on the roster so that “The King” can benefit from some help here and there.
The Denver Nuggets have been on the opposite poles in their last two matches in the NBA. On Tuesday, they fell to the Los Angeles Clippers as they barely scored 85 points for the whole 48 minutes. Aaron Gordon dropped 30 points, while Nikola Jokic added 21 points. Everybody else on the team combined for 34 points. In their next meeting, the Nuggets took on the Portland Trail Blazers, who took a harsh 140-108 loss in the end. Will Barton and Nikola Jokic dropped 21 points and 20 points respectively as they led the scoring list for Denver. However, the main difference came from the balance within the squad as a total of 8 of the Nuggets’ players scored at least 9 points for the night. I think that it will be really hard for LeBron to compete with Jokic who is 11 years younger than him, so I will go with the hosts in this one.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Denver Nuggets (-172)
Right as the Lakers were starting to look hot, they let the Sacramento Kings outscore them 23-40 in the third quarter, as they fell to their in-state rivals 116-125. LeBron James continues to put this team on his back, as he scored 30+ points for the 11th time in 12 games. But, another player on the Lakers continues to do the exact opposite: Russell Westbrook. Westbrook has continued to be a liability for this team as his decision making, turnovers, and poor shooting percentage have all been costly. If the Lakers have any chance of being a postseason favorite, they’ll need Russ to move on from his stat-focused style of play and become more of a traditional point guard.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 14, 2022
The Lakers will look to avoid their third straight loss on Saturday against a Denver Nuggets team that continues to be resilient. After blowing a 13-point lead to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, the Nuggets bounced back nicely, destroying the Portland Trail Blazers 140-108. Everyone got in on the fun in that game as Nikola Jokic, Will Barton, Facundo Campazzo and three others all scored in double digits in that game. Now, Denver will look to make it consecutive wins, as they’re still holding onto that sixth seed in the Western Conference. The Nuggets are never one to shy away from any opponent, so they’ll give the Lakers a tough time in the Mile High City. The Lakers won’t want to drop their third in a row, but they might have their hands full against a Nuggets team that always seems to fight through adversity. They might not be the flashiest offensive team, but they have a strong defense and seem to know how to come up big. I’ll pick them to frustrate the Lakers a little more at home.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Denver Nuggets (-172)
Early in the year, and even before the season, people were assured that this Lakers team was one of the best in the NBA. They’re made up of former, and current all-stars, but that hasn’t helped at all. Some people argue that the struggles are due in large part to Anthony Davis being out for over a month due to injury, but that ignores the fact that they’ve been struggling long before David went out, as Russell Westbrook has struggled as well, with LeBron being the only source of consistent play all year for this Los Angeles squad.
However, arguably the same can be said for the Denver Nuggets, as currently they’ve been nothing short of a one man team all year long, relying solely on last year’s MVP Nikola Jokic to keep them afloat. Even despite his greatness, there’s only so much one man can do, which is why Denver’s record has been less than impressive so far this season. For this one, though, I’m going to take 37-year old LeBron to outduel Jokic, in a game that I think is going to turn into a close, virtual one-on-one matchup. Give me the Lakers by a nose on the road in the Mile High City.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers (+144)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.