Not to be overshadowed by Wild Card Weekend, our NBA picks have the winners of all eight games for you, including the afternoon game between Denver and Philadelphia!
The Sixers are facing a COVID-19 positive case issue so the Nuggets should be looking to capitalize on that and bounce back with a win in the City of Brotherly Love!
We have the article out nice and early for you, but due to some games still being in action, we will update our NBA picks where applicable!
Denver Nuggets @ Philadelphia 76ers – 3PM ET
This game could be seriously close to not going ahead after Seth Curry tested positive for COVID-19 and now multiple players may have to sit out due to contact tracing protocols.
From a basketball standpoint, Philadelphia are 7-2 and are on top of the Eastern Conference, but have only had two games against playoff teams from last season and are 1-1 in those games.
While Denver hasn’t been playing great basketball lately, 3-5 record, Nikola Jokic has been playing at MVP level and Jamal Murray has battled injuries but is finding his feet as the second fiddle. This team definitely has the talent, as shown by their Western Conference Finals appearance last season, but with all things being equal, Philly should be winning this game.
The issue is, we don’t know who will be playing and who will have to miss for the Sixers. Denver is coming off a tough overtime loss to the Mavericks and will be wanting to right their wrongs against a shorthanded Sixers.
NBA Pick – Denver Nuggets (-235)
NBA Spread – Denver Nuggets -5.5 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 222 (-105)
Atlanta Hawks @ Charlotte Hornets – 7PM ET
A rematch of Wednesday night behind Gordon Hayward’s career high 44 points, the Charlotte Hornets beat the Hawks in Atlanta. Trae Young only scored seven points on 2/9 shooting in that one and now the Hawks get two nights off to reflect and get better, while Charlotte is on the second leg of a back-to-back after a come from behind win in New Orleans last night.
Hayward stayed hot with 26 points while Miles Bridges stepped up off the bench with 20 of his own. The big story of the game was LaMelo Ball playing his brother, Lonzo, for the first time. The young brother played much better in his side’s win with 12 points, 10 boards and 9 assists. They now look for their third straight win and should be coming in with a lot of confidence.
— NBA (@NBA) January 9, 2021
John Collins led the Hawks in their last matchup with 23 and 11 while Kevin Heurter continued his good form off the bench with 19, 5 and 6, but Young is the barometer for this team and the Hawks will never win if he is only taking nine shots and only scoring seven points, whilst also having seven turnovers.
The Hawks should win this with two nights extra rest given the Hornets are on the quick back up, and wanting revenge against their Southeast Division rivals.
NBA Pick – Atlanta Hawks (-216)
NBA Spread – Atlanta Hawks -5 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 228.5 (-105)
Phoenix Suns @ Indiana Pacers – 7PM ET
Two of the best teams in basketball going head to head in Indiana. The 6-2 Pacers host the 6-3 Phoenix Suns in a battle of two young but also experienced teams on the rise.
Phoenix had a surprise overtime loss to the Pistons last night, with that being Detroit’s second win of the season. The Suns started off strong with a nine point lead after the first quarter but lost each of the last three quarters and then the overtime period. Devin Book led the scoring for Phoenix with 23 but Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder combined for just 12 points on 5/17 shooting.
Indiana comes in off wins over the Pelicans and Rockets and will be looking for a third straight here. Malcolm Brogdon is averaging just under 30ppg over the last three whilst also dishing out over eighth assists per night. Domantas Sabonis has had a double-double in every game so far this season, including 22 and 12 in the win over Houston. The most underrated piece for Indiana is Myles Turner who is averaging 4.1 blocks per game for the season and had eighth against Houston on Wednesday.
They will be looking to overpower the Suns with their team basketball, especially with Phoenix on the second night of a back-to-back.
NBA Pick – Indiana Pacers (-150)
NBA Spread – Indiana Pacers -3 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 216 (-105)
Miami Heat @ Washington Wizards – 7PM ET
After a tough fought two point loss to the Celtics on Wednesday, Miami have had two nights off to get back together and focus in on the Wizards. Washington also suffered a tough loss on Wednesday but then also had to host the Celtics last night, where they lost their second straight.
Bradley Beal has scored 101 points in the last two games but the Wizards have lost both by a combined 14 points. Russell Westbrook had 12 points on 25% shooting along with seven turnovers in the loss with Rui Hachimura being the best second option with 17. Beal has come out and said that the Wizards ‘can’t guard a parked car’, so we are expecting a much better effort here.
Jimmy Butler had his best scoring game of the season against the Celtics with 26 points while Bam Adebayo contributed 15 points, 10 assists and 8 boards, while the pair combined for five blocks. Tyler Herro wasn’t able to contribute to his normal level adding just eight points and shooting 1/5 from deep.
The Wizards have been playing much better basketball lately, especially offensively, but Miami is the better all around team and the extra rest should help them lock down defensively in this one.
NBA Pick – Miami Heat (-281)
NBA Spread – Washington Wizards +7 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 231.5 (-105)
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Milwaukee Bucks – 8PM ET
Cleveland heads to Milwaukee in a Central Division rivalry match on the back of a four point win over the Grizzlies, but they won’t be able to add a second straight here.
Milwaukee have looked incredible lately, being the highest scoring team in the league while shooting over 45% from three as a team. However, things looked very different last night in a 13 point loss to Utah where the Bucks allowed 131 points and didn’t win any of the four quarters.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 66 points and 18 rebounds, but the Bucks have given up at least 115 points in six of their nine games so far this season, including all of their last three.
On Thursday night, @Larrydn22 became the only Cavalier in team history to go at least 7-for-7 from the floor, including 4-of-4 from long-range.#CavsBucks KEYS: https://t.co/dqQ4Ot0Ogq pic.twitter.com/pMW4DmbQhQ
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 9, 2021
They should be able to turn that around against a shorthanded Cavs side that hasn’t scored 100 points in their last six games. Andre Drummond had a big game against Memphis with 22 points and 15 boards while Cedi Osman chipped in with 16, 5 and 7.
Collin Sexton missed that one but is expected back here and will be a big help with his scoring punch, but Milwaukee will be coming out with a point to prove after last night.
NBA Pick – Milwaukee Bucks (-800)
NBA Spread – Milwaukee Bucks -11.5 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 221.5 (-105)
San Antonio Spurs @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 8PM ET
The San Antonio Spurs have just swept the two Los Angeles teams in Staples Center and now have a very winnable game for their third straight. The Timberwolves suffered their sixth straight loss since losing Karl-Anthony Towns, but the All Star center has been elevated to a game-time decision for this one.
Their most recent loss was by 18 points in Portland with D’Angelo Russell keeping hot with 26 points while Anthony Edwards had the best game of his young career with 26 as well. The issue was that they gave up 111 points in the first three quarters and the game was already over by then.
The Spurs have looked great over their last two, scoring an average of 117 points against the two LA teams, who are typically very defensive. LaMarcus Aldridge had his best game of the season with 28 points while three other players scored in double figures, led by 19 points and 8 assists.
If Towns plays, the Spurs may have trouble slowing him down due to their lack of interior presence, but San Antonio have been playing some very good basketball and should get the win here.
NBA Pick – San Antonio Spurs (-191)
NBA Spread – San Antonio Spurs -4.5 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 235 (-110)
Orlando Magic @ Dallas Mavericks – 8:30PM ET
The Orlando Magic come off a tough contest with Houston where they looked helpless and hopeless, missing half of their rotation players to injury. They now head to Dallas who are missing three players due to COVID-19 testing and tracing protocols, including two starters.
They are however coming off an important overtime win in Denver where Luka Doncic was the star of the show with 38 points, 9 rebounds, 13 assists and 5 steals. Josh Richardson and Dorian Finney-Smith combined for 28 points and 5 steals, but both are the two starters out for health and safety reasons.
The #NBA has issued a stat correction following last night’s game, crediting Luka Dončić with a 5th steal. Dončić finished the game with 38 points, 9 rebounds, 13 assists and 5 steals becoming the first player in NBA history to hit all of these benchmarks in a single game#Mavs
— Sideline Study (@sideline_study) January 8, 2021
Orlando on the other hand are struggling with an injury bug and that was evident in a 42 point loss last night. They now have to travel up to Dallas and things don’t look any better for them. They get Aaron Gordon back after a one game absence but are still missing three regular starters and multiple rotation players. Nikola Vucevic has been the one constant for the Magic and last night was no different as he had 22 and 12 while rookie Cole Anthony stepped up into the starting role and had 15 points, three assists and two steals.
This is a tough double set for Orlando and the injuries should mean that Dallas will be able to pick up another win.
NBA Pick – Dallas Mavericks (-245)
NBA Spread – Dallas Mavericks -6 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 218.5 (-105)
Portland Trail Blazers @ Sacramento Kings – 10PM ET
Both of these sides have been very inconsistent to start the year but Portland should get the win on the road here.
They have been on fire offensively averaging 117 points per game, but need to do better defensively, giving up just under 122 over their last three. Damian Lillard had 39 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in under 29 minutes on Thursday while sitting out the entire fourth quarter in the 18 point blowout! CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic had good scoring games while they had solid contributions from the entire team.
They will need to tighten up against the Kings who scored 123 points but had a 21 point loss to the Raptors last night as they gave up 144 points. Sacramento won the first quarter by eight, but a 49-73 second half saw them give the game away.
De’Aaron Fox played despite a hamstring complaint and led the team with 23 points while Harrison Barnes had 21 points and eight assists but you aren’t going to be winning games giving up that many points.
Portland should be licking their lips at the defense they saw the Kings play last night and will be ready to pounce in this one.
NBA Pick – Portland Trail Blazers (-200)
NBA Spread – Portland Trail Blazers -5 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Over 236.6 (-115)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.