Our free NBA picks are out for Sunday, December 5th, 2021! Make sure you check our expert NBA picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA picks for the four games on today’s schedule!
Utah Jazz @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 3:30pm ET
The Utah Jazz hit the road for the first of four games when they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon. The Jazz are currently on a three game winning streak, after wins against the Pelicans, Trail Blazers and Celtics. Not to be outdone, the Cavaliers are on a four game winning streak themselves, with wins against the Thunder, Mavericks, Heat and Wizards.
The Utah Jazz is one of the teams that everybody should be careful with when it comes to the real matches in the spring. The Jazz consists of many intelligent players who have the skills and the experience to battle for an NBA Championship. Donovan Mitchell occasionally crumbles under pressure in the Playoffs, but during the regular season he is used to making a serious MVP statement. Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gobert, and Mike Conley are all fantastic players who are well distributed within the Jazz. The team travels to Cleveland after three demanding victories on home court against the Pelicans, the Blazers, and the Celtics.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, on the other hand, lost their best player Colin Sexton for an indefinite time due to a torn left meniscus. The 22-year-old will definitely miss the season as he hopes to be back on track for the next one. Although this happened, the team didn’t lose focus and continued grabbing victory after victory. They are on a 4-game winning streak as this last week was probably one of the most successful in their recent history. First the Cavs swept the Orlando Magic at home, but then they went for a 3-0 run on the road, dismantling the likes of the Dallas Mavericks (by 18 points), the Miami Heat (by 26 points), and the Washington Wizards (by 15 points). The team is flying high now and I will trust this momentum for their upcoming fixture against the Utah Jazz. For me, the Cavaliers will be able to cover the spread given by the bookmakers.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers +4.5 (-110)
The Cleveland Cavaliers have continued to be one of the NBA’s great surprises; at 13-10 they’re coming off of impressive wins against two Eastern Conference contenders in the Miami Heat and Washington Wizards. A big part of their recent success can be attributed to the dynamic between big men Jarrett Allen and Lauri Markannen who’ve really played well off one another. They’ll hope this tandem can continue to find success against a Utah Jazz team that’s one of the NBA’s most complete.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 4, 2021
After a rough one point loss last Friday to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Utah Jazz have stepped into gear and are on a three game win streak. In those three games, six or more players have scored in the double digits. This Cavs team seems more than ready to take on any team that comes their way, and at home they certainly should be able to compete even with a Jazz team that’s firing on all cylinders.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers +4.5 (-110)
The Utah Jazz continue to do what they do in the regular season, as they’ve proven to be one of the best teams in the league, outside of a short stretch of about a week and a half where they had a few issues. With a balanced attack featuring Rudy Gobert down low, and Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley on the perimeter, they have a little bit of everything to throw at opponents, which is why they always seem to thrive in the regular season.
Cleveland, on the other hand, continues to surprise and impress. They started the year much hotter than many expected, and then ran into a tough situation, as their best player, Colin Sexton tore his meniscus and is now out for the year. Most people expected them to struggle with this news, but instead, they continue to roll right along, including entering this one on a four game winning streak. While they’re playing better than expected, I just don’t think they have enough talent to throw at Utah, especially without Sexton in the lineup. Utah wins a close one on the road, and continues their hot streak in the regular season.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -4.5 (-110)
Charlotte Hornets @ Atlanta Hawks – 6pm ET
The Charlotte Hornets finish up their road trip in Atlanta when they take on the Hawks. The Hornets are currently on a three game losing streak, but they did put up a great fight against the defending champions, the Bucks, last time out eventually losing, 125-127. The Hawks have had two close games to kick off their December, winning against the Pacers, 114-111, then losing to the 76ers, 96-98.
The Charlotte Hornets and the Atlanta Hawks will face each other in what promises to be a very engaging and interesting contest on Sunday in the NBA. The Hornets are still ahead of the Hawks in the standings in the Eastern Conference. The hosts from Atlanta enjoyed a fantastic 7-game winning streak in the second half of November which moved them up to the top 10. Charlotte also had a brilliant 8-1 run during the same period, defeating the likes of the Golden State Warriors, the Washington Wizards, the New York Knicks, and the Memphis Grizzlies.
However, both teams have struggled recently, as the Hornets are into a 3-game losing streak on the road. They lost to the Rockets, the Bulls, and the Bucks throughout this week. The biggest issue ahead of them is the total number of points they have conceded in these games. On average, their opponents dropped around 130 points which is a big red flag for James Borrego’s team. The Hawks also suffered two losses recently. They were defeated in State Farm Arena by the Knicks and the 76ers. In my opinion, it’s time for them to make up for these disappointing performances with a decent win over a direct rival for the Playoffs spot.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks (-320)
After going on a great run of wins in mid to late November, the Charlotte Hornets have dropped three straight games. While they have the highest scoring offense in the NBA, they also give up the most points per game. When you’re constantly scoring well into the 100s and still losing: that’s a red flag.
Don’t expect that to get any better against a high-scoring Atlanta Hawks team. Atlanta beat Charlotte a couple of weeks back 115-105. The Hawks had a tough loss on Friday against the 76ers, suffering a 96-98 defeat. Expect them to come out flying at home as they face this miserable Hornets defense. Even though Charlotte is known to win big games, I can’t see Atlanta taking consecutive losses at home, especially when they’re playing an opponent that gives up the most points in the NBA. I think Atlanta ends up covering in this one.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks -7.5 (-110)
In a matchup between two of the toughest to predict teams in the NBA, we see Charlotte travel south to Atlanta to take on the Hawks. Both teams have shown flashes of brilliance this year, while also showing the ability to struggle mightily at times. For instance, Atlanta ran off a seven game win streak that was snapped recently, at the same time that Charlotte was winning 8 of 9.
Since then both teams have struggled again, and for the Hornets it’s primarily due to the fact that they just refuse to play defense over the past week or so. It also doesn’t help that Charlotte has multiple players, including LaMelo Ball, in Covid protocols and is almost certainly out for this one. Without a lot of their core, I don’t think the Hornets can play enough defense to slow down an Atlanta offense being led by Trae Young. I like Atlanta to get a win at home in this one, in a game that could get out of hand relatively early.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks -7.5 (-110)
Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors – 6pm ET
The Washington Wizards are on the road for the first of three games, and to start things off, they take on the Toronto Raptors. The Wizards have won three of their previous five games, which takes their season record to 14-9. The Raptors got the win last time out against the Bucks, which helped snap a three game losing streak.
The Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors have had quite different openings to their campaigns. The Wizards are 5th in the East with 14 wins and 9 losses, while the Raptors are fluctuating in the table as they are now 12th with 10 wins out of 23 matches. Toronto managed to stop the 8-game winning streak of the reigning champions, Milwaukee Bucks, as they defeated them at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday. With this victory, the Raptors put an end to their unsuccessful 5-game run at home that prolonged throughout November. The Wizards suffered a huge 15-point upset to the Cavs in their last match at home. Surprisingly, Deni Avdija was the top scorer for Washington as both Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma underperformed.
OG Anunoby and Goran Dragic are the two big names who have been sidelined for the Raptors since mid-November. The Brit is recovering from a hip injury, while the Slovenian is out due to personal reasons. All the Washington players are available except for Wes Unseld Jr. However, their performance is unstable lately as the team lost to the Pelicans, the Spurs, and the Cavaliers. I think they will have a hard time against the 2019 NBA Champions and I will give my preference to the Raptors in this matchup. Scottie Barnes, Fred VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam have been thoroughly consistent recently which I hope will continue tomorrow.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors (-120)
After starting off the season as one of the top teams in the NBA, the Washington Wizards have looked a bit more like what many critics thought they’d be: a lower playoff seed. Two of their last three games have been double-digit losses to teams that were worse record-wise than them. They have a lot of talent, from all-star Bradley Beal to former Sixth Man of the Year (and possible front-runner this year) Montrezl Harrell. Unfortunately the team has come up inconsistent of late. They’ll try to regain some of the early season momentum as they face off against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night.
Start your day off with some @FredVanVleet highlights
29 Pts | 5 3pm | 5 Reb pic.twitter.com/xtoOBY9wQi
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 3, 2021
After losing three straight, the Raptors got a big win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night, ending the defending champs eight game win streak. The Raptors got big games from veterans Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam and have been thrilled with the performance of first-round draft pick Scottie Barnes, who’s averaging over 15 points per game. I think that big win could be the confidence booster the Raptors need as they look to keep it going versus a Wizards team that’s fallen off.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors (-120)
After starting the year as arguably the best team in the Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards have finally come back down to earth, even though they still sit as the fifth seed currently. In their last outing, they lost to Cleveland by 15, in a game that neither Bradley Beal nor Kyle Kuzma played all that well.
On the other sideline, we get a Toronto team that has been hit or miss all year long. They’ve shown glimpses of being a team that can compete in a crowded Eastern Conference, but in terms of a consistent basis, they’re a team you simply can’t trust at all. I don’t like the idea of actually trying to predict which Raptors team shows up day in and day out, so despite Washington struggling as well, I still think talent plays out in the end, and the Wizards win a tight one on the road north of the border.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Washington Wizards (+102)
New Orleans Pelicans @ Houston Rockets – 7pm ET
The New Orleans Pelicans end their quick two game road trip in Houston when they take on the Rockets for the last game on Sunday. The Pelicans have won four of their last six games, which has helped take their record to (still a disappointing) 7-18. The Rockets aren’t doing much better, with their season record currently standing at 6-16, but they are currently on a five game winning streak!
The New Orleans Pelicans and the Houston Rockets were among the worst performing teams until mid-November. However, both of them managed to pick up their game and improved the overall performance. The Rockets are coming into this game on a 5-game winning streak, while the Pelicans are on a 4-2 run lately. Houston defeated Chicago and Charlotte recently which gave them enough confidence to transfer that level into the games with Oklahoma and Orlando. The Pelicans displayed a remarkable performance in the last two weeks as they managed to outclass the likes of the Wizards, the Jazz, the Clippers, and the Mavericks.
Zion Williamson is surely a huge absence for the Pelicans, but they found a way to win without him. Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas are simply on fire for New Orleans as the Lithuanian went for 7-7 from the 3-point line in the first half and eventually dropped a career-high 39 points in the victory over the Clippers on Monday. On the other side, the 19-year-old guard, Jalen Green, is missing for the Rockets. However, Jae’Sean Tate and Christian Wood are playing on a very high level recently, while Eric Gordon gives everything he has in one of his last seasons for the Rockets. In my opinion, the Pelicans are a bit better than Houston and this will be visible in their first head-to-head match for the season. So, I will go with New Orleans in this one.
Denis’ NBA Pick: New Orleans Pelicans (-148)
When the New Orleans Pelicans had Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Devonte Graham all missing time, they were undoubtedly the worst team in the NBA. Williamson is still out, but the return of Ingram and Graham have them winning games against quality opponents. After a nice win against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, the Pelicans hope to grab a win against a Houston Rockets team that, while not great, play with nothing to lose.
That mentality has Houston looking up, as they’ve now won five games in a row. Even though most of those opponents have been bad teams, they did get an OT win against the Charlotte Hornets and even more impressively, won 118-113 against a good defensive Bulls team. They’ve gotten some big help from veterans Eric Gordon and potential all-star Christian Wood. Both of these teams have shown positives lately, making this a much more intriguing matchup than a month ago. But, I’ll pick this Pelicans team to slow the Rockets down, as they’ve shown their ability over the past two weeks to get wins over big opponents, by double digits.
Michael’s NBA Pick: New Orleans Pelicans (-148)
Two of the worst teams in the league coming into the season, and then for the first month of the season have decided that they actually know how to play basketball after all. The New Orleans Pelicans are being led by a dynamic duo of Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Ingram right now, in the absence of Zion Williamson, who is hopeful to return in the coming weeks.
Houston has also shown the ability to play good basketball as of late, despite seemingly not having the talent up and down the lineup to compete with many of the opponents they’re seeing. They enter this one on a five game winning streak, led by Christian Wood and veteran Eric Gordon, who is the one guy on the roster that’s able to bring some experience to the team. Neither of these teams are playoff bound, so in this one, just sit back and enjoy two young teams who have the potential to be mainstays in the postseason in years to come, as they continue to progress and improve. In this one, I like Valanciunas to have a huge day, and the Pels to end the Rockets winning streak, despite being on the road.
Noah’s NBA Pick: New Orleans Pelicans -3 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.