Teams are being hit hard by COVID-19 health and safety protocols, but our NBA experts are keeping on top of the news to keep up to date and provide the best NBA picks for you.
The Boston Celtics could be missing their entire regular rotation against the Heat and Miami should be licking their lips in that one, while Kevin Durant might be returning from his COVID-19 induced isolation against his former side.
We have the Heat winning big and Brooklyn bouncing back, but there are six other games today and we have all of the winners for you below.
Utah Jazz @ Detroit Pistons – 3PM ET
Two sides coming off shock upset wins will go head to head in Detroit this afternoon when Utah takes on the Pistons.
The Jazz put up 131 points on the Milwaukee Bucks on the way to a 14 point victory, snapping a two game skid. Donovan Mitchell had his first good shooting game in a while, ending with 32 points on 50% shooting, adding five rebounds and seven assists. Jordan Clarkson had 26 off the bench and the Jazz will be looking to continue the scoring barrage against a Detroit side that is ranked 24th for defensive rating.
— NBA (@NBA) January 9, 2021
The Pistons got their second win of the season on Friday, defeating the fast starting Phoenix Suns 110-105 in overtime. Jerami Grant continued his good form with 31 and 10 while four other players scored in double figures. Blake Griffin had a double double for the first time this season, but things will be tougher against the Jazz.
Utah has good defenders at all positions and has a solid deep bench that can contribute at a high level. We expect the Jazz to keep their foot on the gas against the Pistons.
NBA Pick – Utah Jazz (-301)
NBA Spread – Detroit Pistons +7 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Over 216.5 (-115)
Chicago Bulls @ Los Angeles Clippers – 4PM ET
Two nights after almost beating the Lakers, the Bulls will get another opportunity to get a win in the Staples Center, this time against the Clippers.
Chicago had a shot to win it with four seconds left but ended up missing, going down by just two points to the Lakers. Zach LaVine had another incredible game with 38 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals while Wendell Carter Jr dominated inside with 23 and seven. The Bulls have now dropped two straight to Pacific division teams by four points or less and will be looking to turn their fate around against the Clips.
After being up by as many as 20 points against the Warriors, LA saw a similar story of giving up a big lead, eventually losing by 10. The 30-point swing is something that will be extremely alarming for Ty Lue and the Clippers, and they could come out a lot harder in this one. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard both had 20+ points, but minimal production off the bench hindered the Clippers.
While they lost the second half 64-40, the Clippers can use that as motivation coming into the afternoon game against the Bulls, picking up the win at home.
NBA Pick – Los Angeles Clippers (-800)
NBA Spread – Chicago Bulls +12 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 227 (-105)
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Brooklyn Nets – 6PM ET
The Oklahoma City Thunder are on a two game winning streak after defeating the Pelicans and most recently, the Knicks. They now have an opportunity to get their third straight against a shorthanded Brooklyn Nets side.
Brooklyn could actually be getting Kevin Durant back from COVID-19 health and safety protocols for this one, which would be a much needed lift after they fell to the Grizzlies by five points on Friday. The loss was the headline, but Caris LeVert had one of the best games of his career with 43 points, five rebounds and six assists, but no other Nets player scored over 16 points and a 15 point halftime hole was too big to get out of.
— NBA (@NBA) January 9, 2021
The Thunder picked up a 12 point win over the red hot Knicks despite only managing 15 points in the first quarter. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his rise to stardom with 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists while Hamidou Diallo had a surprise big game with 23 points and 11 boards off the bench.
While the Thunder have been playing some good basketball in their last two, if Durant returns against his former side then the Nets should win this comfortably. Even if he doesn’t, Brooklyn should be bouncing back at home.
NBA Pick – Brooklyn Nets (-341)
NBA Spread – Brooklyn Nets -7.5 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 224.5 (-105)
Denver Nuggets @ New York Knicks – 6PM ET
The Denver Nuggets are on the quick backup after playing the Philadelphia 76ers’ JV team last night in a 12 point win. They travel to the Big Apple to take on a Knicks side who had a shock loss to the Thunder on Friday night.
Despite 19 from RJ Barrett and 18, 12 and seven from Julius Randle, the Knicks could only score 89 points in the loss. They actually got out to a quick 24-15 lead, the middle two quarters saw them fall 39-54 and the game was lost there.
They’ll be needing to score more than that if they are to have any chance of beating a Nuggets side that has stumbled out of the gates but has the ability to be really good. The positive for Denver is no player had to play 30 minutes last night’s win, with Nikola Jokic leading the way with 15 points, 9 boards and 12 assists while Gary Harris had a good shooting night with 21 points on 7/11 shooting.
The Nuggets are getting good contributions from a wide variety of players, but the Knicks have allowed big men to have some very nice games so far this year, so look for Jokic to have a monster game in a Denver win.
NBA Pick – Denver Nuggets (-236)
NBA Spread – New York Knicks +6.5 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Over 218 (-115)
Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics – 7PM ET
*Update: This game was postponed due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, a new date has not been confirmed at this time*
Unfortunately for the Celtics, they could be missing their entire rotation due to injuries and COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Jayson Tatum was deemed a close contact to a positive case and now contact tracing is taking place throughout the entire organization.
This will be Miami’s second straight game against an opponent missing players after they beat the Wizards last night who were without Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, and lost Thomas Bryant after just 1:53. Tyler Herro was the star of the show in the win with 31 points while Butler continued his recent good form with 26, 10 boards and nine assists.
📊 Final Box:
🔥 Herro 31 Pts, 9 Rebs & 2 Asts
🔥 Butler 26 Pts, 10 Rebs, 9 Asts, 2 Stls & 1 Blk
🔥 Dragic 21 Pts (7-9 3PT) & 5 Asts
🔥 Olynyk 18 Pts, 6 Rebs & 5 Asts
🔥 Bam 9 Pts, 16 Rebs & 4 Asts pic.twitter.com/ZWrXFPXyhF
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 10, 2021
Boston come into the game with four straight wins, but due to their absences there won’t be a fifth. Jayson Tatum had 32 points and Jaylen Brown had 27 and 13 boards in a nine point win over Washington on Friday, but both could miss this contest.
Miami will come in full of confidence, especially given they almost beat the full strength Celtics on Wednesday, and should get the road win here.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Houston Rockets – 7PM ET
This is the first of a two game set between the Lakers and the Rockets, with both coming off wins but very different ones at that. Houston pounded an injury-riddled Magic by 42 points while the Lakers, who were missing Anthony Davis and KCP, only managed a two point victory over the Bulls.
While it was narrow, it was still a win but the Lakers’ last two games have been far from convincing. A loss to the Spurs followed up with this effort against the Bulls is not the form of a championship team. LeBron James had 28, 7 and 7 while Montrezl Harrell had 17 and 14 off the bench in the win, but they will be wanting Davis, currently listed as questionable, back against the Rockets.
Houston won all four quarters and had a 62-33 halftime lead in their massive win over the Magic, led by breakout star Christian Wood’s 22 points and 15 boards. James Harden had a low volume 15 point, 13 assist double double in the win and will be looking to outduel James in a heavyweight clash.
The Lakers’ current form gives no indication that they can just flip a switch against the Rockets, and with Houston coming in off a nice confidence boosting win, they should be able to get over the line here.
NBA Pick – Houston Rockets (+150)
NBA Spread – Houston Rockets +4 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Over 223 (-115)
San Antonio Spurs @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 8PM ET
The second leg of the back to back set between these sides and what a show that was last night. Karl-Anthony Towns’ return really sparked the Timberwolves, however they just fell short in overtime.
San Antonio picked up their third straight win on the back of DeMar DeRozan’s 38 points while Dejounte Murray had 22 points and 14 boards as the main second option. Patty Mills continued his good form with 21 points off the bench and hit some timely shots in the overtime period to help the Spurs pull away.
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Minnesota Timberwolves with a score of 125-122.💪👀
DeMar DeRozan – 38 PTS, 5 AST, 5 REB
Malik Beasley – 29 PTS, 2 AST, 4 REB
— NBA Fantasy News (@NBAFantasyNews1) January 10, 2021
Towns played 37 minutes in his return and put up 25 points, 13 boards with three blocks while Malik Beasley was the main scoring option with 29 points on 55% shooting. There is no word yet on whether the big man will play the second leg of the back to back given he has missed the last five games, and whether he plays or not could determine the outcome.
Minnesota clearly played more inspired and better basketball with Towns in the lineup, but the Spurs had good contributions across the board. Between Beasley and Anthony Edwards, the Wolves have enough athletic, strong bodies to throw at DeRozan but he just kept hitting shots and taking the opportunities that came to him.
While it was close last, we expect that the Spurs can win the second leg as well.
NBA Pick – San Antonio Spurs (-160)
NBA Spread – San Antonio Spurs -3.5 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 229.5 (-105)
Toronto Raptors @ Golden State Warriors – 8:30PM ET
Toronto finally got win number two, dominating the Kings 144-123. They now face a much tougher test in the Golden State Warriors, who used a 34-18 last quarter to finish off their come from behind win over the Clippers.
Golden State got down by as much as 20 during the game but ended up winning by 10 points behind Steph Curry’s 38 points and 11 assists. The Warriors went deep into the rotation to get the win, with 11 different players getting at least 11 minutes and the bench combining for 42 points.
Toronto managed to bounce back and get the monster win despite Kyle Lowry sitting out the game. Fred VanVleet stepped up with 34 points while Pascal Siakim took over some of the playmaking responsibilities, ending up with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 12 assists. Norman Powell started for Lowry and had 22 points while Christ Boucher had 23 and 10 off the bench.
There is some feeling in this one after the 2019 NBA Finals, which the Raptors surprisingly won, but this is a very different Golden State team now. Kyle Lowry will be back for Toronto and they should be able to shut down the Warriors. In games that Steph scores under 30 points, the Warriors are winless, so Lowry and VanVleet will be hounding him all game to keep his scoring down. We are riding Toronto to get two straight.
NBA Pick – Toronto Raptors (-140)
NBA Spread – Toronto Raptors -2.5 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 233 (-105)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.