Our free NBA picks are out for Sunday, January 9th, 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!
San Antonio Spurs @ Brooklyn Nets – 12pm ET
The San Antonio Spurs have just two games remaining in their mammoth road trip, and on Sunday afternoon they will take on the Brooklyn Nets. The Spurs have lost five of their last six, and this takes their season record to 15-23. The Nets have also been struggling slightly as of late, losing four of their last five games, and their season record sits at 24-13.
The San Antonio Spurs go on their sixth road game in a row as they will visit New York on Sunday. Their opponents are the best team in town nowadays, but they are slightly underperforming this season. On top of that, the Brooklyn Nets are coming into this match on a 1-4 run, losing to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Memphis Grizzlies and the Milwaukee Bucks. Counting their previous loss to the Orlando Magic, the Nets are now on a 5-game losing streak in Barclays Center. Kevin Durant and James Harden are putting up huge numbers, but that’s simply not enough, keeping in mind the spaces in defense they leave each single game.
The Spurs have also been struggling recently as they lost the first four games after Christmas. Then, they took a narrow 2-point win over the Boston Celtics just to lose the next game to the 76ers by 19 points. The team has plenty of internal issues as some players are on the health and safety protocols. The Spurs are in their rebuilding stage, meaning that they will most likely miss out on the Playoffs at the end of the season. However, they will do their best to continue hustling with the goal to reach the same glory as the Parker-Duncan-Ginobili era. I think that it’s high-time we saw the Nets’ real face. Hence, I will confidently choose their spread for this game.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets -10 (-110)
The Brooklyn Nets continued to struggle against good teams on Friday night, as they fell 109-121 to the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s not panic time yet—this team is full of veteran stars who are likely saving their energy for the playoffs after injuries derailed them last season. Still their lack of defense and poor rotations will need to be adjusted soon if they plan on making a deep playoff run. On Sunday they’ll play a San Antonio Spurs team that’s been starting to cause some major problems across the NBA.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 7, 2022
The San Antonio Spurs might not be playoff ready yet, but they’re definitely showing signs of promise. Young talent like Keldon Johnson and Dejounte Murray have shown signs of growth and the Spurs, while not consistent, have shown their ability to win big games. They may be coming off a 19-point loss to the 76ers, but they’ll definitely look to take advantage of the Nets team that’s been collapsing on defense. I’m not sure they’ll win in Brooklyn, but I’ll pick them to cover the +10 differential.
Michael’s NBA Pick: San Antonio Spurs +10 (-110)
Both of these teams come in having rough stretches over the past week and a half plus. The Brooklyn Nets have lost four of five, but if there’s one positive it’s the fact that all of the losses have been to playoff teams. While the stretch may be concerning, the losses are acceptable, and the talent is still there, with the core of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, when they’re on the road.
The same can’t necessarily be said for the San Antonio Spurs, who come in losing five of their last six, with one of those being to the lowly Detroit Pistons. The other issue is that the talent for San Antonio just isn’t at the same level as Brooklyn. Eventually I like the Nets to wake up and get back to playing solid ball, which is what I think happens here. Give me Brooklyn and the spread at home.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets -10 (-110)
Atlanta Hawks @ Los Angeles Clippers – 3.30pm ET
The Atlanta Hawks hit the road and will take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks played the Lakers last time out, losing 118-134, and they will be hoping it’s not a repeat again on Sunday. The Clippers are playing on back-to-back days and last time out they lost to the Grizzlies, 108-123.
The Atlanta Hawks will try to make the best out of the current circumstances within the Clippers as they are still without most of their star players. Paul George and Luke Kennard will most likely miss the game, while Ivica Zubac and Terrance Mann are uncertain. The team lacks consistency this season, since Reggie Jackson, Eric Bledsoe, and Terrance Mann are out of rhythm most of the time on the court. Serge Ibaka also struggles to replace Ivica Zubac, so there is also a problem in the center position. The Clippers continue to bounce up and down in the overall standings as they are currently 9th in the West with 19 wins and 21 losses. The team is coming into this match on a 3-game losing streak as they got whitewashed by the Timberwolves, the Suns, and the Grizzlies.
The Hawks share the same feeling as the Clippers. They are struggling to make progress even though they had all of their players most of the time this season. Trae Young is doing everything he can to carry the team, but he will surely need some more help in the near future. John Collins, Kevin Huerter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic are back for the Hawks after being put into the health and safety protocols right after Christmas. The team holds a 17-21 record which is enough for 12th place so far. I think that it’s high-time they fulfilled their potential as I sense a great upcoming month for them. In my opinion, they are slightly better than the Clippers in the current situation, so I will suggest picking the Hawks on Sunday.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks (-220)
The Clippers are continuing to compete, even without Kawhi Leonard, and for the most part, Paul George. While both those superstars recover from injuries, the Clippers continue to struggle. They’ve gotten some quality performances from the veterans Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris, plus some breakout games from Brandon Boston Jr., but those three aren’t at the level of being able to lead a team into serious contention. Still, they’ll try to increase their playoff potential against a Hawks team that’s struggled themselves.
After an impressive 2020-21 campaign, the Hawks are having a bit of a hangover—they’re 17-21, but have suffered from a lot of injuries and COVID cases. The Hawks had their closest thing in weeks to a complete lineup on Friday against the Lakers. But, they weren’t able to rattle the Lakers, as they lost 118-134. They got well-rounded scorers as six players scored double digits with Trae Young leading the way with 25. But their defense continued to be abysmal. They started off last year a bit cold but they need to get it together soon if they plan to compete in this tough Eastern Conference. I think they’ll bounce back against this Clippers team that’s fatigued and depleted right now. Go with Atlanta straight up.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks (-220)
The Los Angeles Clippers get ready to host their second game in two days, as they just lost to the Memphis Grizzlies yesterday. The roster is still depleted due to Covid protocols, as Paul George and Luke Kennard are out, with Ivica Zubac and Terrance Mann likely out as well, which is why the team has been struggling as of late.
The Atlanta Hawks aren’t in a much better situation, as they come in at 17-21, which is disappointing seeing as they made a run to the Eastern Conference Finals last year. Trae Young has been playing largely magnificent ball of late, but the defense team-wide has been non-existent, and Young’s supporting cast has struggled to give the point guard much help. However, with the Clips still being short multiple guys, I like Trae Young to have a big day, leading the Hawks to a big win in Los Angeles.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks (-220)
Chicago Bulls @ Dallas Mavericks – 7.30pm ET
The Chicago Bulls have a short one game road trip on Sunday night when they take on the Dallas Mavericks. The Bulls are looking to take their winning streak to double digits, as it currently sits at nine in a row. The Mavericks have won five games in a row, with wins over the Kings, Thunder, Nuggets, Warriors and Rockets.
The Chicago Bulls and the Dallas Mavericks will go head-to-head for the second time this season. Their first meeting ended up with a victory for the Bulls, who managed to deny Luka Doncic and to hold him below 35%. The team from the East has been performing on a whole different level this season. They top the Conference with 26 wins and 10 losses and slowly, but surely, make their way to the Playoffs. The Bulls have won their last 9 games, but some of their recent matches suggested that the streak might be over soon. DeMar DeRozan saved them twice with buzzer-beaters against the Pacers and the Wizards, while in the game against the Magic, they almost suffered an upset, barely beating them 102-98.
The Dallas Mavericks are enjoying a fantastic start to 2022. They have won 5 straight matches as their opponents were some of the toughest in the League. The Mavs defeated the Nuggets by 14 points and the Warriors by 17 points. Their defense did an incredible job both times as they held the opposition below 90 points. That’s actually the main difference in their approach recently. In this really high-scoring era, the Mavs managed to hold their rivals below the 100-point mark in five straight games after Christmas. The team has been playing really well on offense as Brunson, Doncic, and Hardaway are having a blast. They will be without Porzingis and a couple more players due to COVID-19, but I think we might see the end of Chicago’s streak on Sunday.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks (+118)
The Bulls are basketball’s hottest team, winning nine straight games and sitting atop the Eastern Conference. The team is of course thrilled with the play of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, but they’re also excited by the way Coby White has evolved into an off-the-bench scoring threat. With Lonzo Ball back from COVID and ballin’, and defensive master Alex Caruso returning soon, the Bulls should continue to dominate for the rest of the season.
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) January 8, 2022
On Sunday they’ll take on a Dallas Mavericks team that continues to be resilient. They sit in the fifth seed in the Western Conference, but it’s been anything but easy. They’ve had injuries to Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis this season, to the point where it seems like the two have seldom played together. What we have seen has been impressive, as each individual player has the ability to lead the team on their own. The Mavs are coming off five straight wins, with the last four all being by double digits. Both these streaking teams face off on Saturday, but the Mavericks injury woes continue as Porzingis is out in COVID protocols and Luka Doncic is questionable. So, because of that, I’ll pick the Bulls to keep the streak alive to ten straight games.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls -2.5 (-112)
These are two of the hottest teams in the league right now, as the Chicago Bulls come in winning nine in a row, and the Dallas Mavericks have won five straight. The Bulls are currently leading the East, with DeMar Derozan, Zach LaVine, and Lonzo Ball leading the way, and getting enough help from the bench to just roll.
For Dallas, the offense, led by Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr., has been great over the past two weeks, with the defense playing well enough to get the Mavs wins. The one issue for Dallas right now is that Kristaps Porzingis is out, and questions remain about Luka’s health. With the Mavs questions surrounding players being out, I think the safe play is to take Chicago to cruise once again.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Chicago Bulls -2.5 (-112)
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Golden State Warriors – 8.30pm ET
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors face off against each other on Sunday night and this will be Klay Thompson’s first game after returning from injury. The Cavaliers have won just three of their last eight games, which has dropped their season record to 22-17. The Warriors have lost their last two games in a row, losing to the Mavericks and Pelicans.
The long-awaited moment has come. Klay Thompson will make his return to the NBA after more than two years away from the court. Steph Curry will finally get the much-needed help as he will escape from being double- or even triple-teamed in each single game. The Warriors have been remarkable during this campaign as they are 2nd in the West with 29 wins and 9 losses. The team will try to fight for the top spot, but I think any place in the top 4 would work for them in the end. They have suffered their first back-to-back losses for the season right before the upcoming match against Cleveland. The Mavericks and the Pelicans took the better of them, following a disappointing performance from their top players.
The Cleveland Cavaliers also suffered two huge losses this season, but in their case, it was in terms of players. Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio will be sidelined for the rest of the campaign with severe injuries. However, the Cavs managed to find a way to win without them and to keep a decent record so far. They are 6th in the East with 22 wins and 17 losses as Darius Garland and Kevin Love lead the way for the team in the absence of some of their key players. Jarrett Allen has been fantastic in the paint as well, while Evan Mobley is in contention for the Rookie of the Year. The Cavs defeated the Blazers in their last meeting in the NBA and are coming with their heads up high against the Warriors. I think that they are playing on a really high level and I would surely suggest picking their spread tomorrow. I just don’t believe that the Cavs will be smashed in the reunion of the “Splash Brothers”.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers +9 (-110)
After a two year absence, Klay Thompson finally returns. The all-star and shooting phenom makes his return to the court Sunday. The Warriors are already the team to beat in the NBA when their current roster is healthy, adding Thompson, even if he’s just 75% of what he was, is an embarrassment of riches. The Warriors will get Thompson back after losing consecutive games for the first time all year. They’ll head to Cleveland where they’ll look to avoid their third straight loss as they take on an impressive Cavs team.
The Cavs have continued to fight through injuries this season. A little over a month ago they lost Collin Sexton for the year and within the last couple of weeks they lost veteran Ricky Rubio for the year as well. Luckily their young front court that contains Jarrett Allen, Lauri Markkanen, and Evan Mobley have kept them in the race. They’ll hope to ruin Klay Thompson’s return on Sunday, but I don’t think they will. The Warriors aren’t a team that loses three straight games; it was shocking they dropped two consecutive games. I expect Cleveland to contend, but I’ll go with Golden State to take this one.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors -9 (-110)
It’s finally time, and that’s why I think this game gets out of hand in a hurry. The Golden State Warriors are welcoming Klay Thompson back after over two years of him being injured and facing multiple setbacks in his recovery. With the fact that Golden State is already arguably the best team in basketball, getting a guy back who is arguably one of the best pure shooters in NBA history back is only going to make them better.
Even though I question how effective Klay will be after such a long layoff, I think the emotion of him being back is more than enough for the Warriors to get a big win over this Cavaliers team. The Cavs had an extremely hot start to the year, but now it finally seems they have run into obstacles they can’t overcome, with Colin Sexton and Ricky Rubio both being out for the year. They’re 3-5 in their last eight, and I’m not sure I like their chances in this one, with Golden State being at home and welcoming back Klay. Give me the Warriors and the points.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors -9 (-110)
Memphis Grizzlies @ Los Angeles Lakers – 9.30pm ET
The final game on Sunday night’s slate will see the Memphis Grizzlies travel to Los Angeles and take on the Lakers. Which team will have their current winning streak broken tonight? The Grizzlies are on an eight game winning streak, while the Lakers are on a four game winning streak.
After taking yet another convincing win on Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Grizzlies will try to make it two out of two in Crypto.com Arena. Memphis is undoubtedly the most improved team this season as they are currently just a few wins away from the top 3 in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies hold a 27-14 record that is much better than one of their opponents, the Los Angeles Lakers. Memphis is on an 8-game winning streak that started with a victory over the Sacramento Kings on December 26. The team was without Ja Morant in their last match against the Clippers, but with players like Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson, and Brandon Clarke, they managed to pull through.
The Lakers are surprisingly on a fantastic 4-0 run as they outplayed the likes of the Blazers, the Timberwolves, the Kings, and the Hawks. LeBron James continues beating record after record, while Russell Westbrook and Malik Monk have also elevated their game. The latter set a career-high 29 points in the win over the Atlanta Hawks. This decent winning streak launched them into 6th place as they are now far away from being outside the top 10. I think that their improvement is just beginning, but it will be a tough task to overcome the Grizzlies, especially in their current form. However, I wouldn’t pick a winner here, but I will go with the option for “over points” as both rosters maintain high FG%.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Over 226.5 (-110)
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to impress as they’ve won eight games in a row—just weeks after winning ten games in a row. You can’t help but be impressed with how mature this young team is. Imagining they stick together and stay healthy, they might be the Western Conference’s premier team for years to come. In their 123-108 victory over the Clippers on Friday they didn’t even have their star player Ja Morant, who sat out injured. But, young up-and-comers Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. we’re able to score 23 and 27 points respectively to lead Memphis to victory. Now the Grizzlies will play one of the teams they beat to get to eight straight: the Los Angeles Lakers.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 9, 2022
The Lakers are streaking themselves right now; after things looked rough at the end of December with Anthony Davis getting injured and the team’s defense looking atrocious, the “Lake Show” has returned thanks to a guy named LeBron James and off-season acquisition Malik Monk stepping up. When these two played on December 29, Memphis beat the Lakers 104-99 after they outscored the Lakers 26-16 in the fourth. This time, I think the Lakers get some payback at home, ending the Grizzlies win streak and continuing their own.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers (-112)
These are two other teams that have been extremely hot as of late, with the Memphis Grizzlies having won eight straight, while the Lakers have run off four in a row. Since Ja Morant returned from a strained knee, the Grizz are 8-2, but have won their last eight after losing the first two. They’re also getting good minutes from Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Brandon Clarke as of late, which is helping fuel this run. The one problem for Memphis is that they still have a few guys in health and safety protocols, and Dillon Brooks also left yesterday’s game against the Clippers early with an injury. Ja is also questionable in this one, which could potentially impact the outcome as well.
For the Lakers, they’ve run off four in a row, but I think too much of that is due to the way LeBron is playing as of late. Even at age 37, LeBron is playing at an insane level, which has been able to hide some of the struggles from a few of the other players. At some point I think his play is bound to slip, which with Anthony Davis out, and Russell Westbrook playing better, but not great, would mean major issues for this Los Angeles team. I’m not sure LeBron slows down in this one, but I like the balance from this Memphis team to be able to overcome that. Give me the Grizz in a tight one in the second game of a Los Angeles back-to-back.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (-104)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.