Our free NBA picks are out for Thursday, December 9th, 2021! Make sure you check our NBA picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA picks for the three games on today’s schedule!
Utah Jazz @ Philadelphia 76ers – 7pm ET
The Utah Jazz are in the middle of a four game road trip, and in game three they travel to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers. The Jazz just keep winning, and at the moment their streak is up to five in a row, with wins against the Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Celtics, Cavaliers and Timberwolves. The 76ers have a nice win streak of their own, currently sitting at three, which brings their season record to 13-11.
The Philadelphia 76ers and the Utah Jazz have been considered one of the potential contenders for the NBA title this season. The Jazz are living up to the hype, while Philly has a lot of trouble with their roster. First of all, there have been quarrels with Ben Simmons who has been suspended by the team. Then Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid had to go through Covid-19 and on top of that Tyrese Maxey won’t be available for the game on Thursday. However, even with these problems in mind, the team sits at 6th place in the East with 14 wins out of 25 games. They have won their last three matches against the Charlotte Hornets twice and against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Utah Jazz, on the other hand, have been fantastic recently, winning 5 games in a row. They are 3rd in the West, right behind the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns, with 17 wins out of 24 games. Donovan Mitchell is on fire lately as he regularly drops more than 30 points. The defense might need some improvement, but with such an offensive lineup including Mitchell, Conley, Bogdanovic, I don’t think this will be their main focus. It’s clear that the Jazz are the favorites in such a game, but in my opinion this specific meeting will be tough to call. So, I’d rather go with the option for “over points” as Joel Embiid has scored more than 40 points twice after his return at the end of November.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Over 215.5 (-112)
Last night, the Utah Jazz continued to roll in their pursuit of the Western Conference’s top seed. They trampled the Minnesota Timberwolves by 32 points, winning 136-104. After a pretty even first half, the Jazz came out hot on both sides of the ball in the second half, outscoring Minnesota 76-45. Donovan Mitchell is continuing to elevate his game, scoring 30 or more for the fourth straight game, as his 36 points led all scorers. Now Utah looks to continue their winning ways in Philadelphia on Thursday night.
the Sixers were buzzing in Charlotte tonight! 🐝
📹 Game Highlights vs. Charlotte Hornets | 12.08.21 pic.twitter.com/50E0UhHItz
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 9, 2021
After a tough 87-88 loss last Wednesday to their rival Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers have won three straight games against playoff contenders (Atlanta Hawks and twice against the Charlotte Hornets). They’ll look to keep rising in the Eastern Conference standings as they play an excellent Jazz team at home. Joel Embiid has been brilliant since his return from COVID: he scored 32 and 49 points against the Hornets, and 28 against the Hawks, as he continues to show why he might be the best center in basketball. He’ll face the game’s best defensive big man in Rudy Gobert in this matchup, but Embiid is so good at scoring from inside and outside, I don’t expect Gobert’s presence to diminish his stats that much. That being said, Utah is just so on fire right now, that it’s hard to pick against them. I for sure thought an up-start Timberwolves team would present a challenge to the Jazz, but they blew by them on the road. I think Philadelphia will make it a game, but I have a hard time picking against the Jazz right now.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz (-136)
Both of these teams seem to have found their form once again and are both playing extremely hot basketball as of late. The Utah Jazz, after a quick week and a half long slump, have turned things around and are back to showing why they’ve been the best regular season team in basketball over the past few years, led in major part by Donovan Mitchell, who has now scored 30+ in four straight games. Mitchell’s offense, to go along with Rudy Gobert’s defense and rebounding, has made this a team no one wants to face right now.
Philadelphia has looked like one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference for most of the year, outside of a brief stretch where Joel Embiid was sidelined due to Covid. In that stretch, they struggled and it became obvious that Embiid was the key to the team’s success. However, he picked up right where he left off and they now continue to roll along. As for the result of this one, I like Utah to go on the road and sneak by with an extremely tight win. In the end, I think the Jazz throw too many offensive weapons at Philly, especially with Mitchell playing at the level he is at the moment, so I’m leaning towards Utah by a nose.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz (-136)
Los Angeles Lakers @ Memphis Grizzlies – 8pm ET
The Los Angeles Lakers have a short two game road trip before returning home again, and to kick things off they will take on the Memphis Grizzlies. The Lakers are coming off a win against the Celtics last time out, 117-102, where James dropped a team high 30 points. The Grizzlies had their winning streak snapped last time out, courtesy of the Mavericks, 96-104, so they will be looking for a quick bounce back.
The Los Angeles Lakers found their rhythm recently, shortly after LeBron James made his return for the team from the “City of Angels”. They have won 3 out of their last 4 games, defeating the likes of Detroit, Sacramento, and Boston. The Lakers lost the most important match against their city rivals, the Clippers. Their opponent seems to be more balanced and although Anthony Davis and LeBron James led the scoreboard, they lost by 4 points in the end.
The Memphis Grizzlies are a fantastic team even without their young superstar, Ja Morant. They have proven that in the last 5 games prior to the last one, winning each one of them. They even set a new NBA record for a victory by the largest margin. Defeating Oklahoma, 152-79, or by 73 points put them in 1st place in winning margin, but also, they set a franchise record for most points scored in a single match. They might have dropped 152 points, but just one player from the team, Jaren Jackson scored more than 20 points, ending up with 27 points for the game. This further displays their immense balance within the team. In my opinion, they will be a tough obstacle for the Lakers, but I see the Los Angeles Lakers prevailing in this one due to their experience.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers -3 (-110)
Ever since Ja Morant went down with a knee injury on November 26th against theAtlanta Hawks, the Memphis Grizzlies have gone 5-1. They might’ve lost last night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, but in their previous five without Morant, they’ve seen their young core of players step up. Guys like Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, and Jaren Jackson Jr. continue to evolve while Morant is sidelined, giving the league a fair warning that this young squad is continuing to ascend. They’ll look to bounce back on Thursday night against a Lakers team who they had an exhilarating win against back in October.
While the Lakers have had to fight through their ups and downs so far this season, they’re still currently a sixth seed in the Western Conference. They won a big game on Tuesday night against their rivals the Boston Celtics, 117-102 and in his last five games LeBron James has, unsurprisingly, been brilliant. While other stars Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook continue to have inconsistent runs, LeBron has put the team on his back, averaging 31 points over those last five. The Lakers have meshed a bit better lately, but how will this team that’s been criticized as too old, match up against a team that’s young and energetic? I think an extra day’s rest will benefit the Lakers on the road. As impressive as this Grizzlies team has been without Morant, they may be running a bit out of gas; this will be their fourth game in six days.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers -3 (-108)
Memphis has been an absolute roller coaster this season. They have multiple thirty point losses to teams they shouldn’t have lost to, and multiple double digit wins over teams it could be argued they shouldn’t have beaten, and when you include a 73-point mauling of OKC, no one knows with this team. Ja Morant is sidelined for a few more weeks, which seems as if it should have hurt the Grizzlies, but instead they’re 5-1 without him, and the only loss came last night in close fashion to Dallas.
For LA, LeBron James leads the way to no one’s surprise, but the rest of the roster has been letting him down along the way. The off-season moves haven’t worked, as they simply added age and not much value to an already older team. I think the key in this game ends up being nothing more than the fact that Memphis had to play last night, and including the fact that this will be their fourth game in six days. No matter how young the team may be, that’s a lot of basketball that eventually catches up to a team missing their best player. Take LA in a close one, and take it with confidence.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers -3 (-108)
Denver Nuggets @ San Antonio Spurs – 8.30pm ET
The Denver Nuggets are nearing the end of their mammoth road trip, with just two games to go, but before they can return home they will take on the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night, and again a couple of days later. The Nuggets are playing on back-to-back nights, and they are coming off a thrilling overtime victory against the Pelicans, 120-114. The Spurs will be looking to end their current two game losing streak, where they had losses to the Suns and Knicks.
The San Antonio Spurs entered a new realm with their four straight wins over teams like the Boston Celtics, the Washington Wizards, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Golden State Warriors. This gave them enough impulse to put up a good fight against the Phoenix Suns, but they came up short in the end, losing by 4 points. In their last match, the Spurs were defeated by the Knicks in AT&T Center. Although they have performed well recently, the team is still 12th, far away from the top 8, with 8 wins from 23 games.
The Denver Nuggets are playing on plenty of ups and downs this season. This is mainly due to the absence of Jamal Murray and certain wrist issues that Nikola Jokic had. They are 7th in the West so far with 12 wins and 12 losses, but their most recent performances suggest they will need to put in a bit more effort to cement their spot in the top 10. Losing against the Orlando Magic and drawing with the New Orleans Pelicans is definitely not a good sign, but they managed to make up for this surprising loss with a victory over the New York Knicks. Jokic is performing a “one-man show” for the Nuggets as he rarely gets help from his teammates. In my opinion, this might turn out to be costly for Denver and I will go with the San Antonio Spurs in this one.
Denis’ NBA Pick: San Antonio Spurs (-102)
The Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs play the first of two consecutive games against each other on Thursday night in Texas. Despite a double-digit loss to the New York Knicks on Tuesday, the Spurs have looked pretty good lately. They lost a close game to the conference-leading Phoenix Suns on Monday, right after defeating the Golden State Warriors (who are tied with the Suns atop the conference) on Saturday. This young Spurs team has been showing a lot of upside as of late, and they’ll look to keep the confidence going against a Nuggets team that continues to fight through adversity this season.
Back at it on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/F3FwAVN84R
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 8, 2021
The Denver Nuggets are 12-12 and currently hold a playoff spot in the Western Conference, despite numerous injuries and no true number two option on their team. Nikola Jokic has once again been incredible, averaging 26 points and 13 rebounds per game. He’s been getting some nice help from teammates Will Barton and Monte Morris as of late, but those two will need to be more consistent in scoring if the Nuggets truly have a chance at rising in the standings. They’ll face a San Antonio team that may only be 8-15 on the year, but are giving great teams a lot of challenges. I think the Spurs take the first of these two games, due to Denver’s OT win against a pretty bad New Orleans team ending less than 24 hours before this one starts.
Michael’s NBA Pick: San Antonio Spurs (-102)
It appears as if the magical San Antonio run may have slowed down and finally ended. Before their current two game skid, they had won four straight and were looking like a different team. However, with back-to-back losses, they’re slowly beginning to look like the team their talent dictates they should be, as they were nowhere close to as good as they played on the brief winning streak.
Now they host a Denver team that has been extremely disappointing so far this year, but still has most of the pieces that led them to an appearance in the Western Conference Finals last year. While they are banged up a bit, as Jamal Murray is still recovering from last season’s injury, and Michael Porter Jr. is likely done for the year, they’ve been relying way too heavily on Nikola Jokic to lead the way. Yes, he’s the league’s reigning MVP, but he can’t do it all himself, which is why they currently sit at 12-12 on the year. However, even with the disappointing play, I don’t know what San Antonio is going to be able to do to stop Jokic from just dominating down low, so I like the Nuggets to try to slow the game down, and just let Jokic put in work down low. Look for a dominant night from the MVP, and Denver gets a tight win on the road.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Denver Nuggets -1 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.