Our free NBA picks are out for Thursday, January 20th, 2022! 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!
New Orleans Pelicans @ New York Knicks – 7.30pm ET
The New Orleans Pelicans wrap up their three game road trip on Thursday night when they take on the New York Knicks. The Pelicans haven’t had a very successful road trip so far, losing both their games, to the Nets and Celtics. The Knicks are also on a two game losing streak, after they were defeated by the Hornets and Timberwolves.
The New Orleans Pelicans will try to put an end to their 5-game losing streak away from home on Thursday night as they will play the New York Knicks in their Madison Square Garden. The Pelicans have been among the teams that suffered a lot this season as the team still awaits the return of Zion Williamson. On top of that, Brandon Ingram doesn’t get the help he needs in order to lead his team to further heights. Jonas Valanciunas has been the most valuable asset of the Pelicans on both ends this season averaging 18.4 points and 12 rebounds per game. Devonte Graham is a bit disappointing so far, but he will surely level up his game in the remaining period of the campaign.
The New York Knicks will try to make up for their two most recent failures at Madison Square Garden. The team lost to the Charlotte Hornets and to the Minnesota Timberwolves as they let Miles Bridges and the atomic trio of the Timberwolves cruise past them. As of now, the Knicks are out of Playoffs contention sitting in 11th place with 22 wins and 23 losses. The situation this season within the Eastern Conference is quite intense as the teams would need to go an extra mile to clinch their spot for the bracket. I think that Evan Fournier, Julius Randle, and RJ Barrett will bring back that amazing victory feeling to New York. My pick here goes in favour of the Knicks as I expect to see them cover their spread against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Denis’ NBA Pick: New York Knicks -3 (-110)
Just last week it looked as though the Knicks were ready to take back off into the playoff form they were in last year; then they dropped two games in a row. First, they were overpowered by one of the NBA’s top offenses in the Charlotte Hornets. Then, on Tuesday night they were outlasted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, due to the efforts of Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony Towns. Now the struggling Knicks will look to avoid three straight losses, as they face a New Orleans Pelicans team that’s had a tough time living up to expectations this season.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 19, 2022
Even without Zion Williamson (who’s missed the entire season so far), the New Orleans have plenty of talent. With the likes of Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas, and Devonte Graham on their roster, this team at least has some exciting scoring options night in and night out. Still, they’ve had a fair share of injuries and COVID issues; in an ultra-competitive Western Conference you have to stay consistent to win. After two big wins last week against the Timberwolves and Clippers, the Pelicans turned around and dropped games to the Nets (who lost Kevin Durant halfway through the game) and the Boston Celtics. They’ll look to turn their luck around against a Knicks team that’s starting to look better, but are still nowhere near the sure thing they were last season. While I’ve probably picked the Knicks a bit too much this season, I’ll go with them tomorrow at home. This one is at MSG and with the Pelicans being a pretty poor road team, I’m not sure they’ll be able to compose themselves to victory.
Michael’s NBA Pick: New York Knicks -3 (-110)
In this one we have a matchup of two teams that have had disappointing seasons, and it looks like they’re both likely to miss the postseason, as the New York Knicks have collapsed and fallen down to 11th in the Eastern Conference. The talent seems to be there, at least enough that they should be a playoff team, but other than roughly a three week stretch to start the year, this Knicks squad just hasn’t looked like playing well together at all. The other problem is that apart from Julius Randle, there’s been no consistency from the roster, as Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, and company have shown flashes, but can’t seem to put anything together for long stretches of the year.
They take on a New Orleans Pelicans team in this matchup, and it’s a Pels team that isn’t any better, and quite honestly is worse. New Orleans has struggled all year long as they try to await the return of Zion Williamson, but the problem is that no one knows when that’s coming, and the rest of the roster lacks the talent needed to compete, apart from Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas. As for this matchup though, I’m taking New Orleans to finally get a win on this three game road trip, as I think both teams are more of inside out teams, and I happen to like the paint play from Pelicans a touch more in this one, even without Zion being back yet.
Noah’s NBA Pick: New Orleans Pelicans (+124)
Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks – 7.30pm ET
The five game road trip for the Phoenix Sun is finally coming to an end on Thursday when they take on the Dallas Mavericks. This road trip has been a very successful one of the Suns, as they have won all four games so far, and this includes wins over the Raptors, Pacers, Pistons and Spurs. The Mavericks are playing on back-to-back nights after facing off against the Raptors on Wednesday, a game in which they won, 102-98.
The Phoenix Suns have found their way back to the winning track following an unconvincing performance right around Christmas. The team has won 7 out of 8 matches in 2022, cementing their spot on the top of the NBA. Their sole loss came against the short-handed Miami Heat on December 8th as they suffered a 23-point defeat in the end in a game where Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson combined for 60 points. Currently, the Suns are leading the table with 34 wins and 9 losses standing a bit far away from their closest chasers – the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Dallas Mavericks, on the other hand, are notable for being the team that stopped the winning streaks of the Memphis Grizzlies and the Chicago Bulls. Luka Doncic has been simply amazing in these two meetings ending up with triple-doubles. On top of that, he achieved this exact milestone against the OKC Thunder, meaning that he now has a total of 3 triple-doubles in his last 6 appearances. He even dropped 41 points and 14 rebounds in the Mavs’ 102-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. The team has also been feeling fantastic in 2022, winning 10 out of their last 11 matches. The Mavericks took advantage of the current situation as they slightly pulled away from Denver and Minnesota, standing now in 5th place in the West with 26 wins and 19 losses. I think that they will be able to put up a good fight against the Suns, but they will eventually fail in the end.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (-146)
The Dallas Mavericks have continued to stay alive in the Western Conference playoff race, currently sitting at fifth. They’re in the midst of a four-game win streak which included last night’s 102-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors, where Luka Doncic scored 41 points, having one of his best games of the season. Dallas is at full strength and are trying to prove they’re among the best in the conference. They’ll have a real chance to prove that tonight as they take on one of the West’s best teams, the Phoenix Suns. After an odd loss to a pretty depleted Miami Heat team on January 8th, the Phoenix Suns are looking like the team that won 18 straight games earlier this year and won the Western Conference last year. They’ve won four in a row, but haven’t exactly had the toughest opponents.
Dallas will definitely be their toughest recent task—especially with the game being at American Airlines Center. While Phoenix has the second highest defensive rating in the league, Dallas isn’t very far behind, sitting at fourth. Dallas has also jumped Phoenix in fewest opponent points per game as they’re only allowing 102.7 compared to the Suns’ 104.6. Dallas’ superb defense has been a big reason that they’re still so alive in the playoff race, despite battling quite a few injuries and COVID protocol situations. This one should be a great battle, but with both of these teams being defensive hounds, I’ll go for the under in this one, even with it being at 213.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Under 213 (-110)
After many people accused Luka Doncic of looking out of shape, and just not playing all that well early in the year, he looks as if he’s taken that criticism personally, as he’s now playing phenomenal basketball, and has currently led his Dallas Mavericks to a four-game winning streak, including ending two lengthy winning streaks, from the Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies, in the process. It’s clear that we can assume this play from Luka doesn’t look as if it’s stopping anytime soon, but the only question for Dallas now is whether he can get enough help from his supporting cast, including guys like Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. If he can get solid production from the rest of the roster, this is a Dallas team that could potentially make a deep run in the postseason.
However, in this one, they take on a Phoenix Suns team that may be the best team in the NBA. Phoenix, with a core featuring DeAndre Ayton, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul, has been great all year long, and I don’t see that slowing down. They made a run to the NBA Finals last year, and managed to keep virtually the entire roster together, which is why a lot of people expect them to potentially repeat as Western Conference champions again this year. For this matchup, I’m going to take the Suns to go on the road and get a big win, largely due to the fact that Dallas just had to play a tough game in a win over the Toronto Raptors last night. I’m hesitant to trust the Mavs to not be a bit fatigued after that game, which is something they can’t afford when taking on Phoenix. Give me the Suns in a tight one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (-136)
Indiana Pacers @ Golden State Warriors – 10pm ET
The final game on Thursday night’s slate will see the Indiana Pacers hit the road and take on the Golden State Warriors. The Pacers are another team that are playing on back-to-back nights, and in their game against the Lakers yesterday they won, 111-104. The Warriors were very thankful to have Thompson back in their last game, as he was finally firing, and was the top scorer in the team, scoring 21 points, which helped them get the win over the Pistons, 102-86.
The Golden State Warriors take on the Indiana Pacers in a game that presents yet another great opportunity for Klay Thompson to continue with his adaptation to the NBA. He managed to surpass the 20-point mark for the first time since his return in a win over the Detroit Pistons when he dropped 21 points on a 6-13 shooting from the field. The Warriors’ most recent form is far from what they have shown us throughout the season, but it’s quite normal for the team to experience such a pullback. They lost 5 games in just an 11-day span which is pretty bad for their high standards. Steph Curry has been having some difficulties leading his team since the beginning of the new year as he has been playing quite differently in his last appearances.
The Indiana Pacers prolong their struggles in the NBA. The team lost its last 4 matches before pulling off a surprise against the Los Angeles Lakers winning, 111-104. They, however, fell victims to the likes of the Boston Celtics twice, the Phoenix Suns, and the Los Angeles Clippers. Their biggest issues lie in the fact that there is always someone who is unable to play either due to injuries or to COVID-19. Right now, Myles Turner and Malcolm Brogdon are uncertain for the game against the Warriors and even though that they have great players like Domantas Sabonis, Chris Duarte, and Caris LeVert, I don’t think they will be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat on Thursday. In my opinion, the Warriors should be able to close this match long before the 4th quarter. That’s why I will recommend you picking their spread for the game.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors -13 (-110)
The Indiana Pacers pulled off a big win on Thursday night as they beat the Los Angeles Lakers 104-111 after a huge fourth quarter where they outscored LeBron James and Co. 35-24. They were powered by Domantas Sabonis, who had a triple-double. These are the kind of wins many expected a team with Indiana’s talent to have throughout the season. Unfortunately, they sit at 16-29 and have been one of the league’s bigger disappointments this year. Luckily they still have a little time to correct their poor first half of the season and after a win in Los Angeles they’ll hope to continue in the Bay Area against the Golden State Warriors.
3x NBA champ
3x NBA All-Star
2x Olympic Gold Medalist
2017 Defensive Player of the Year
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 20, 2022
This might just be their chance: even though the Warriors are thrilled to have Klay Thompson back and in action, Golden State is also missing Draymond Green big time. They’ve gone 2-3 in their last five, and have had some issues against teams with dominant bigs (the Bucks, The Timberwolves), with Sabonis being a threat across the floor, Golden State can’t overlook this Pacers squad. Still, Golden State’s three losses have all been against teams that are playoff contenders—the Pacers aren’t quite there yet. Additionally, they just toughed out a game against the Lakers 24 hours prior. The Warriors can be so good on both sides of the ball, I just think they’ll overwhelm this Pacers team, that has a big man injured as well in Myles Turner. I think the safest pick here is for the Warriors to cover.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors -13 (-110)
The Indiana Pacers have been a virtual unanimous disappointment so far this season. Coming into the year, many were hopeful that this would be a team that could reach the postseason, and potentially make a run, given the talent (albeit unproved) that they had on the roster. However, so far this year, that simply hasn’t been the case, as they come into this one at 16-29, although they did knock off the Los Angeles Lakers last night. The biggest issue with this Pacer team to this point has been the shaky defense, as they often appear to be non-existent. The offense does a decent job, and on the rare occurrences that they perform well on the same night, they have the ability to be dangerous, but the problem is that those occurrences are few and far between.
On the other hand, the Golden State Warriors have been one of, if not, the best team in basketball virtually all year, led by MVP candidate Steph Curry. They’ve been in a bit of a slump lately, but I think a lot of that has to do with them finally welcoming Klay Thompson back to the lineup, and trying to get him re-acclimated to the roster. In their last game, Klay led the team in scoring, which has to be a good sign, as it signifies that he may finally be getting into a rhythm following a week or so of just looking off. If he can get back to the level that we all know he can play at, and they can still get solid play from Curry, and role players like Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, this is a team that is absolutely going to contend for a title this year. As for this one, I think the Warriors simply have too much offense for a Pacer defense that has been mediocre to bad all year long, and is now on the second night of a back-to-back. Give me the Warriors at home, with the possibility for this game to end up being a larger blowout than many may expect.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors -13 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.