Another successful day for our NBA picks yesterday and with just two games tonight we are zeroing in on a 100% day.
The Oklahoma City Thunder take their 5-1 road record up to Denver to face a side who has struggled at home so with, as the Nuggets have gone just 3-5 in the Mile High City.
Meanwhile the Utah Jazz put their five game winning streak on the line against a struggling New Orleans Pelicans side who has won just one of their last six.
Our NBA picks have the six best bets across the three main markets for both games, including riding both favorites straight up, but one underdog to cover the spread.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Denver Nuggets – 9PM ET
One of the biggest disappointments of the early stages of the season, Denver comes into this one with just a 6-7 record. It gets even worse at home, winning just three of eight games at Ball Arena, and they now host an Oklahoma City Thunder side that is sitting at 6-6 for the season but an incredible 5-1 on the road.
The Thunder have won just one of their last three games, but most recently had a 127-125 overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is averaging over 21 points, five rebounds and six assists per night, had a massive 33 points on 68.4% shooting and 10 assists while playing nearly 44 minutes. Five other Thunder players scored in double figures, but for the season Oklahoma City are ranked 29th in offensive rating.
A one-man wrecking crew.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 18, 2021
They are now on the road to face the third highest offensive rating in the league, with Nikola Jokic playing at an MVP level to pace Denver and keep their offense flowing. The Nuggets lost a rematch of their opening round playoff series against the Jazz, scoring just 105 points despite Jokic and Jamal Murray combining for 65 points. No other Denver player scored in double figures and they just weren’t able to score enough to win.
Denver has won three of their last five, but their three wins came against weak opponents and their losses to playoff sides from last year. While the Thunder were a playoff team last year, they are completely different to then and despite having such a good record on the road, we can see them struggling here against Denver. They don’t have a clear option to slow down Jokic and given their young and inconsistent play so far this season, coming off a big overtime victory may see them have a down game here.
NBA Pick – Denver Nuggets (-490)
NBA Spread – Oklahoma City Thunder +9.5 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Over 220 (-115)
New Orleans Pelicans @ Utah Jazz – 9PM ET
The first of a two game set between these sides, and they come in with very different formlines. Utah is riding a five game winning streak that has seen them rise to third in the West while New Orleans has won just one of their last six.
The Pelicans rank fifth worst in turnovers and three point percentage, which is not a good combination to have in the modern NBA. Lonzo Ball has missed the last three games through injury and is just questionable for this one, but they would love to have him back to go up against Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell tonight. In Sunday’s 128-123 win over the Kings, New Orleans had six players score in double figures, led by Zion Williamson’s 31 points and Steven Adams’ 12 point, 15 rebound double double.
18 PTS | 16 in 2nd half | 7 AST | 2 BLK pic.twitter.com/Q3lLvSgOtQ
— NBA (@NBA) January 18, 2021
They will need to be at the top of their game in this one as Utah is ranked 10th in offensive rating and seventh in defensive rating to have the fifth best net rating in the league. Their most recent win over Denver saw Jordan Clarkson lead the way off the bench with 23 points on 69.2% shooting while Rudy Gobert had 15, 13 and two blocks.
Some big questions for this one is how well will the Jazz slow down both Williamson and Brandon Ingram given Bojan Bogdanovic isn’t the best defender going around. Another is will Adams be able to negate Gobert down low and remove his big presence.
New Orleans could easily get the better of both of those situations, but the Jazz should still be winning, especially at home.
NBA Pick – Utah Jazz (-240)
NBA Spread – Utah Jazz -6 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 217.5 (-105)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.