Our free NBA picks are out for Tuesday, January 4th, 2022! Make sure you check our NBA picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA picks for the five games on today’s schedule!
Memphis Grizzlies @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 7pm ET
The Memphis Grizzlies wrap up their two game road trip in Cleveland on Tuesday night when they take on the Cavaliers. The Grizzlies are playing on back-to-back nights, and they will be hoping for another good game, after defeating the Nets 118-104. The Cavaliers have won two of their previous five games, and this takes their season record to 21-16.
Two of the biggest surprises this season will go head-to-head on Tuesday in the NBA. Both of the teams, however, have some troubles with their roster as some key players are missing either due to COVID-19 or to injuries. The Grizzlies are once again with Ja Morant as he made his return right before Christmas in a loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, ever since then, he has been performing on top level and he even dropped 41 points against the Lakers last Wednesday. His team has won its last 5 matches in the NBA against the Kings, the Suns, the Lakers, the Spurs, and the Nets. They did so even though they were without De’Anthony Melton and Dillon Brooks. The team sits in 4th place in the West and slowly, but surely slips away from its chasers.
The Cavs have been fantastic from the start of the season as well. The team found the right path even being without Collin Sexton since their eleventh match. Then, they also lost Ricky Rubio for the remainder of the campaign. This actually took a toll on them as they lost to the Pelicans, the Wizards, and the Hawks in their last games for 2021. They began the next year in a high mood after outplaying the Indiana Pacers in a tight contest at home. The Cavs surely need Darius Garland to get cleared out of the health and safety protocols, so that he can take the lead for his team. They have also signed Rajon Rondo who is also unavailable at the moment. I think that these problems will affect their performance and the Grizzlies will take the final victory.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (+120)
The Memphis Grizzlies continued to excel last night as they grabbed a massive win against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Ja Morant is starting to prove he’s one of the best point guards in basketball, as he dropped 36 points and dished 8 assists. He’s also getting a lot of help from up-and-coming talent Desmond Bane, who also dropped 29 points against the Nets and is looking like a front-runner for Most Improved Player of the Year. The Grizzlies will look to keep things going on Tuesday as they face the NBA’s surprise team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The @memgrizz defeated the Brooklyn Nets 118-104 on Monday, the Grizzlies’ fifth straight win and league-leading sixth wire-to-wire victory of the season.
Memphis has won nine of its last 10 road games. pic.twitter.com/LzxTAmkQuO
— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) January 4, 2022
Despite Cleveland’s dismal injuries (Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio are both out for the season), this team has continued to play resilient basketball. Unfortunately, for the time being, they also have Darius Garland sidelined in COVID protocol, and Issac Okoro out for a couple weeks with injury. The Cavaliers will depend on their front court that contains the likes of Jarrett Allen, Kevin Love, Lauri Markkanen, and Evan Mobley to frustrate this high flying Memphis squad. Still, the Cavaliers have struggled with these injuries to their guard play in recent games, losing three of their last four. With Memphis playing high quality basketball right now, I’ll give them the advantage on the road, especially after they had a pretty easy double digit win against the Nets last night.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (+120)
Maybe this is being biased, since I’m from Memphis, but I’m truly not convinced that this Grizzlies team will ever lose another game. They’ve faced time without Ja Morant and came out with a great record in his absence, and now they’re facing Covid issues, being without De’Anthony Melton, Dillon Brooks, and Kyle Anderson, and they’ve now won five in a row, including a win last night on the road in Brooklyn, looking to make it six against a struggling Cleveland team.
While Cleveland has remained one of the biggest surprises in the league to this point, it’s beginning to look as if the injuries may finally be beginning to take its toll, as they’re without Colin Sexton and Ricky Rubio for the rest of the year, and now they’re missing Darius Garland, who is in health and safety protocols. They’ve lost three of their last five, and you have to begin to wonder if the obstacles mounting are going to end up being too much to overcome. For that reason, give me Memphis to continue their winning streak, even as they face their own Covid issues, as well.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (+120)
San Antonio Spurs @ Toronto Raptors – 7pm ET
The extended road trip continues on for the San Antonio Spurs, and on Tuesday night they travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors. The Spurs are looking to turn around the three game losing streak they are currently on, with losses to the Jazz, Grizzlies and Pistons. The Raptors have won their last two games in a row, which brings their season record up to 16-17.
The Toronto Raptors take on the San Antonio Spurs in their Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday night. It seems that both teams will have a hard time reaching the Playoffs this year, but the battle has not been lost until it’s officially lost. Both of them have good enough players to contest for one of the last spots. The Raptors are coming into this match on a 2-game winning streak as they took two convincing victories at home against the shorthanded team of the Clippers and the Knicks. The team is on a 7-2 run at home since December and they will try to build on this recent performance. Now that they are almost back at full strength with Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, they seem to be a really dangerous opponent.
The Spurs, on the other hand, have lost their last three games in the NBA. They didn’t have much of a chance against the Utah Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies as they came with huge deficits in the last quarters. In their last game, the Detroit Pistons found a way to go past them in overtime. What raises some concerns is the fact that Hamidou Diallo led Detroit with 40% FG, while Saddiq Bey added 21 points on a 7-23 shooting from the field. You cannot be a real Playoffs contender and expect everyone to think highly of you, and at the same time, to lose to a team with such a performance. I think that the current form of both teams says enough and I will go with the Raptors covering the spread at home.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors -5.5 (-110)
The young San Antonio Spurs have shown plenty of upside this season, but have fallen on a tough stretch of games after leading scorer Dejounte Murray went into COVID protocols. This included a 116-117 loss to a Detroit Pistons team they had beaten 144-109 just a few days earlier. Murray’s status for this game is still up in the air for now, as San Antonio heads to Toronto to take on a Raptors team that’s coming off consecutive wins.
The Raptors were hit hard by COVID protocols over the past couple of weeks, but now they’re back at full strength and have shown how impressive they can play when everyone is healthy. They scored 120 and 116 points in their last two wins, and even though their defense can use some fine tuning, this Raptors team is starting to look like a true playoff threat. At 15-17, they currently sit in 10th place, but I expect them to rise if they’re able to stay healthy. Getting better on defense will be another big key; even though they’re top ten in opponent points per game, and team steals, they have a tough time defending the three, which in this day and age you must be able to stop if they want to succeed. Still, barring a major upset ,I think they’ll continue their strong play against a Spurs team that will either still be missing key players or just getting them back in time.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors -5.5 (-110)
After looking like they may have found a rhythm, the San Antonio Spurs have fallen back off again on this long road trip they find themselves on. They come in on a three game losing streak, which is problematic enough, but the fact that one of those losses is to the Detroit Pistons, the worst team in the league, is a much bigger problem. Now they go north of the border to take on a Toronto team that has been a roller coaster all year long.
The Raptors simply can’t decide whether they want to be a playoff team or not, as they’ve shown flashes of having the potential to be a team to contend in the East, and they’ve also shown flashes of being one of the worst teams in basketball. Part of that is due to Covid issues, but part of that is due to the fact that the defense has been shaky at best. The offense has begun to put up big numbers again, which is a good thing, but they’re not a team
that can be taken seriously until the defense steps up. However, in this one, against a young Spurs team, I think the offense playing extremely well is going to be good enough to get a win, and be enough to take them and the points.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors -5.5 (-110)
Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks – 7.30pm ET
The Indiana Pacers wrap up their short two game road trip on Tuesday night when they take on the New York Knicks, who start a two game homestand. The Pacers have lost four games in a row, to teams like the Bulls (twice), Hornets and Cavaliers. The Knicks are also on a losing streak, but they have only lost two in a row, against the Thunder and Raptors.
The Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks will go head-to-head on Tuesday night in one of the oldest classics in the NBA. However, both teams have been struggling this season as they are out of top 10 in the current standings in the East. The Knicks are 11th, right on the line, with 17 wins and 20 losses, while the Pacers are falling behind in 13th place with a 14-23 record. Looking at their competition this season, I might not be wrong to say that it will be a miracle if Indiana makes the Playoffs. They will need to get into such a form that they will be able to defeat the top teams from both Conferences. On top of that, the Pacers are still without Malcolm Brogdon and TJ Warren who are on their way to recover from injuries. A lot of players have been put on the health and safety protocols including Caris LeVert and Chris Duarte which will make the upcoming games a living hell for them.
The Knicks have shown some positive signs with three straight wins around Christmas. They defeated the Hawks on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden and then, they went on to beat the Timberwolves and the Pistons on the road. In their last two matches in the NBA, the Knicks got schooled by the Thunder and the Raptors as they suffered two 15-point losses. Their overall performance has been really poor, but they can surely fight back and snatch one of the last Playoffs spots. I think that they have both the qualities and the experience to climb the leaderboard and a win over this struggling Pacers’ team can be more than expected. So, I will support them in getting yet another win in this mythic arena.
Denis’ NBA Pick: New York Knicks -1.5 (-110)
Even though the New York Knicks have taken a major step back from last season, they still sit at only 17-20, just outside the Eastern Conference playoff race. Unfortunately, losing Julius Randle on 12/30 didn’t help their playoff aspirations, as the team has lost their last two games by 15 points. Randle’s status against Indiana is still questionable and the Knicks will also be without another scoring option in Kemba Walker.
Stay locked in. pic.twitter.com/rozD0OQHDO
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 3, 2022
On the other side of the court, the Indiana Pacers are also facing their share of struggles. They’ve lost four games in a row, and have numerous players sidelined due to COVID including Caris LeVert, Malcolm Brogdon, and Chris Duarte. LeVert will still be out against the Knicks, while Brogdon and Duarte are questionable, but this Pacers team needs to get these three back ASAP if they have any chance at competing with the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Still, despite having those players sidelined, Indiana took two of the East’s top teams the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers to the brink. Going up against a struggling and Randle-less Knicks team should favor them. I’ll pick the Pacers on the road.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers (+102)
What a disaster these two teams have been so far this season. They both came in with aspirations of competing in a wide open Eastern Conference, but the Indiana Pacers have disappointed all year long, as the defense has struggled mightily, while after a hot start to the year, the New York Knicks have run across similar issues as they’ve fallen face first in a major way.
The difference in this game, to me, is the offenses. I’m still hesitant to trust this New York offense, as I’m not sure that they have the core talent, outside of Julius Randle, to be a legitimate contender. For the Pacers, the offensive talent has oftentimes been there, but the defense simply hasn’t shown up enough for them to find any kind of rhythm this season. As for this one, I’m taking Indiana to simply outscore the Knicks, even going on the road to MSG, and win a tight one in a matchup of what are certainly two of the biggest disappointments of the year so far.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers (+102)
Phoenix Suns @ New Orleans Pelicans – 8pm ET
Things don’t get any easier for the New Orleans Pelicans, after playing the Jazz on Monday night, they will back up again on Tuesday to play the Phoenix Suns. The Suns have only won two of their last five games, but last time out they were clinical against the Hornets, defeating them 133-99. The Pelicans are playing on back-to-back nights, and last time out they lost to the Jazz, 104-115.
The Phoenix Suns have been one of the most dominant teams this season. They set a new franchise record for most wins in a row (18) this season and on top of that, they have been more than convincing throughout this one-month period. The team is one of the most complete ones in the NBA as they have fantastic players on each position. However, a loss against the Warriors on Christmas Day had its impact on their performance as they lost two of the next four games. This put them back in 2nd place with 28 wins and 8 losses. Such a record almost immediately secures them a spot in the Playoffs, but they will strive to be one of the top 2 teams heading into the elimination phase. Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder are still out due to COVID-19, but the rest of their starters are expected to play.
The Pelicans are having huge troubles this season. They started it off quite badly with the news that Zion Williamson will need more time to recover, but it’s been close to 8 months since he got the foot injury. The rest of the squad did their best to keep their Playoffs chances alive, but the team is currently out of top 10, sitting in 14th place with a 13-24 record. Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Ingram have been balling this season, but their efforts came up short on numerous occasions. However, I think that the Pelicans will struggle a lot on Tuesday night in the Footprint Center. So, I have no other option, but to trust the Suns to cover their spread on the road and to start yet another strong streak that will give them back the top spot in the West.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns -7 (-110)
After getting bullied by the Boston Celtics on New Year’s Eve 108-123, the Phoenix Suns took out their anger on the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday, beating them 133-99. They’ve been without big men Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee for a couple games, but are hoping to have them back for this Tuesday night matchup. Still, if they have to go on without them they’ll hope to put together a performance similar to the Hornets game as opposed to the Celtics game.
A week ago, they might have been in luck, but the Pelicans just got Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas back from being sidelined. Valanciunas will feast inside if the Suns are still without their big man depth, but I fully expect the Suns to take advantage of the Pelicans poor defense, as they allow a high field goal and three point field goal percentage to opponents. The Suns have a lot of guys that can shoot, so I fully expect them to frustrate the Pelicans beyond the arc and ride that strategy to victory.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns -7 (-110)
Don’t overthink this one too much, as it’s pretty simple, so I’ll keep this summary short. The Phoenix Suns are one of the two best teams in the NBA, along with the Golden State Warriors, and they’ve spent much of the year simply demolishing teams, especially teams that just don’t have the talent to match up with them position by position. Led by Chris Paul, DeAndre Ayton, and Devin Booker, this is one of the most balanced teams in the league, not only from an offense and defense perspective, but also from an inside out standpoint.
New Orleans, without Zion Williamson, still has the ability to compete in the paint with Phoenix, as they’re led by Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valancuinas, but the perimeter game is where this one ends up getting out of hand. Give me CP3 and Devin Booker to take over in this one, getting the Suns an easy win on the road in New Orleans.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns -7 (-110)
Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 10.30pm ET
The final game on Tuesday night’s slate will see the Sacramento Kings take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Kings are starting to look a little better at the moment, they have won three of their last four games, and this lifts their season record to a slightly more respectable 16-22. The Lakers have also won three of their last four games, with wins over the Rockets, Trail Blazers and Timberwolves.
The Sacramento Kings will play their third game against the Los Angeles Lakers this season. The Kings are finally cleared out of the health and safety protocols. They have been quite shorthanded during their last matches which resulted in three consecutive losses around Christmas. However, since their defeat to the Grizzlies, they have been back at almost full strength and managed to win three out of their last four games in the NBA. Two of the victories were against tough opponents like the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat. The team from Sacramento will most likely fight for one of the last Playoffs spots until the end as they are now 10th in the standings with 16 wins and 22 losses.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the most disappointing teams this campaign. They are far away from the top spot, occupied by the Warriors, and they will most likely end up out of the top 4. The team sits in 8th place with a far from convincing 19-19 record. They have been quite inconsistent as most of these losses came against teams from the bottom of the table. On top of that, the Lakers have had one of the easiest schedules in the NBA so far and this signals yet another huge red flag for them. LeBron James and Russell Westbrook might be setting new records, but with their team losing, these numbers mean nothing in the end. They will need to start playing together and begin to have each other’s backs. I suppose that the Lakers will be able to overcome the Kings at Crypto.com Arena, but I think this will be a tight affair that will go down the wire. Hence, my pick here will be in favor of the Kings.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Sacramento Kings +7 (-110)
The Los Angeles Lakers had a terrible week going into Christmas: Anthony Davis went down injured and they proceeded to lose five games in a row. But now, the LeBron James led squad has won four of their last five, with their lone loss being to a very good Memphis Grizzlies team. Now they’ll look to continue their success against a Sacramento Kings team that they’ve split their season series with so far.
Avery stays dangerous off the cut ✂️ pic.twitter.com/uXqET67dyg
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 4, 2022
The Kings are coming off a big Sunday night win against the Miami Heat, in which they prevailed 115-113. At 16-22, this squad sits in 10th place and definitely has the talent to make a potential playoff spot. They just need to be more consistent as a unit; they can do this by winning their second straight game on Tuesday against the Lakers. Their speed and three-point shooting should cause problems for the Lakers. Even though last game the Lakers smothered the Kings 117-92, the Kings were missing Harrison Barnes and the Lakers were missing LeBron James. In this one the Lakers will be without Anthony Davis and the Kings will be without Richaun Holmes. But, I still expect it to be closer to the overtime meeting these two had in their first matchup this season. I’ll pick the Kings to cover.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Sacramento Kings +7 (-110)
Both of these teams come into this one having won three of their last four, and both are also in similar spots. They’re both competing for spots in the postseason as the season progresses, but the one difference is health. The Sacramento Kings have found themselves on the wrong side of issues with health and safety protocols, and even though Richaun Holmes is still out, I like this Kings team assuming they can stay healthy.
For Los Angeles, health has become a bit of a problem, as they’re still without an injured Anthony Davis, and the rest of the squad has struggled to this point, outside of LeBron. The King, despite being in year 19, has continued to show why he’s in the conversation for the greatest of all time, as he’s utterly dominated over the past three weeks or so, and to add to that, he’s finally getting a bit of help from Russell Westbrook, as well. The question becomes whether a two-man show (maybe one, if Russ doesn’t play well) can overcome this improving Sacramento team. In the end, I think the answer is yes, but I’m not sure that it comes by a wide enough margin to take them and the points. So instead of the spread, take the safer play and just take the Lakers on the moneyline in this one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Los Angeles Lakers (-295)
If you are looking for more news, information and predictions, head over to our NBA hub page for all your basketball needs!
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.