After starting the week by going 4-1 and bringing in nearly $150 profit for a $100 bettor, our free NBA picks are going again!
Our NBA experts study the form, injury reports and matchups to come up with the best in-depth analysis and free NBA picks on the market. Can the Heat make it two wins in three nights against the Celtics? Will the Warriors be able to beat the Suns one night after beating the Jazz?
We have all of the answers, and winners, for you below in our NBA picks!
Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics – 7:30PM ET
After their comprehensive win on Sunday afternoon, the Miami Heat will look to sweep this mini-series against the Boston Celtics and claim the season series. Miami, sixth, is currently two games clear of the Celtics, seventh, and a win here would guarantee a playoff spot, avoiding the dreaded play-in.
Jimmy Butler was invaluable for the Heat, finishing with 26 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and two steals for the game, helping Miami pick up the 130-124 road win. Duncan Robinson shot 6/10 from deep for 22 points while Bam Adebayo shot a perfect 5/5 from the field to finish with 29 points, six rebounds and two steals.
With news that Jaylen Brown is now out for the season, Miami, who were underdogs on Sunday, are now favorites for this clash and rightfully so. The Celtics are just 5-5 when Brown doesn’t play this season, going just 1-3 in their last four without him.
Miami beats Boston to remain the No. 6 seed and even the season series 1-1.
The Heat and Celtics play again on Tuesday to determine the tiebreaker. pic.twitter.com/aIgC5WITEj
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 9, 2021
Despite the loss, which is Boston’s second straight, Evan Fournier enjoyed his best game for the Celtics. The former Orlando wing shot 7/11 from deep to finish with a game high 30 points and also dished out a team high eight assists. Both he and Jayson Tatum shot 11/16 (68.8%) from the field for the game, with Tatum ending up with 29 points, six assists, five boards and two blocks.
Miami have now won two straight and five of their last six while Boston have lost two in a row and seem out of sorts at the moment. While the Celtics should come out with a greater sense of urgency in this one, they are just 17-15 following a loss while Miami are 22-14 after a win and seemed hungrier for success on Sunday. We don’t see any reason why that should change here.
Philadelphia 76ers @ Indiana Pacers – 8PM ET
One night after picking up a much-needed win in Cleveland, the Indiana Pacers fly back home to host the East-leading Philadelphia 76ers this evening. Philly have won both of the previous encounters between the two sides and should be looking to take advantage of a tired Indiana side that is still without Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner.
In their absence, Domantas Sabonis has had to step up and that is exactly what he did last night. The two-time All Star filled up the stat sheet in the 111-102 win, finishing with 21 points, 20 rebounds, nine assists, four blocks and two steals, all while shooting 53.3% from the field and committing just two turnovers.
Sabonis didn’t just do it by himself, with Caris LeVert putting up 20 points and 10 assists while seldom-used forward Kelan Martin, having a career night. Martin made three of his four attempts from behind the arc and shot 68.8% from the field to finish with a game-high 25 points.
However, Philadelphia is a far superior opponent in comparison to the Cavs and with two nights off in preparation for this game, we expect them to take care of business. The Sixers hosted the Pistons on Saturday night, using a 34-17 first quarter to put the game on ice, eventually winning 118-104. Despite playing just 23 minutes, Joel Embiid had a game high 29 points and got to rest his legs in the blowout.
The Sixers have now won eight straight games and with their entire rotation being well rested, we are finding it hard to see how the Pacers can prevent them from sweeping the season series. While Indiana are 10-5 when playing with no rest, the fourth best record in the league, the Sixers are 10-3 when playing with a rest advantage and should take care of business, whilst locking up the top seed in the East in the process.
Dallas Mavericks @ Memphis Grizzlies – 8PM ET
The Memphis Grizzlies will be looking to make it two wins in as many nights, this time hosting the Dallas Mavericks. In a back and forth battle, the Grizzlies were able to overcome the Pelicans last night and will be hoping to carry momentum from that clash into tonight, attempting to prevent the Mavericks from sweeping the season series.
Despite leading by as many as 14 just before halftime, the Grizzlies trailed into the final quarter. Behind eight fourth quarter points from Jonas Valanciunas and five points from Dillon Brooks in the final three minutes, Memphis was able to overcome the Pelicans, winning 115-110. Valanciunas ended up with 20 points, 11 boards and five blocks for the game while Brooks had a game high 23.
The astonishing stat of the night was Memphis holding a block party, finishing with 19 for the game. Three starters alone, Valanciunas, Kyle Anderson and Jaren Jackson Jr, combined for 13 of the blocks, preventing New Orleans from getting good looks. They will be hoping for similar efforts tonight against a Dallas team that shoots 55.6% on two point field goals, the third best percentage in the league.
— Bally Sports Southwest (@BallySportsSW) May 8, 2021
Luka Doncic is the main driving force behind that with his exceptional playmaking skills opening up looks for teammates. It is a big reason why the Mavs rank ninth for offensive rating and that was on full display against a lacklustre Cavaliers outfit on Sunday. Dallas won that clash 124-97 with two different players, Tim Hardway Jr and Josh Richardson, both scoring 20+ points and a further three reaching double figures.
Despite Kristaps Porzingis still watching from the sidelines, Dallas has won four straight and seven of their last eight games. Memphis on the other hand has won just two straight, losing to both Detroit and Orlando over the last two weeks. That sort of inconsistent effort is unacceptable for a team with playoff aspirations and given the Grizzlies are just 6-8 when playing with no rest, it is hard to back them here.
New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Lakers – 10PM ET
The New York Knicks have finally reached the end of their six-game, West Coast road trip, finishing up against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Knicks have gone 3-2 so far on the trip and will look to complete the Los Angeles sweep after beating the Clippers on Sunday afternoon.
Derrick Rose continued his purple patch of form, putting up 25 points on 11/17 (64.7%) from the field, eight assists and six rebounds, thriving in his sixth man role off the bench. Reggie Bullock (24 points) and RJ Barrett (18 points) combined to make nine threes on the Clippers while Julius Randle had 14 points, 14 boards and five assists.
The biggest factor, as it has been all year, was the Knicks’ defense. Coming up against, at the time, the second best offense in the league, New York restricted LA to just 100 points for the game. Defensively, the Knicks rank fourth while their opponents for tonight, the Lakers, rank first. The two sides are 1st and 2nd in points allowed, with the Knicks being the best side in that department for essentially the entire season, so we are expecting a tough battle in this one.
The big question and game-changing aspect of this clash is whether LeBron James will return to the lineup. It has been reported that he will either return tonight or tomorrow, when the Lakers host the Rockets. Without any inside word on that decision, it is tough to evaluate LA’s game style and plan for this clash.
With that being said, Anthony Davis has been balling out of the last few games, following up his 36 point night in Portland on Friday with 42 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks against the Suns on Sunday. His monstrous performance allowed the Lakers to pull off the upset, winning 123-110.
New York is prone to giving up big nights to opposing big men, so both Davis and Andre Drummond should be licking their lips at this matchup, especially if James is out there to set the table for them. Even if James doesn’t play, the way the entire rotation played for the Lakers on Sunday, they have proven they are good enough to match it with anyone and should go on again in this one.
Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors – 10PM ET
The Golden State Warriors are attempting to complete the hardest back-to-back set possible tonight. One night after knocking off the league-leading Jazz, they host the Phoenix Suns, who hold the second best record in the league.
Despite shooting just 3/13 from deep, Steph Curry still finished with a team high 36 points with Jordan Poole, off the bench, being his best sidekick for the game. The backup guard scored 20 points in his 19 minutes off the bench, making four threes to help him get there.
While the Warriors are coming in with momentum from last night’s win, the Suns have dropped two of their last three games and need to turn things around if they are to have a chance of stealing top of the West off the Jazz. They will have confidence knowing that they have beaten Golden State in the two previous games between the sides this season, but both of those were in Phoenix and the Warriors are a much better team when playing at home.
First name: Stephen
Last name: Curry
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 11, 2021
In saying that, Phoenix is the best road team in the league, 22-11, despite their two previous losses both being on the road. While Devin Booker had 21 points and Chris Paul had a 13 point, 10 assist double double, the pair combined to shoot just 11/27 from the field for the game, unable to overcome the Lakers, losing 110-123. Cameron Payne was the lone bright spot for the game with the backup PG scoring a team high 24 points on 90% shooting and ⅘ from deep.
Golden State clearly comes in with slightly better form, but they are just 5-9 when playing with no rest this season. To make matters worse, they only used an eight man rotation last night, with six of those players playing at least 29 minutes, with both Curry and Draymond Green playing 37. That has to take a toll on the Warriors and we saw them play back to back games last week, beating the Pelicans one night before losing to them the following night.
Phoenix should be looking to take advantage of this and turn things around, sweep the season series and move to just one game behind the Jazz in the standings. Not only does Chris Paul hate Steph Curry and the Warriors, the Suns are a league-leading 15-4 when coming off a loss, proving they don’t like to go on losing streaks and Golden State is the unfortunate opponent on the wrong end of that stat tonight.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.
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