Our free NBA picks are out for Wednesday, January 19th, 2022! Make sure you check our NBA picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA picks for the best five games on today’s schedule!
Brooklyn Nets @ Washington Wizards – 7pm ET
The Brooklyn Nets road trip continues on and tonight they take on the Washington Wizards. The Nets had been very inconsistent as of late, and this takes their season record to 27-16.The Wizards have won four of their last five games, and are looking for their next big scalp.
The Brooklyn Nets continue with their issues in 2022 as they are struggling to pick up two wins a row – something that hasn’t happened in their last 11 matches in the NBA. The good news for the team is that Kyrie Irving is back in their squad as he has already participated in 4 games. His performance was decent as he made 20+ points on three of these occasions. The Nets, however, lost the grip and are getting closer and closer to 5th and 6th place. On the other hand, they are two wins away from taking the top spot from the Chicago Bulls. They hold a 27-16 record that puts them 3rd in the current standings.
The Washington Wizards sit in 8th place in the East with 23 wins and 21 losses. The team enjoys a fantastic 4-1 run recently with the most notable victory coming against the Philadelphia 76ers. They defeated Philly by 19 points in their last meeting in the NBA in a match where a total of 7 players from their squad finished off with double figures. Kyle Kuzma, Bradley Beal, and Montrezl Harrell have been playing on a very high level throughout the last couple of games and this has been reflected in their performance. I think we might see another win for the Wizards in their favourite Capital One Arena, so I will definitely give it a go.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Washington Wizards (-104)
With Kevin Durant sidelined for the next couple of weeks, the Brooklyn Nets will be depending heavily on James Harden, Kyrie Irving (on the road), and an array of veterans (Patty Mills, Blake Griffin) and rookies (Day’Ron Sharpe, Cam Thomas) to help keep the team toward the top of the Eastern Conference. In their first game without Durant, things didn’t end as they would’ve hoped: they fell to the breakout Cleveland Cavaliers 114-107. They’ll hope to bounce back on Wednesday as they face the Washington Wizards in D.C.
📸 | Just the beginning of our road trip@CanonUSA
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 18, 2022
The Wizards were able to get a big jolt in their season on Monday as they beat one of the league’s hottest teams, the Philadelphia 76ers, 117-98. The Wizards were able to string together a real team effort in that game, as they had seven players score in double digits. Even better for the Wizards—this may just be the beginning, they’re currently at full strength, after having injuries or COVID protocols keep them from truly reaching their full potential this year. They’ll hope to use their assortment of options on Wednesday against the Nets. When these teams last met, the Nets were able to win 104-90; in that game Kevin Durant scored 25 points. Even though he’s not playing, Kyrie Irving should be able to fill that 25-point void with ease. Still, the Wizards were also without a couple key scorers including Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura. In the end I think this one is close, but I’ll pick the Wiz to grab the win at home.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Washington Wizards (-104)
Can the Brooklyn Nets get things back on track, after struggling to start the new year? The good news is that they finally have Kyrie Irving back, at least for road games, but they are now without Kevin Durant for up to potentially two months due to injury. This means that the team is going to be heavily reliant on James Harden to lead them, which he can certainly do, but that is assuming he continues to play how he has lately, which one would like to think he does, but if he slips back to how he played at the beginning of the year, I think the Nets could be in a bit of trouble.
They now take on a Washington Wizards team that is hard to figure out, as they started the year as arguably the best team in the East, before sliding back down to earth, and quite honestly playing horrible basketball for about a month and a half. Since this slip, they’ve played slightly better, but it’s still been pretty average, which makes it hard to try to assume how they come out in any given game. As for this one, I think Brooklyn comes out and gets big nights from Harden and Irving, who will be available since this is a road game, and get a big win in the nation’s capital.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets (-112)
Portland Trail Blazers @ Miami Heat – 7.30pm ET
The Portland Trail Blazers are in the third of a six game road trip, and on Wednesday night they face off against the Miami Heat. The Trail Blazers have won four of their last five, with wins over the Kings, Nets, Wizards and Magic. The Heat have won five of their last six, with their only loss coming at the hands of the 76ers, 98.109.
The Portland Trail Blazers have been suffering all season long. They were without their two superstars for the biggest part of the campaign which resulted in their low-quality performance so far. The team occupies 10th place in the West with 18 wins and 25 losses, but it seems that they are picking up some pace right now. CJ McCollum made his return in an 88-98 win over the Orlando Magic in their last fixture, scoring 16 points on a 7-13 shooting. Anfernee Simons and Normal Powell have been doing miracles so that the team would still have a decent chance of making the Playoffs. Ben McLemore also enjoyed a couple of amazing performances, while Jusuf Nurkic seems to be slowly picking up his rhythm as he ended up with 21 points and 22 rebounds in their last match.
The Miami Heat have been incredible this season so far. Similar to the Blazers, they were also forced to play without a couple of their top players due to injuries. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo were the ones who were mostly affected by this as they had to recover for a certain time which made them miss a couple of games. Victor Oladipo, on the other hand, is still doing his best to make his return before the end of the season, but the situation with him remains unclear. The team enjoyed a fantastic 5-1 run that put them in 2nd place in the East right behind the Chicago Bulls. With 28 wins and 16 losses, the Heat will soon be looking to begin with their experimental squad rotations, but until now, they will play with the best they have. That’s why I will give my preferences to the team from Florida as they will most likely cover the spread against the Blazers.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Miami Heat -9 (-110)
After a rough couple of days where the Portland Trail Blazers were blown out by 32 to the Denver Nuggets, and lost star player Damian Lillard indefinitely, the team has finally had some positives come their way. They’re coming off consecutive wins, and they just got star guard CJ McCollum back from injury. With Lillard out, it’ll be McCollum’s team going forward as he’ll now share the backcourt with young standout Anfernee Simons. Simons has been embracing the role so far: in Saturday’s win against the Wizards, he scored 31 points and dished out 11 assists. In his first game paired with McCollum he only scored 13 points while CJ scored 16, but the team was luckily able to count on Jusef Nurkic to guide them to a win, with his 21 points. It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of this tandem going forward, especially when they face a team like the Miami Heat.
Miami are thrilled to finally have Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler both playing again after Adebayo missed a good chunk of time dealing with a thumb injury and Butler played intermittently with injuries of his own. While they were out, a lot of players stepped up including young guard Tyler Herro and veteran guard Kyle Lowry. Unfortunately, as soon as they got Adebayo and Butler back, Lowry was unavailable due to personal issues. Still, this team has to be feeling pretty confident now that they’re near complete form. On Wednesday they’ll face a Portland team that definitely can put up points, and should never be overlooked. That being said, with this one being in Miami I’ll go with the home team Heat to take care of this Blazers team that’s working on meshing.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat -9 (-110)
I’ve been high on this Miami Heat team all year long, as I’ve consistently said that I think they should be considered one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference, and I’m not backing off of that now. They’ve faced multiple obstacles already this year, including dealing with multiple injuries to their core players, as well as Covid issues, which everyone in the league has had to deal with. With Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler back from extended absences, even without Kyle Lowry now, I think this is a Miami team that is going to continue to roll right along.
They get a Portland Trail Blazers squad in this one that has just been an absolute mess all year long. Under new head coach Chauncey Billups the hope was that they would get past the first round hurdle that Terry Stotts was virtually never able to get past, but that has been extremely far from reality right now. They’ve been without CJ McCollum, who has missed months with a punctured lung, and they’ve had to deal with a struggling Damian Lillard, as well. The team just isn’t good enough without both of those guys playing well, and with one not playing all that well, and one not even in the lineup, the roster is just having a hard time finding an identity at all. All of these issues, as well as the fact that I think the Heat are a better team in the first place is why I’m taking Miami to get a relatively easy win at home in this one.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat -9 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Chicago Bulls – 8pm ET
The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the road for one game when they face off against the Chicago Bulls. The Cavaliers are currently second in the Central Division, and they have a season record of 27-18. The Bulls are on a four game losing streak, and this puts their season record at a similar point to their rivals, 27-15.
Two of the best performing teams in the East this season will go head-to-head on Wednesday night in the NBA. The Chicago Bulls host the Cleveland Cavaliers in their United Center in what promises to be a clash of titans. The Bulls, however, suffered a huge loss in the game against the Golden State Warriors as they lost not only the match by 42 points, but also Zach LaVine for a couple of days. This further worsened the situation within the team that remained in shambles after 4 straight losses conceded against the likes of the Nets, the Warriors, the Celtics, and the Grizzlies. Despite that, the Chicago Bulls remain on top in the Eastern Conference with 27 wins and 15 losses to their name.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the opposite pole at the moment. They are coming into this fixture on a 5-0 run which helped them close the gap to the top in the East. The Cavs sit in 4th place with 27 wins and 18 losses as this further means that they are slipping away from the danger zone around 10th place, thus slowly but surely securing their Playoffs spot. Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Lauri Markkanen have been astonishing throughout the last week leading their team to victories over opponents like the Brooklyn Nets and the Utah Jazz. As the probability that Zach LaVine will miss the match continues rising, I am more reluctant to trust the Cavaliers in this matchup as I will be looking for their fifth straight win away from home.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -1 (-110)
In this battle between two of the Midwest’s best, the upstart Cleveland Cavaliers head to the Windy City to take on a Chicago Bulls team that’s a bit depleted right now. The Bulls will be without two of their star starters (Lonzo Ball and Zac LaVine) and numerous defensive talents (Javonte Green and Derrick Jones Jr.). They’re hoping to have back defensive stopper Alex Caruso who has missed time with injuries and being in COVID protocols. But, will that be enough for this Bulls team to end their four-game skid?
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1 RT = 1 Vote for @ZachLaVine
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 18, 2022
On Wednesday they’ll certainly have their hands full as they face a Cleveland Cavaliers team that’s been a blast to watch this season. From their young talent (Evan Mobley and Darius Garland), to their breakout players (Jarrett Allen), to their trusty veterans (Kevin Love), this team has been a pleasant surprise. Even more pleasant? The Cavs are forming into one of the league’s elite defenses, as they currently rank third in rating and second in fewest opponent points per game. They’ll look to further that defensive dominance on Wednesday as they face a Bulls team that’s missing a couple of their stronger offensive talents in Ball and LaVine. While DeMar DeRozan should continue to put on a scoring show for Chicago, I’ll pick this resilient Cavs team to frustrate the Bulls on both sides of the ball.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -1 (-110)
Bonus Pick: Jarrett Allen Over 10.5 Rebounds (+104)
The Chicago Bulls, despite a horrendous week or so, that has seen multiple 25+ point losses, and an 0-4 stretch, still hold onto the one seed in the East as they enter this one. The roster has played remarkably well this season, led by DeMar Derozan, Zach LaVine, and Lonzo Ball, but they unfortunately have been without LaVine for roughly a week, as he deals with a minor injury. They will also be without Ball in this one, which makes the task even tougher for a Chicago team that is already struggling greatly.
Cleveland on the other hand, has simply laughed in the face of opposition so far this season, as they’ve dealt with all sorts of obstacles, including losing Colin Sexton and Ricky Rubio both for the season relatively early in the year. Despite these losses, they’ve relied heavily on young up and coming stars Darius Garland and Evan Mobley to lead the way, which is exactly what they’ve done. In this one, I like this Cavs team, who has been battle tested more than most this season to come out and knock off a Bulls team that is simply too depleted right now to hang with the exciting basketball Cleveland has been putting on display.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -1 (-110)
Memphis Grizzlies @ Milwaukee Bucks – 8pm ET
THe Memphis Grizzlies kick off a four game road trip on Wednesday night when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks. The Grizzlies bounced back well after their loss, winning last time out, 119-106, against the Bulls. The Bucks are looking to get back on track after losing four out of their last five games, taking their season record to 27-19.
The high-flying Memphis Grizzlies take on the hesitant defending champions, the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks have lost 6 out of their last 8 matches in the NBA which dragged them down to 5th place in the East. They now hold a 27-19 record and are getting really close to the unattractive 7-10th place. Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to be out of ideas of how to punish the opponents, while most players on the squad are performing really awful from the field. Excluding Giannis, Khris Middleton, and Bobby Portis, everybody else will need to level up their game in order to increase their chances of defending the title.
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, have been exceptional this year. The team went for an 11-game winning streak that started with a win over the Sacramento Kings right after Christmas’ Eve. They managed to pick up victories against tough opponents like the Brooklyn Nets, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Phoenix Suns, and even against the Golden State Warriors. This late progress launched them into 3rd place in the West as they are now in a wild chase of the Warriors for the 2nd spot. Ja Morant has been incredible since his return, while Desmond Bane proved that he should be a top contender for the Most Improved Player this season. Unfortunately, the latter tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss the upcoming fixture in Milwaukee. I think that the Memphis Grizzlies are way more explosive and athletic for the Bucks and they should take the upper hand in the Fiserv Forum on Wednesday night. However, I will go with a safer option, choosing their spread.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies +6.5 (-110)
This matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks provides audiences with a dark horse NBA Finals matchup, as the league’s hottest young team in Memphis visits the defending champion Bucks in “Cream City.” Memphis has won 12 of their last 13; after a frustrating loss last weekend against the Dallas Mavericks that ended their win streak at 11, the team bounced back nicely against the Chicago Bulls, winning by double digits. Now, Ja Morant and Co. will look to get another win streak going against the Bucks. But it won’t be easy—the Grizzlies’ arguably second best player Desmond Bane is in COVID protocol. With Bane and Dillon Brooks (who’s been out a while) out for Memphis, the young team will need Jaren Jackson Jr. and other players to come up big and assist Morant.
That being said, Milwaukee hasn’t exactly been looking like defending champs as of late. They’ve lost four of their last five, including consecutive games to the Raptors and Hawks. A big reason for that is because guard and defensive wizard Jrue Holiday has been sidelined, allowing for opposing team’s offenses to explode, including in the Hawks game, where all of Atlanta’s starters scored double digits. Holiday is questionable for this matchup, but the Bucks will hope to have him back as Ja Morant is turning into one of the league’s best point guards in front of our eyes. Still, whether Holiday returns or not, I expect Milwaukee to play this one similarly to how they did against the Golden State Warriors last week and really strap down at home.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -6.5 (-110)
Despite having their 11-game winning streak snapped over the weekend in a blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks, this Memphis Grizzlies team has been an absolute pleasure to watch, and one of the biggest surprises of the season so far. Led by Ja Morant and Desmond Bane, they find themselves sitting relatively comfortably as the four-seed in a loaded Western Conference, which is much higher than many would’ve imagined possible for this young squad coming into the year. However, it is worth pointing out that they will be without both Desmond Bane and Kyle Anderson in this one, as they entered Health and Safety protocols last night.
In this one, they take on the defending champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, who have completely collapsed as of late, losing six of their last eight. Giannis has still been playing extremely well, which is to be expected, but their dealing with questions surrounding Jrue Holiday’s availability right now, and their other key player, Khris Middleton, has been struggling just a bit lately. If they can get everyone back and playing well, and actually get a bit of help from the bench as well, I think we can expect to see the kind of Milwaukee team we saw in last year’s postseason, but until they prove that that team is back, I’m going to fade them just a bit. That’s the main reason why I’m taking Ja Morant to have a big night against a Bucks team that may be without Holiday, and I like the Grizzlies to travel north to Milwaukee and sneak away with a big road win.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (+215)
Houston Rockets @ Utah Jazz – 9pm ET
The road trip continues on for the Houston Rockets and they take on the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. The Rockets have won two of their last three, which takes their season record to 13-32. The Jazz will be looking to get back on track after losing five of their last six games, which drops their season record to 29-15.
The Houston Rockets have found themselves on a good run after winning two out of their last three matches in the NBA. The team managed to surprise the San Antonio Spurs after a fantastic 31-point performance from Eric Gordon. After a 12-point loss against the Sacramento Kings, the Rockets took revenge against them in a rematch at Golden 1 Centre. Kevin Porter and Christian Wood led the way for Houston with 23 points each. This, however, doesn’t change much for the Rockets in the overall standings as they remain dead last in the Western Conference with the unattractive 13-32 record.
The Utah Jazz, on the other hand, had to deal with the loss of Rudy Gobert for a couple of matches. This definitely proved his huge impact on the defence that was getting squandered for four straight games in his absence. The Jazz picked up 5 losses in their last 6 matches in the NBA which doesn’t really reflect their performance so far. The team lost its 3rd spot to the merciless Memphis Grizzlies as they will surely look to take it back as soon as possible. The most concerning thing for the Jazz is the fact that they are entering into a really tough schedule in the last days of January. With all of these on their minds, I am kind of sceptical that they will be able to cover the spread against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, so I will trust their opponent in doing so.
Denis’ NBA Pick: Houston Rockets +13 (-110)
After a tough loss on Monday to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Utah Jazz received even more frustrating news as star guard Donovan Mitchell entered concussion protocol. They’ll be without him for the next little bit, but luckily they’ll have last season’s Sixth Man of the Year in Jordan Clarkson to fill his place. Mitchell is obviously the most talented scorer on this team, but is he the most valuable player? Recent signs might point to Rudy Gobert for that crown, as the team went 1-4 while he missed time; meanwhile they’ve gone 3-1 without Mitchell so far this year. They’ll hope to make that 4-1 Wednesday as they face a subpar, but at times impressive, Houston Rockets squad.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 19, 2022
Houston may only be 13-32, but they’ve had an exciting offense as of late, with young players like Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr., and Jalen Green all having strong showings. The team also has Eric Gordon, who is scoring 15 points per game, and whose veteran leadership is surely helping this young core. They’re offense has been explosive, but their defense is one of the worst in basketball. On Wednesday they’ll look to keep the offense going against a Jazz team that at one point was one of the premier defensive teams this season, but recently has fallen a bit. A lot of that had to do with Gobert’s injury, but I still expect the Rockets to get a good bundle of points in this one. Utah might be the better team and walk away with the victory, but Houston at +13 seems too good to pass up.
Michael’s NBA Pick: Houston Rockets +13 (-110)
Well, we learned who the real leader in Salt Lake City is, as the Utah Jazz absolutely fell apart when faced with the absence of Rudy Gobert. Now, with Gobert back, they’re slowly beginning to look more like the team we all expect to see, and one that looks like a legitimate contender in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, they will be without star Donovan Mitchell for an indefinite amount of time now, as he has entered concussion protocols, but that hasn’t proved to be problematic for them so far this season, as they’re 3-1 on the year without Mitchell in the lineup. I don’t think that slows down in this one, as they take on a Houston Rockets team that is one of the worst teams in the league.
Houston comes in at 13-32 on the year, and while they’ve shown flashes of being a team that has the potential of being a contender in a few years, assuming they add a few pieces, right now the roster just isn’t talented, or experienced enough, to really allow them to compete. The offense has been the bright spot for the Rockets this season, but the defense has been absolutely atrocious so far, which is the reason they’ve been so bad. For this one, despite the absence of Mitchell, I like the Jazz to get an easy win at home over Houston.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -13 (-110)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.