A massive 11 games tonight means that our NBA picks has gone through and picked the winner of 33 different markets for you! We aren’t just picking straight up winners, we are picking against the spread and in the game totals as well.
There are some cracker games including the Wizards putting their two game streak on the line in Philadelphia while we have a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals in Miami. Can they Clippers bounce back from last night’s loss against the Warriors?
We have the winners of those and more below in our NBA picks!
Houston Rockets @ Indiana Pacers – 7PM ET
The Houston Rockets looked slow and lethargic out of the gates against Dallas on Monday, going down by 15 points early in the second quarter and losing the game by 13. They now get on the road and travel to Indiana who are coming off a gritty overtime victory in New Orleans.
Victor Oladipo and Malcolm Brogdon combined for 46 points, 17 assists, 5 steals and 9 threes in the win, while Domantas Sabonis had another solid all around game with 19 points, 11 boards and 7 assists. The Pacers have however looked shaky, losing to the Knicks before needing overtime to defeat the Pelicans and now host a Houston team that can score points in a flash.
Coming off two straight wins over the Kings, Houston were favored at home against the Mavs but that changed quickly. James Harden only scored 21 points but the worst bit was his 29.4% shooting. What doesn’t help the Rockets is starting two defensive specialists in P.J. Tucker and David Nwaba, who combined for just 5 points and 1 steal in the loss.
Both teams will be wanting to get a big win over a playoff team from last season, but Houston has more of a point to prove, sitting on a 2-3 record and coming in off an embarrassing home loss to their biggest rival.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Orlando Magic – 7PM ET
After thinking that the Cavaliers could cause the upset in the first leg of this set, we were well and truly mistaken. The Cavs were down by just two points at halftime, but Orlando had a 38-18 third quarter to put the game on ice.
Aaron Gordon starred for the Magic with 24 points, six threes and 11 rebounds while Nikola Vucevic had another solid game with 23 and 8. What won Orlando the game was the defense and rebounding, keeping the Cavaliers to under 40% from the field and winning the rebound count by 19.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) January 5, 2021
Cleveland are struggling with the injury bug at the moment. They were already without Kevin Love, but Darius Garland was a late out with a shoulder injury and has already been ruled out of this one. To make things worse, Dante Exum started in place of Garland and injured his calf 49 seconds into the game.
Collin Sexton led the way for Cleveland with 24 points on above 50% shooting while Cedi Osman thrived in a bigger role with 18, 7 and 7 in the loss. Andre Drummond had a disappointing showing with just 10 points on 35.7% shooting while struggling to keep up with Vucevic on the other end.
We expect Cleveland to put up more of a fight in this one, but Orlando showed they are the superior team and they might be getting Evan Fournier back as well.
Washington Wizards @ Philadelphia 76ers – 7PM ET
After losing their first five of the season, Washington is now on a two game winning streak and put it to the test in Philadelphia.
The Sixers are coming off a 118-101 home victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night. Seven Philly players scored in double figures, led by Tobias Harris’ 22 points on 62.5% shooting. Joel Embiid had his usual versatile game with 14 points, 11 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks and got the Charlotte bigs in foul trouble.
Washington has had two nights off since their one point victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Bradley Beal missed a game winning three but Thomas Bryant got the offensive board to give the Wizards another opportunity, with Beal driving and finding Bryant for an open dunk and the lead. Washington had three players with 20+ point double-doubles, Beal with 27 and 10 boards, Russell Westbrook with 24 points and 10 assists, and Bryant with 21 and 14 boards.
These sides played each other in both sides’ first games of the season with Philly getting the 6 point victory. Given this one will be played in Philadelphia again, we are expecting the Sixers to continue their good form on their home floor and get the win here.
Charlotte Hornets @ Atlanta Hawks – 7:30PM ET
Two sides coming off disappointing losses, Charlotte travels to Atlanta in a matchup of two Eastern Conference sides looking to get a win on their road to returning to the playoffs.
Charlotte lost all four quarters to Philadelphia and never really looked competitive in their Monday night matchup. Gordon Hayward led the Hornets with 18 points and 8 boards while LaMelo Ball had another all around game with 12 points, 7 boards, 9 assists and 2 steals.
Charlotte were out-rebounded and gave up 14 offensive boards to the Sixers and Atlanta will be looking to capitalize. Clint Capela has had four straight games of double digit rebounds and is providing some interior toughness that the Hawks have needed.
Atlanta will be kicking themselves after giving up a four point lead heading into the fourth quarter, losing by five to the Knicks at home. Trae Young had 31 points and 14 assists but was just 1/6 from three and had eight turnovers and needs to be better for the Hawks to win.
We reckon he will be able to do that against the Hornets. Look for a big team performance from the Hawks to bounce back from two straight losses
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) January 5, 2021
Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat – 7:30PM ET
The Boston Celtics were somehow underdogs with their matchup with Toronto on Monday night and ended up winning by 12 points. They are now underdogs again, this time against the team that eliminated them in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat.
A lot has changed for both sides since then and looking at Miami first, they have been extremely inconsistent so far. Losing to the Mavericks by 10 followed up with a 28 point win over the Thunder on Monday. Bam Adebayo had 20 and 8 to lead the Heat, but the game was won on the other end, keeping OKC to just 90 points and under 30% from three.
The Celtics are a much better side than the Thunder and can score a lot more as well. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are second and fourth in total points scored so far this season respectively, each with a 40 point game in the early stages of the season. The best bit for Boston is their win over Toronto came without Marcus Smart and Jeff Teague, their starting and backup point guards.
Both are questionable for this one but Smart is more than likely set to return and Boston may be too good on both ends of the floor for this Miami team. The Heat always have a knack of rocking up when it matters, but Boston has been the better side to start the season and we have to ride with them.
Utah Jazz @ New York Knicks – 7:30PM ET
The Utah Jazz were embarrassed by the Brooklyn Nets last night. Brooklyn were missing Kevin Durant, had a completely new starting lineup and jumped Utah from tipoff, piling up a 21 point lead after the first 12 minutes.
They now travel across the bridge to New York and take up one of the biggest surprise teams of the season in the Knicks. After pulling off the surprise come from behind win in Atlanta on Monday, New York’s record is above 0.500 and they have won four of their last five.
Julius Randle is playing at an All Star level and against the Hawks he had 28 points, 17 boards and 9 assists while RJ Barrett had his second straight big game with 26 points, 11 boards, five assists and two steals, with both players shooting over 50% from the field.
The Utah Jazz will be looking to bounce back from their 34 point loss last night where Donovan Mitchell had 31 points but Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic combined for just 12 points on 5/17 shooting.
Utah is the better side and had good form before last night, and on the other hand New York is playing incredible basketball lately and has good young pieces. Utah are favored by six points at the moment and you’d expect them to come back from their terrible performance, but shooting 38.8% from the field doesn’t give any confidence and the Knicks are hungry.
Detroit Pistons @ Milwaukee Bucks – 8PM ET
A rematch of Monday night where Milwaukee dominated the entire game, but as we picked, Detroit got the backdoor cover to only lose by ten.
The Bucks won all of the first three quarters to lead by 17 heading into the last and remained up by 17 with 6:27 to play but nine straight points from Detroit saw the lead drop to just eight with 5:02 to go. The lead never dropped below eight but the Pistons weren’t blown out like many thought that they would be.
The Greek Freak makes dropping 43 points look easy. pic.twitter.com/mUIVIGoME7
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 5, 2021
Jerami Grant scored 24 points with four boards, three assists and three blocks while Derrick Rose had 24 points and eight assists off the bench. The issue for Detroit is they allowed the Bucks to put up 125 and couldn’t stop Giannis. The reigning MVP had 43 points while shooting above 70% from the field while five other Bucks players scored in double figures.
With the scheduling we have often teams play each other twice in a row and often the second matchup is much closer and we are expecting something similar here. Detroit has now beaten Boston and then lost to Boston and Milwaukee by 10 or less in their last three games and we expect them to keep it close again in this one.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ New Orleans Pelicans – 8PM ET
These two sides met in Oklahoma a week ago, with the Pelicans dominating to win by 33. The game was relatively close until a 28-7 last quarter saw New Orleans run away with it.
Al Horford was the only Thunder player to score over 10 in that one while seven Pelicans players did, led by Brandon Ingram’s 20.
The Thunder’s most recent game saw them lose in big fashion, a 28 point defeat at the hands of Miami on Monday. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 18 points while Darius Bazley had 16 points and 8 rebounds, but the Thunder only put up 90 points and shot 36.7% from the field as a team.
New Orleans also lost, but their game was considerably closer. A very even contest against Indiana saw the Pels go down by two in overtime. Ingram was the lead scorer yet again with 31 points and 8 assists as all five starters scored in double figures, including Zion Williamson’s 24 points and 10 boards.
We expect the Pelicans to win this one with ease at home, it is just a matter of how much by.
Toronto Raptors @ Phoenix Suns – 9PM ET
While the Raptors will have to bounce back eventually, tonight is not the night as they travel to Phoenix to take on a Suns team that will be looking to bounce back from just their second loss of the season.
Phoenix was on a four game winning streak and had the best record in the league but were shocked by the Clippers at home. The Suns were down by a massive 20 points at halftime before making a second half comeback, but they just fell short in the end. Devin Booker had 25 points and eight assists while Deandre Ayton had 24 points and eight boards, but Mikal Bridges had just seven points on 1/7 shooting.
The Raptors have won just one game so far this season and their most recent loss was by 12 points to the Celtics. Fred VanVleet had 35 points and 8 rebounds and Pascal Siakam had his best game of the season with 22, but Toronto was outrebounded by 19 and allowed Boston to score 126.
The Suns should be licking their lips with this matchup.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors – 10PM ET
Kawhi Leonard missed a three to tie the game on the buzzer and the Clippers fell to the Spurs at home last night and now travel to Golden State to take on a Warriors side who is on a two game winning streak.
Franchise season-high 23 threes.
NBA season-high 41 assists.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 5, 2021
Golden State has scored 137 points in both of the wins, with Steph Curry scoring 92 points with 13 threes across the two games. The Warriors are now sitting at 4-3 and above 0.500 for the first time this season so they will be looking to get a third straight and continue their push to get back in the playoffs.
However, the Clippers won’t want to lose both games in their back-to-back. Paul George missed the game with an ankle injury and is currently a game time decision for this one. If he plays, the Clippers should do this easily.
If not, it opens the door for the Warriors to steal it. Kawhi Leonard had 30 points and 10 assists while both Nicolas Batum and Patrick Beverly scored at least 20 points, but allowing the Spurs to score 116 won’t sit well with Ty Lue.
This is tough to pick given the unknown with PG, but the Clippers should win this one either way.
Chicago Bulls @ Sacramento Kings – 10PM ET
Don’t look now but the Chicago Bulls have won four of their last five and are sitting at 0.500 for the season. They had an impressive start to their West Coast roadtrip last night with a three point victory over the Blazers and will look to carry the momentum into Sacramento that is flailing lately.
The Kings started the season 3-1 but have now dropped three straight, most recently to the Warriors by 31 points. De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes both had 18 points but no one else scored over 10 points while they allowed Golden State to put up a massive 137 points. The positives for the Kings are that they won the rebound count and managed to get to the line 39 times, but their performances lately haven’t been convincing.
Chicago on the other hand had a full team performance last night with seven players scoring in double figures including 21 points and 10 rebounds from Coby White, while Otto Porter Jr. had 19 and 13. This was a big win for the Bulls has they trailed by 18 after the first quarter and managed to claw their way back into it, quarter by quarter.
This young Bulls side is full of confidence at the moment and rightfully so, but on the second night of a road back-to-back against a team that has been struggling lately seems like a trap game and the Kings should be looking to get back on the winner’s list here.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.