Best Picks for the NBA Week of January 9th
BEST PICKS FOR THE NBA WEEK OF JANUARY 9th – The second week of January is here and the NBA slate is another solid one.
Last week, we went 4-1 straight up in the games, although there were a few close contests. The Cavs beat the Suns by two, the Nets beat the Heat by one, and the others weren’t as close as those two.
Nonetheless, let’s examine some of the best games for the week.
Read Matt’s picks for the week of January 2nd here.
Wednesday, January 11
Indiana Pacers vs New York Knicks
This is a surprising battle of potential Eastern Conference playoff teams. The Pacers have not traded away Buddy Hield and Myles Turner yet, and the Knicks are three games above .500 and have been playing well this year.
The Knicks have won four of five and saw their four-game winning streak end against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night, so they are definitely trending in the right direction.
The Pacers also saw a four-game winning streak end, this time to the Philadelphia 76ers, although they have won two straight since then.
Tyrese Haliburton has been sensational, and the Pacers could be a major problem if they hold on to Hield and Turner past the NBA trade deadline.
Somehow, the Knicks are 10-11 at home and 12-8 on the road, so that’s definitely worth noting.
The Pacers come into Madison Square Garden and win, although the Knicks keep this within single digits.
Pick: Pacers Win
Thursday, January 12
Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers
A Christmas Day rematch, although things are much different than they were a couple of weeks ago.
Luka Doncic has been dealing with an ankle issue and his availability might be up in the air for this contest.
LeBron James has also been nursing an injury and missed Monday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.
If both stars play (which is what everybody wants), this will be one of the best games of the entire week.
For the sake of conversation, let’s guess that both Luka and LeBron play for this matchup. On Christmas Day, the Mavs won by nine points despite a monster 38-point effort from LeBron.
Since then, the Lakers have won six of the last eight games, with one of the losses coming to Denver where LeBron sat out.
The Lakers are hot right now, and they get another victory over Dallas, a little payback for that Christmas Day game.
Pick: Lakers Win
Friday, January 13
Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Clippers
The Nuggets went 9-5 in December and have started January with a 4-1 record going into Wednesday’s game against the Suns.
The Clippers entered Tuesday’s game against Dallas with a six-game losing streak and some massive concerns despite having both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the roster.
A few weeks ago, this Nuggets-Clippers game looked to be a potential Western Conference playoff preview.
Now, the Clippers are trending down and might be in danger of missing the playoffs altogether if they continue to play at this level.
Nobody can contain Nikola Jokic anywhere, especially with the roster the Clippers have, and Denver gets a road victory to continue their streak.
Pick: Nuggets Win
Saturday, January 14
Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat
The Heat are back above .500, at least entering Tuesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
They lost a heartbreaker to the New York Nets by one point as Jimmy Butler’s layup was no good, and they have battled hard against some of the best teams in the NBA.
The Bucks are the Bucks, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is still crushing opponents on a daily basis.
The Bucks come in and get this victory, but the Heat make it extremely close and battle to the final minute.
Pick: Bucks Win (Heat ATS)
Sunday, January 15
Philadelphia 76ers vs Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are one of the hottest teams in the NBA and LeBron James, even at 38 years old, is playing at an MVP level against all odds.
The 76ers beat the Lakers at the start of December in a game where Anthony Davis scored 31 points and added 12 rebounds.
Without Davis, the Lakers will have a very difficult time containing Joel Embiid and James Harden, and it will take a massive performance from LeBron to get the win.
The 76ers get the win, but I’d take the Lakers ATS for this one.