Free NBA Picks Wednesday, January 8 and Opening Line Report
There are nine games on the slate for Wednesday's NBA action. Seven of the
nine games on the slate feature at least one team that won't have a chance
at making the playoffs this year. The two exciting games to watch will be
the Heat against the Pacers and the Nuggets against the Mavericks. For the
other seven games on the slate, the job of picking teams against the spread
just got a little harder. Can the poor teams cover, or will the dominant
teams blow the bad teams out? Here's the early lean for January 8.
Raptors @ Hornets (-4, 208.5)
The Raptors are depleted. They'll be without Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam,
Norman Powell and potentially Fred VanVleet. Yet, with a lineup featuring
Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, I'm still not worried. The Hornets are 3-7 in
their last ten games and allow teams to score an average of 111 points per
game. Due to these injuries, the line will favor the Raptors on the road.
Key trends: Hornets are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games.
Early lean: Raptors, Under
Heat @ Pacers (TBD, TBD)
Miami is really struggling on the road as of late. The Heat's last two road games were 20-point losses to the Magic and Wizards. The Pacers will be without Malcolm Brogdon but T.J. Warren has really stepped up his game with his absence. The Heat are two different teams at home and on the road. The Heat are unstoppable home, but very stoppable on the road. Go with the Pacers here.
Key trends: Pacers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
Early lean: Pacers, Under
Spurs @ Celtics (TBD, TBD)
The Spurs played the Bucks in back-to-back games in a home and away two days apart. Each team took their home game. The Spurs, after playing the Bucks twice, will now have to travel on the road to Boston for this one. The Celtics just lost a defensive battle to the Wizards, 99-94, but before that were on a three-game winning streak. Look for the Celtics to regroup against a tired Spurs team.
Key trends: Celtics are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up loss.
Early lean: Celtics, Under
Wizards @ Magic (-5.5, 226)
The Wizards have won three of their last five games, which were all at
home. The Magic have played three games at home consecutively and will play
a fourth in this one. The Magic are 2-1 during the homestand. The Wizards
success was enjoyed due to home court advantage, and now the Wizards will
now head on the road and face a Magic team that will enjoy their success at
Key trends: Magic are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
Nuggets @ Mavericks (-2.5, TBD)
The Mavericks can't seem to catch any breaks early this season with
injuries. Earlier, Luka Doncic was hurt, and now Kristaps Porzingis is
hurt. Porzingis is doubtful for this one, leaving it up to Doncic to get
the home win. The Nuggets have not played their best basketball on the
road. They're on the fifth game of their road-trip after defeating Atlanta
123-115. Dallas is on their fourth game of their homestand and have gone
2-1 thus far. Expect the Mavericks to take another won at home, even
without Porzingis. The Mavericks should be able to shoot their way through
Key trends: Mavericks are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Early lean: Mavericks, Over
Rockets @ Hawks (+8, 235.5)
Houston is playing their best basketball right now. The Rockets defeated
the Nuggets and 76ers at home by large margins and have won three of their
last four games. The Hawks lost to this same Nuggets team after allowing
123 points. The Rockets might end up with 150 points in this one. The
Rockets have averaged 125 points in their last three games.
Key trends: Rockets are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite.
Early lean: Rockets, Over
Bulls @ Pelicans (TBD, TBD)
No, Zion Williamson isn't back. But you'd think he was with the way the
Pelicans have played as of late. Although New Orleans lost to the Jazz at
home by two points, they're playing high level, competitive basketball
around Brandon Ingram, who is shining. The Bulls have lost their last four
games, but to be fair, they've played playoff teams. Neither the Pelicans
or Bulls will make the playoffs, but I'll take the team that's playing like
a playoff team at home against a struggling Bulls team.
Key trends: Pelicans are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Knicks @ Jazz (-11, 218.5)
The Jazz have won six straight games and are 9-1 in their last ten. They've
been adding to this winning streak with road wins. Now, the Jazz will be
home, taking on the Knicks, who have lost two straight and will likely lose
their third game in a row against the Lakers. Add on this game being a
back-to-back, and it's a no brainer taking the Jazz at home. Blowout
Key trends: Jazz are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite.
Bucks @ Warriors (TBD, TBD)
Try to guess who the Warriors scoring leader is currently? It's Alec Burks,
who is averaging 15.8 points per game. The Warriors are on a five-game
losing streak, and it doesn't look like the team is getting healthy any
time soon. The Bucks took a bad loss to the Spurs on the road after
defeating them two days ago at home. You know the saying, "it's tough to
beat a team twice." That's what happened to the Bucks. Milwaukee has won
eight of their last ten and should start a new winning streak by destroying
the Warriors on the road.
Key trends: Bucks are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
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