Free NBA Picks Friday 1/15/2021 and Opening Line Report
Former Rockets all-star and triple-double machine, James Harden, has been dealt to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster four-team deal that saw the Nets give up an extreme amount of assets, including Caris LaVert and Jarrett Allen. In that deal, Victor Oladipo went to the Rockets, while the Pacers received LeVert. The Cavs received Allen and Taurean Prince, which likely means Andre Drummond’s time in Cleveland is about to come to an end. What a week it’s been in the NBA. Again, please pay attention to players sitting out due to rest or COVID before making any wagers. Here are the early leans on games for January 15.
Mavericks vs Bucks 1/15/21 (-6, 227.5)
The Mavericks returned to the court on Wednesday, and that game featured Kristaps Porinzgis’ return with Dallas. Porzingis added 16 points and four rebounds in just 21 minutes in their win against the Hornets. With Porzingis back, the Mavericks are going to be deeper, which is something they’ve struggled with to this point. Dallas has played solid defense all season long and now gets a huge shot blocker in Porzingis that can help on the defensive end also. As long as the Mavs can slow down the Bucks offense, I like them to cover on the road here.
Key trends: The Mavericks are 4-0 ATS (9.50 ppg) since Jan 04, 2021.
Early lean: Mavericks, Over
Knicks vs Cavaliers 1/15/21 (TBD, TBD)
The Knicks started off so hot. They’ve now lost four straight games and have scored more than 89 points once in those four games. The Cavs have also struggled to score points, averaging just 98.9 points per game. The Cavs will have some new faces on their team after the James Harden four-team trade yesterday. It looks as though Drummond won’t be lasting too long in Cleveland either. But the Cavs got deeper and already have a much more talented backcourt than do the Knicks. That should be enough here.
Key trends: The Knicks are 0-4 ATS (-12.62 ppg) since Jan 08, 2021.
Early lean: Cavaliers, Under
Hawks vs Jazz 1/15/21 (-6, 223)
The Utah Jazz are dominating right now. Three straight wins against the Bucks, Pistons and Cavaliers have put them at 7-4 on the season. They’ll finally get back home to face a Hawks team that hasn’t been impressive after a solid start to the season. The Hawks scoring has been minimized, and the defense has been pretty off recently. I like the Jazz to keep the momentum going and win this one at home.
Key trends: The Hawks are 0-6 OU (-23.42 ppg) since Jan 01, 2021.
Early lean: Jazz, Under
Clippers vs Kings 1/15/21 (+7, 231)
We’ve got divisional play between the Clippers and Kings. The Kings have allowed 122 points per game in 12 games to start the season. We all know what the Clippers offense is capable of when healthy and with everyone playing on the roster. The Clippers have scored 111, 130, 105, 108 and 113 points in their last five games. That scoring won’t stop against the Kings, who just can’t get stops.
Key trends: The Kings are 1-6 ATS (-9.64 ppg) since Jan 02, 2021.
Early lean: Clippers, Over
Bulls vs Thunder 1/15/21 (TBD, TBD)
Sure, the Bulls are 4-7. But they’ve been covering spreads with their last four games either won or lost by four points or less. The Bulls can’t close games, and they certainly won’t win many close games. However, the fact that they’re in close games and performing well enough to cover spreads is enough for me. The Bulls defense needs to improve, but that offense is averaging 116.1 points, while the Thunder average just 104.1 points per game. The Bulls have a chance to win this game outright, on the road, with their scoring.
Key trends: The Bulls are 8-1 ATS (5.61 ppg) since Dec 27, 2020.
Early lean: Bulls, Over
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