Free NBA Picks Friday 1/8/2021 and Opening Line Report
The NBA is back with a full slate of games on Friday, January 8. Some teams with solid records are still not getting love from oddsmakers early on in the season. That means, there are still some spots and teams we can take advantage of before oddsmakers catch on. Here are the leans for Friday’s NBA slate.
Wizards vs Celtics 1/8/21 (-5.5, 234.5)
The Wizards are 2-6 on the season and have allowed 122.9 points per game. It’s been miserable this season. However, against the spread, they’ve hung around. They just lost to the Sixers by five, beat the Nets by one on the road, and defeated the Timberwolves by 21 on the road. The Celtics have had trouble putting away lower tier teams like the Raptors, winning by eight, and the Pistons, where they won by two and lost by three in back-to-back games. The Wizards have shown some quality basketball on the road. I like Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook to do enough to at least cover.
Key trends: The Wizards are 5-0 ATS (7.40 ppg) since Aug 13, 2020 on the road.
Early lean: Wizards, Over
Raptors vs Kings 1/8/21 (+5, 226.5)
The Raptors are not the same. They’ve lost six of their first seven games and have struggled defending, allowing 120 or more points in their last three games, which were all losses. On top of that, the Raptors are scoring just 107.3 points per game and are shooting 42.2 percent from the field. It’s going to be hard to back this team early on in the season. On the flip side, the Kings are coming off a four-point win over the Bulls after losing three straight games. They’ve been inconsistent but have proven to be able to score more than the Raptors. At home, I like the Kings to survive.
Key trends: The Raptors are 0-4 ATS (-5.25 ppg) since Dec 26, 2020 on the road.
Early lean: Kings, Under
Thunder vs Knicks 1/8/21 (-2.5, 208.5)
The Knicks have been a thrill to watch this season. They’re now 5-3 and have a different player stepping up game by game, proving how hungry they are and also how talented this team is. The Knicks are allowing 104.5 points per game and are showing terrific defense this season. Meanwhile, the Thunder have struggled to score, scoring just 102 points per game without a real scoring threat on a game-by-game basis. Forget the winner, I’d rather the under here.
Key trends: The Thunder are 2-7-1 OU (-8.80 ppg) since Aug 29, 2020.
Early lean: Knicks, Under
Bulls vs Lakers 1/8/21 (TBD, TBD)
The Bulls will get no love against the Lakers with a 4-5 record on the road, but there’s reason to believe the Bulls can hang around. The Bulls are 2-1 in their last three games, with the lone loss coming by four points to the Kings. The offense can score, and they like to run a ton. The defense has been the issue, as they’ve allowed 120.6 points per game. Meanwhile, the Lakers play the completely opposite way. The Lakers would rather be slow and have defended well this season. The Bulls have nothing to lose. They’ll play quick and shoot plenty of shots. Once they fall, the Bulls will be able to cover.
Key trends: The Bulls are 6-1 ATS (5.14 ppg) since Dec 27, 2020.
Early lean: Bulls, Under
Magic vs Rockets 1/8/21 (-4.5, 228)
The Magic are 6-2 and just lost point guard Markelle Fultz to a torn ACL. They’re going up against a Houston team that really doesn’t have much chemistry and has plenty of drama yet are still solid underdogs. It’s time to give the Magic credit for what they’ve done this season. They’ve allowed just 106 points per game and are scoring 110 points per game while crashing the glass at a very solid rate. The Magic haven’t played a road game in their last four games, but their last road game came against the Thunder, where they won 118-107. They seem comfortable on the road and won’t be fatigued just yet.
Key trends: The Magic are 13-3-1 ATS (5.88 ppg) since Feb 24, 2020 on the road.
Early lean: Magic, Over
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