Free NBA Picks Wednesday 1/6/2021 and Opening Line Report
The NBA is off to a fantastic start with some interesting teams leading the way in both conferences. The Phoenix Suns have stood out as they’ve continued their run from last year’s bubble into this year. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks have winning records through the first week of January. Things are just getting started. Here are some leans for January 6 and the NBA slate.
Hornets vs Hawks 1/6/21 (-5.5, 231)
The Hawks started the year off hot but have now lost two straight games to the Cavaliers and Knicks. Meanwhile, the Hornets have also struggled lately, losing three straight, one to the Grizzlies and then two games to the 76ers. The Hornets are a young but talented group who have struggled to score points. Meanwhile, the Hawks are scoring at a high rate and also allowing plenty of points (minus their game against the Cavs.) I like the Hornets to force more turnovers and keep up with the Hawks. Those two losses against the Sixers don’t scare me.
Key trends: The Hawks are 0-4 ATS (-7.88 ppg) since Mar 11, 2020 at home.
Early lean: Hornets, Under
Celtics vs Heat 1/6/21 (-2.5, 218)
This is the game of the night. The 5-3 Boston Celtics will take on the struggling Miami Heat, who are just 3-3 to start the season. The Celtics have quite a few injuries, including Jeff Teague, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart, to name a few. We’ll see if any of those three can play in this game. Either way, the Celtics are deep at the point guard spot and didn’t have a problem in their last game against the Raptors, scoring 126 points. The Heat have been bad offensively, but the Celtics have been much worse defensively. I like the Heat to step up big on the offensive end, at home, and beat the more-than-likely shorthanded Celtics.
Key trends: The Heat are 7-2 ATS (4.06 ppg) since Sep 23, 2020 at home.
Early lean: Heat, Over
Rockets vs Pacers 1/6/21 (-2.5, 226)
The Rockets have had a weird start to their season, starting 2-3 with injuries and COVID issues through those first five games. Chemistry isn’t perfect and it’s shown defensively, where they’ve allowed 115.6 points per game. On the other hand, the Pacers have looked very good on the offensive end and have done an even better job limiting teams on the defensive end. The Pacers are always in close games. However, in this game particularly, they should be able to close out with a higher field goal percentage and overall better defense.
Key trends: The Rockets are 4-10 ATS (-4.50 ppg) since Mar 02, 2020 on the road.
Early lean: Pacers, Over
Suns vs Raptors 1/6/21 (+3.5, 217)
The Suns have been playing some real defense recently, allowing 100.6 points per game through seven games. They took a five-point loss to the Clippers in their last game out, but they’ve shown some ridiculous growth since the bubble and are really for real. On the other hand, the Raptors are now 1-5 to start the year and just can’t figure out their offense, scoring 106 points per game while allowing 110.2 points per game. They’re taking bad shots, which has resulted in losses. That continues on the road for the Raptors.
Key trends: The Suns are 13-2 ATS (9.10 ppg) since Jul 31, 2020.
Early lean: Suns, Over
Warriors vs Clippers 1/6/21 (TBD, TBD)
Steph Curry had his doubters to start the season. Nobody is doubting anymore after his last two games. The Clippers are now 5-2 and have really started to lock down on defense recently. They’ve allowed 107 points or fewer in their last four games, resulting in a 3-1 record in those four. Meanwhile, the Warriors have won four of their last five games and have scored 116 points or more in four of their last five games, with the last two being 137-point outputs against Portland and Sacramento. You’ve got to roll with the hot hand, but I really do think the over is going to be the play once the lines come outs.
Key trends: The Warriors are 6-1 OU (8.50 ppg) since Mar 01, 2020 at home.
Early lean: Warriors, Over
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