NBA Predictions and Best Bets – January 5, 2021
The NBA keeps on churning out games to bet on with a nice five-game slate dropping into Tuesday’s lap.
Whether you plan on betting on the NBA today or not, take a quick look at who is in action.
- Utah Jazz vs. Brooklyn Nets
- Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
- Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets
- San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Clippers
- Chicago Bulls vs. Portland Trail Blazers
The big news for this slate is the absence of Kevin Durant, who will miss Brooklyn’s next four games due to the league’s COVID-19 protocol.
Kevin Durant's facing a 7-day quarantine under league protocols because of exposure to a positive COVID-19 case, sources tell ESPN. He had the coronavirus in May, continues to register antibodies and has tested negative in multiple recents tests. He'd miss 4 games in next week. https://t.co/HFHFKHolte— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 4, 2021
That is a big blow for a Nets team that is already struggling to a 3-4 record through seven games. Beyond that, bettors will also want to factor in potential rest for the Lakers stars, as well as Kawhi Leonard.
For now, you can proceed as if they are in, and bet accordingly. If you need a little guidance as to how to bet, read on for my NBA predictions and top betting picks for Tuesday, January 5th.
Utah Jazz vs. Brooklyn Nets Predictions
- Nets to beat Jazz
- Predicted total: 230-235
As mentioned, KD won’t be on hand here, which has the top sports betting sites labeling Brooklyn as home dogs. They are still pretty deep and have Kyrie Irving to lead them, however, so I’ll take the dog money there.
The only way I’d get off the Nets is if Irving is randomly rested, but this is too nice of a price (+140) to ignore in a big game for Brooklyn.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies Predictions
- Lakers to beat Grizzlies
- Predicted total: 215-220
The Lake Show handled the Grizzlies pretty easily in their last game (108-94), but I think there will be a few more points this time around.
Los Angeles is still a great bet to add to their three-game winning streak, and I would assume they’ll pull away to cover this spread, as well. Memphis is simply too short handed due to injuries.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets Predictions
- Nuggets to beat Timberwolves
- Predicted total: 225-230
Denver continues to work toward a turn around after a slow start. Their defense hasn’t been great this year, though, and they’ll continue to miss Michael Porter Jr.
I still like the Nuggets to get the job done, of course. They’re at home, they need to win, and they’re facing an inferior team. Minnesota is also still without Karl-Anthony Towns, so betting in their favor doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Clippers Predictions
- Clippers to beat Spurs
- Predicted total: 220-225
San Antonio’s hot start seems to be a tease, as the Spurs have lost four in a row and once again are struggling defensively. They are pushing the pace and two of those losses came against the Lakers, but they’re missing key bodies.
It will be interesting to see if they can get LaMarcus Aldridge back for this one.
LaMarcus Aldridge (knee) questionable for Tuesday. https://t.co/EyVvM52djD— FantasyLabs NBA (@FantasyLabsNBA) January 5, 2021
Even if he does return, I don’t love them here. The Clippers have more star power, are a bit more cohesive, and have largely looked fantastic during a 5-2 start to the 2020-21 NBA season.
Chicago Bulls vs. Portland Trail Blazers Predictions
- Blazers to beat Bulls
- Predicted total: 225-230
The last game of the night goes down at the Moda Center, where the Blazers are historically very hard to beat.
Portland got housed the last time they took on the Warriors, but they have the offense to go off on Chicago. The Bulls are younger and play faster, but they’re not efficient enough on either side of the floor.
I think there should be plenty of points here, but a Blazers win feels like a lock.
Best NBA Bets for Tuesday, January 5th
- Nets to Win (+145)
- Lakers vs. Grizzlies Over 218 (-110)
- Bulls (+9.5) -110
I can’t bypass the Nets at this price. Losing Durant takes away 28 points per game and he’s a vital piece to their defense, but they still have a solid team to go to war with, and they’re at home.
The Lakers should win and cover, but I would prefer to just bet on the Over in the lowest total of the night. Memphis doesn’t have a great defense and tend to play faster, so even with their injuries, I think they can do enough to get this game where it needs to go.
The Bulls vs. Blazers game is probably going to be the highest scoring game of the night, but messing with a 234 total feels dicey. Instead, I’ll trust in Chicago’s pace and scoring upside to give Portland’s defense (29th in the NBA) fits in a surprisingly close game.