NBA Predictions and Best Bets – January 21, 2021

| January 20, 2021 9:28 am PDT

At some point, the Milwaukee Bucks need to stand tall against the best teams the NBA has to offer. If they have serious plans of making a title run this year, that is.

Giannis Antetokounmpo will be center stage on Thursday, as they host the Los Angeles Lakers in one of just three NBA games.

While most of the attention will admittedly be in Milwaukee, this should still be a fun slate for sports bettors. Before I dive into these games and how you may want to bet, see who else is playing tonight.

  • Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
  • New York Knicks vs. Golden State Warriors
  • New Orleans Pelicans vs. Utah Jazz

The Warriors host the Knicks in perhaps the most explosive game of the night, while Utah and New Orleans play again after facing off on Tuesday.

Ready to bet on the NBA? First, let’s break down each game with my predictions and top betting picks.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks Predictions

  • Lakers to beat Bucks
  • Predicted total: 220-225

This is the first meeting between these two sides this season. They split the season series (1-1) last year, with the first game creating that infamous crowning moment from The Greek Freak.

It was a tad premature, as LeBron James and co. won the second meeting and got the last laugh as eventual NBA champions.

Both teams are looking strong to start the year, but the Lakers are more impressive defensively and have a little more star power.

They also will want to get the taste of a bad loss to the Warriors out of their mouths.

Milwaukee will put up a fight, and there should be a considerable amount of points in this one, but I expect the Lake Show to get back on track with a big road win.

New York Knicks vs. Golden State Warriors Predictions

  • Warriors to beat Knicks
  • Predicted total: 225-230

While the Lakers were bummed about that collapse in a loss to Golden State, the Warriors found new hope in their successful rally.

Is Golden State a legit title contender? Probably not, but anytime you have Stephen Curry, you have a chance.

Curry was part of that rally, and he delivered the final dagger to get the Dubs their biggest win of the year.

They’ll be at home against a beatable Knicks team, but bettors do need to keep two things in mind. First, that Golden State has an atrocious defense, and also that they just played last night.

Oh, and Julius Randle is among the NBA players exceeding expectations this season.

I still like the Dubs to get a good home win here, but the Knicks ATS and the Over look like two additional bets we can fall in love with.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Utah Jazz Predictions

  • Jazz to beat Pelicans
  • Predicted total: 215-220

Lastly, we get a rematch between the Pels and Jazz to close out the night. Zion Williamson was unstoppable in the most recent matchup, as he poured in 32 points in the loss.

Williamson’s also pieced together an elite two-game stretch that actually registers as historic.

New Orleans hasn’t directly benefited from his amazing play, though, and they’ll hope he can drive them to a big road win in this spot.

The Pels do get a boost from the return of Lonzo Ball, who logged 23 minutes on Tuesday. I don’t really think any of this changes things, of course, as Utah is a more complete team, and they’ll defend their turf on Thursday.

Best NBA Bets for Thursday, January 21st

  • Warriors to Win (-190)
  • Knicks vs. Warriors Over 216.5 (-110)
  • Lakers to Win (-108)
  • Pelicans (+6.5)

If you just roll with my NBA predictions above, you’re getting a respectable price with the Dubs at -190, and the Lakers at -108 feels like a steal.

Golden State could be a bit tired after playing last night, but they’re at home and they look like the better team. New York might give it a go, but the Warriors should win.

By the way, the total of that game is crazy low. I will hammer the Over all day.

L.A. to win in Milwaukee is somewhat risky, but they’ve been the better team all year. After collapsing in a bad loss to the Warriors, I think the Lakers bounce back.

New Orleans is never fun to bet on, but they’re healthy and they just need to keep their game with the Jazz within six points.

If you like these bets and are ready to roll, head over to your favorite NBA betting websites now.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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