NBA Predictions and Best Bets – January 27, 2021

| January 26, 2021 3:43 pm PDT

After a light three-game slate, the NBA is back in full force on Wednesday with an insane 12-game slate.

These massive schedules have become a trend thanks to wonky NBA scheduling this year, but at least it gives bettors more games (and bets) to work with.

Here’s a quick look at every game on the docket for Wednesday, January 28th, 2021.

  • Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic
  • Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets
  • Brooklyn Nets vs. Atlanta Hawks
  • Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat
  • Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
  • Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors
  • Boston Celtics vs. San Antonio Spurs
  • Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans
  • Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns
  • Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz
  • Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors

There are weirdly only a handful of great games on such a busy schedule, but the one that stands out the most is a showdown between the Lakers and Sixers.

Joel Embiid will hopefully be back in the lineup for Philly, who will host LeBron James and the Lake Show.

James is fresh off a vintage 46-point outing, and whether or not he can provide an encore against the best team in the Eastern Conference will be interesting to see.

Wondering about how to bet on that game and others? Take a dive into the abyss as I break down my NBA predictions, and top betting picks for Wednesday night.

Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Predictions

  • Cavaliers to beat Pistons
  • Predicted total: 210-215

Everyone get your popcorn ready. Former Piston’s big man Andrew Drummond could be looking to dish out some revenge as he and his host the Pistons (his former team).

Cleveland is the bet here, regardless.

They just gave the Lakers a fight and are looking pretty solid at 8-9. They’ve had some injuries, too, so it’s not all that crazy to think this could be a playoff team.

Detroit has Jerami Grant and little else. Cleveland has a surging offensive core and a surprisingly good defense. I’d hammer the Cavs at home.

Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic Predictions

  • Magic to beat Kings
  • Predicted total: 220-225

The Magic are starting to get a little healthier, and they’ll hope a turn of good fortune helps them start a winning streak.

Orlando is at home against the Kings, who have not been able to stop anyone defensively.

It all starts with Nikola Vucevic, who Sacramento should really have no answer for.

I never love backing the Magic, but they’re at home, and they play better defense.

Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets Predictions

  • Pacers to beat Hornets
  • Predicted total: 220-225

I will tentatively lean toward the Pacers here. They got Jeremy Lamb back as a scoring spark, and Malcolm Brogdon and Damontas Sabonis have had terrific years so far.

The latter exited Indy’s last game with an injury, though, so keep an eye on his status.

That’s where the “tentative” comment comes in. if Sabonis is out, the Pacers quickly become a lot less appealing.

Charlotte can be a fun team – and Gordon Hayward is on fire right now – but Indiana has simply been far better. They’re also a solid 4-2 on the road, so assuming Sabonis is back, they feel like the easy call.

Brooklyn Nets vs. Atlanta Hawks Predictions

  • Nets to beat Hawks
  • Predicted total: 230-235

Brooklyn finally tightened things up defensively in their last game, although it was against Miami’s skeleton crew.

Throw a parade?

James Harden has not exactly fit in as a scorer with the Nets, and to some, that could be troubling. In his defense, though, he doesn’t seem to care about his points.

Regardless, Brooklyn is loaded offensively, and they can score on anyone.

Atlanta is at home, and their defense has been leaps and bounds better than what it was a year ago. They’re a sneaky bet here potentially, but they also could be tired after playing on Tuesday.

The talent and upside dictates bettors side with the Nets, but I’d be looking for value ATS or with the game total here.

Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat Predictions

  • Nuggets to beat Heat
  • Predicted total: 215-220

Nikola Jokic was quiet in Denver’s last game, but Michael Porter Jr. popped off for 30 points in a big win over the Mavericks.

The Nuggets had been off to a slow start, but they’ve won four straight and are suddenly the fourth-best team in the west at 10-7.

I tend to think Denver keeps the good times rolling against a battered Miami squad.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Predictions

  • 76ers to beat Lakers
  • Predicted total: 210-215

LeBron James turned back the clock in his return to Ohio on Sunday, dropping 46 points in a win against his old team.

L.A. kind of needed it, but they’re still riding a three-game winning streak and at 14-4. It takes just one look at the January betting update for the 2021 NBA Finals to realize they are the team to beat right now.

While probably true, the Lakers have a tough road game here, as Philly is 12-6 overall and 9-1 at home. I actually love the 76ers in this spot, assuming Joel Embiid is back in the saddle.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors Predictions

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

The Bucks face off with a struggling Raptors team that can’t stay healthy. Some key players are out of the lineup seemingly every game, and for Wednesday, it looks like it could be big man Pascal Siakam.

Milwaukee would take advantage of any edge in this spot, as they’re the understandable favorite, regardless of Siakam’s status.

The Bucks got off to a slow start this year, but they’re 10-6 now after going 7-3 over their last 10 games. Milwaukee should win, but the question will be how you play this game’s spread.

Boston Celtics vs. San Antonio Spurs Predictions

  • Celtics to beat Spurs
  • Predicted total: 215-220

San Antonio weirdly struggles at home, and on Wednesday, they’ll try to add to a weak 3-5 record. Not having a home crowd probably has something to do with it.

Regardless, the Spurs are hanging just around .500, but I don’t love them here against Boston.

The Celtics are the much better team, and they just got Jayson Tatum back. If Kemba Walker is also available, Boston should be the easy pick.

Boston is still fighting for their division and presently sits second behind the 76ers. A win here would get them one step closer to first place, making them a pretty compelling bet when looking at the latest Atlantic Division betting odds.

Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans Predictions

  • Wizards to beat Pelicans
  • Predicted total: 220-225

Washington played yesterday, so you’ll want to keep tabs on who is playing for this one. The Wiz have already been missing a bunch of guys, so their starting lineup will be pretty key.

Even so, I find it hard to trust the Pels right now. New Orleans has dropped three in a row, and they’re already talking about potential trades.

Washington should probably be in the same boat, but at least they have some serious star power and push the pace (fastest offense in the NBA). I’d mostly target the Over here, but I’m also digging the Wiz.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns Predictions

  • Suns to beat Thunder
  • Predicted total: 210-215

I don’t see much reason to get cute here. OKC has been peskier than expected this season, but they’re still just 7-9 and are below average defensively.

Phoenix has a lot of ways to hurt you offensively, and they’re a top-12 defensive team at home. I do think it’s worth noting that Devin Booker is not a great bet to suit up for this one.

That could be enough reason to take an interest in the Thunder, but I won’t be doing so.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz Predictions

  • Mavericks to beat Jazz
  • Predicted total: 220-225

Luka Doncic and the Mavs dropped a tough one to Denver their last time out and have slipped out of the Western Conference playoff picture.

It wasn’t because of Doncic, who dropped a monster triple-double in the loss.

Dallas has had some health woes, but at some point, their moneymakers need to step up.

Going into Utah and taking out a red hot Jazz team won’t be easy, but Dallas is certainly capable. That and the Jazz could be a bit winded after hosting the Knicks on Tuesday.

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors Predictions

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

Lastly, bettors should get a fun one when Minnesota and Golden State square off for the second time in three nights.

The Warriors easily won on Monday, but the game at least featured a lot of points. The Over is understandably the top bet here, as Minnesota could be without two key stars once again.

The T’Wolves aren’t displaying much urgency after a 4-12 start, while Golden State clings to playoff hopes. I love the Dubs and the Over in this spot.

Best NBA Bets for Wednesday, January 27th

  • Cavaliers (-2.5) -120
  • Magic (-1) -103
  • Celtics (-3.5) -110
  • Mavericks (+4) -110

Betting odds are not out for all 12 games. That shouldn’t shock anyone, of course, as there are a lot of injuries to sort through.

That said, for now, you can go with the NBA picks above.

I’ve already detailed that I like Cleveland and Orlando at home. Ideally, you just target their moneylines, but these spreads are thin enough to feel good about.

Boston’s spread isn’t too bad, either. I’d watch to make sure Kemba Walker is back, but that looks like a strong bet, regardless.

Dallas at +4 is pretty good, but I’ll want to hammer their moneyline if they remain the underdogs. The Mavs are better than what they’ve shown, and at some point, they’re going to kick it into high gear and make bettors some money.

I’d also monitor the lines for the Warriors game and hit up your go-to NBA betting apps for updated odds. Whatever you decide, hopefully, my NBA predictions and top betting picks helped steer you in the right direction.

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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