New Year NBA Picks Of The Week

The NBA may be taking a back seat to both, the college football bowl season and the upcoming NFL playoffs, but just because pro hoops isn’t in the betting spotlight at the moment, that doesn’t mean you can’t cash in on some roundball action.

Thanks to the quartet of expert NBA picks that are coming your way, you’re going to have a great opportunity to cash in on four intriguing matchups over the course of the coming week.

New Year NBA Picks Of The Week

Chicago at Cleveland
When: Wednesday, January 4 at 7:00 PM ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

Analysis: Dwyane Wade and the Chicago Bulls are currently 17-18 and sitting in fourth place in the Central Division while LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are sitting in first place in the division at a robust 26-9.

More importantly, the Bulls (16-19 ATS) are mired in a nasty funk that has seen them drop three of their last four games and six of their last eight overall. While the Bulls did manage to beat Charlotte 118-111 on Monday night, the Bulls just don’t have the cohesiveness or defensive fortitude it will take to dispatch LeBron James and the Cavs (16-15-2 ATS) in this contest.

The Cavs handled the Bulls 111-105 on December 2 and will record a similar victory at home in this week’s meeting. I the spread tops eight points at most, I say back the Bulls to cover, but anything less than that and the Cavs are the pick to win and cash in!

Pick: Cleveland by a handful

Portland at Golden State
When: Wednesday, January 4 at 9:30 PM ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA

Analysis: Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers (15-21 SU, 14-22 ATS) are ranked a dismal 28th in points allowed and that certainly doesn’t bode well with them hitting the road to take on Steph Curry and the high-scoring Golden State Warriors (30-5 SU, 15-19-1 ATS) on Wednesday night. The Blazers are 7-13 on the road and got blown out by the Dubs 135-90 on December 17 as whopping 14-point road dogs.

While I’m not prepared to pick the Warriors to record another 45-point win over the Blazers, I do like the Warriors to get a solid, double-digit win at home. The ATS outcome of this contest is a bit hard to predict simply because no one knows how many points the Dubs will be favored by. Still, I’m thinking Golden State will be favored by right around 14 points again, but this time Portland manages to narrowly cover.

Pick: Golden State by 10

Oklahoma City at Houston
When: Thursday, January 5 at 7:00 PM ET
Where: Toyota Arena

Analysis: The Oklahoma City Thunder (21-14 SU) have been much better than expected this season, because of the nightly heroics of superstar point guard Russell Westbrook, but the Houston Rockets (27-9 SU, 26-12 ATS) have been even better as James Harden has taken his game to new heights after moving to point guard this season. While Houston is just 10-7 at home this season, the Rockets did manage to beat the Thunder 102-99 on the road in their last meeting on December 9.

Oklahoma City ranks ninth in scoring at 106.0 points per game, but Houston ranks second in scoring at 114.6 points per game. Oklahoma City is just 11-8 against their Western Conference counterparts this season and just doesn’t have enough firepower to keep up with the loaded Rockets, Warriors or Spurs for that matter. Houston wins by at least a half-dozen points.

Pick: Houston

New Orleans at Boston
When: Saturday, January 7 at 6:30 PM ET
Where: TD Garden

Analysis: Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics (20-14 SU, 18-14-2 ATS) have won three of their last four games and seven of their last nine games overall and are ranked an impressive eighth in scoring (106.1 ppg) and 15th in points allowed (104.3 ppg). The C’s will be looking to stay hot and extract some revenge after falling to Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans 106-105 on November 14, 

New Orleans (14-22 SU, 18-18 ATS) is ranked a modest 21st in scoring (102.3 ppg) and equally pedestrian 20th in points allowed (105.5 ppg), but they’ve played better in winning four of their last five an  five of seven overall.

Still, seeing how the Pelicans wins all came against mediocre teams like New York, Dallas and Miami and how they lost to Cleveland 90-82 on Monday night, I think New Orleans ends up n the wrong end of a crushing loss to Boston this time around.

Isaiah Thomas put up a career-high 52 points recently and the C’s are starting to look more like the team everyone expected them to be this season than they have to this point. Boston gets the narrow home win.

Pick: Boston by a handful

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