NBA Betting – Sunday Jan 5

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NBA Betting Previews

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Sunday, January 5, 2020

CLIPPERS VS GRIZZLIES

Venue: Staples Center | Start: 7:30am AEDT

The Los Angeles Clippers could be without All-Star Paul George when they face the sputtering Memphis Grizzlies at home on Saturday. George left Thursday’s 126-112 victory over the Detroit Pistons in the first half because of left hamstring tightness. Head coach Doc Rivers insisted the move was merely precautionary. The Clippers have been without defensive-minded guard Patrick Beverley for the past two games because of a sprained wrist and he remains day-to-day. Montrezl Harrell scored 23 off the bench as the Clippers rallied from a nine-point second-quarter deficit. Los Angeles won consecutive games for the first time since a four-game winning streak in early December. The Clippers are just 5-4 since losing at Chicago on Dec. 14. The inconsistent Grizzlies have not won more than two consecutive games or lost more than two consecutive since Dec. 9. They will enter off a 128-123 loss at Sacramento on Thursday. Ja Morant, the Western Conference rookie of the month for December, scored 23 for Memphis to lead the team in scoring as six players scored at least 15 points. The Grizzles could not protect a 20-point first-half lead. Memphis scored 42 points in the first quarter.

Win: Memphis Grizzlies
Line: Memphis Grizzlies +10.5
Total Points: Over 231.5

NETS VS RAPTORS

Venue: Barclays Center | Start: 10:00am AEDT

The Brooklyn Nets might be getting a little healthier as a team and that could pose problems for injury-ravaged Toronto, which plays a road game Saturday at Brooklyn. The Nets are expected to welcome back Caris LeVert, who has been out for almost two months with a thumb injury. The timing for a dose of energy could be ideal for the Nets, who’ve lost four games in a row. LeVert averaged 16.8 points across 12 games before the injury that resulted in surgery. Toronto’s offensive problems were magnified when the Raptors made only 14.3 percent of their 3-point attempts (6-for-42) in Thursday night’s loss at Miami. Toronto has won 16 of the last 17 meetings with the Nets, with the loss coming about 13 months ago. More recently, the Raptors have lost four of their last six games, with a season-low point total in the 84-76 loss at Miami. Toronto beat the Nets 110-102 on Dec. 14 but that was before Pascal Siakam’s groin injury — he scored 30 points in that game. The Raptors had concerns when Kyle Lowry exited briefly in the Miami game to have his ankle checked before returning. On the plus side for the Raptors, the 84 points allowed Thursday matched the second-lowest total of the season.

Win: Brooklyn Nets
Line: Brooklyn Nets -1.5
Total Points: Over 217.5

MAGIC VS JAZZ

Venue: Amway Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT

The Orlando Magic are coming off a dismantling of their in-state rival and look to win their third straight when they host the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. Thing is, the Jazz are even hotter – and more rested – as they boast a four-game winning streak. Terrence Ross came off the bench to lead the Magic with 25 points Friday night in a 20-point win over the Miami Heat, but it was the Magic’s defense that stymied Miami; the Magic held the Heat to six points in the fourth quarter and forced them into 18.9 percent shooting from the 3-point line for the game. And the Magic did it without Jonathan Isaac, who is expected to miss two months with a left knee injury. The Jazz are coming off a 102-98 win over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night, their lowest margin of victory in their four-game streak. Utah used a 24-4 run in the third quarter to turn the tide and it held on from there. Utah’s bench outscored Chicago’s, 36-23. This will mark the final game between the two teams. Utah defeated Orlando 109-102 on Dec. 18 in Utah, forced to rally from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Donovan Mitchell scored 30 for Utah.

Win: Utah Jazz
Line: Utah Jazz -4.5
Total Points: Under 206.5

HAWKS VS PACERS

Venue: State Farm Arena | Start: 11:30am AEDT

Suddenly in a rut after a mid-December uprising, the Indiana Pacers will try to get back on track starting with a game at Atlanta on Saturday. The Pacers were making waves during a five-game winning streak in December after a previously successful five-game run in late November. But four defeats in their last six games, starting when they were blown out at Milwaukee on Dec. 22, have altered perceptions. Domantas Sabonis is doing all he can. He scored 19 points with nine rebounds and nine assists to just miss out on a triple-double in an eventual 124-116 defeat to the Denver Nuggets. Jeremy Lamb scored a season-high 30 points. Malcolm Brogdon (back) has missed four of the past five games. Indiana has already defeated the Hawks twice and can sweep the series for the second consecutive season. The Hawks will enter off a 109-106 defeat Friday to the Boston Celtics. Trae Young had a go-ahead 3-point attempt with 2.7 seconds remaining but it was blocked by Daniel Theis. On Monday, the Hawks ended a 10-game losing streak with a 101-93 victory over the Orlando Magic. Young missed the previous two games with a sprained ankle, returning Friday to score a team-high 28 points.

Win: Indiana Pacers
Line: Indiana Pacers -7.5
Total Points: Under 219.5

CAVALIERS VS THUNDER

Venue: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse | Start: 11:30am AEDT

Two teams with different trends meet when the Oklahoma City Thunder try to add to a four-game winning streak in Saturday night’s game at Cleveland. Going into the first meeting of the season between the teams, the Thunder have improved their record to 19-15. The Cavaliers are 0-18 against teams with an above-.500 record. Thunder swingman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging a team-best 19.9 points per game, and point guard Chris Paul has been able to find him for some good looks at the basket. The Cavaliers have lost three of their last four games, including Thursday night’s late meltdown against the Charlotte Hornets. The Cavaliers failed to protect a 100-91 lead and lost 109-106, marking the end of a three-game home winning streak. This matchup with the Thunder will be Cleveland’s second game in a four-game homestand. Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton needs 13 points to reach 2,000 points for his career. The Cavaliers and Thunder haven’t met since November 2018, but in that game Sexton turned in one of his two career double-doubles (pulling in a career-high 10 rebounds). Also in the Charlotte game, Cavaliers reserve forward John Henson reached a double-digit point total (10) for the first time in more than a year.

Win: Oklahoma City Thunder
Line: Cleveland Cavaliers +6.5
Total Points: Under 213.5

BULLS VS CELTICS

Venue: United Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT

The Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls will play all four of their contests in the new year, and the first is Saturday night in Chicago. The Celtics are riding high, having won seven of their past eight games. Their latest, however, was a bit harder than they probably anticipated. The Celtics were down by 18 points in the first quarter to the lowly Atlanta Hawks at home and needed a Daniel Theis block of Trae Young’s 3-point attempt in the final seconds to hold on. Jaylen Brown was the offensive hero for Boston, posting 24 points on 8 of 13 shooting. He added 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals in the effort. The Celtics played without Kemba Walker, who missed just his second game of the season with an illness. Enes Kanter is also questionable against the Bulls after getting stitches on his chin. The Bulls are on a two-game losing skid after a hard-fought four-point loss to the Utah Jazz at home on Thursday night. Zach LaVine paced the Bulls with 26 points but struggled, shooting just 9-for-26. He’s nursing an ankle but is probable against Boston. Wendell Carter Jr. is also nursing an ankle after posting an 18-point, 13-rebound effort against Utah. He’s probable.

Win: Chicago Bulls
Line: Boston Celtics +1.5
Total Points: Under 209.5

WIZARDS VS NUGGETS

Venue: Capital One Arena | Start: 12:00pm AEDT

There is depleted, and then there is the Washington Wizards. The Wizards will try to cobble together a competitive squad when they host Western Conference power the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night. Worse for Washington, they’re coming off a game Friday night, a blowout loss at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers at home. Further, the status of guard Isaiah Thomas may be in question after he was ejected less than two minutes into the game for making contact with a game official. The Wizards fielded a team absent Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura and center Thomas Bryant, who is also out against the Nuggets, meaning that guarding Nikola Jokic would fall to Wizards center Ian Mahinmi. Jokic leads the Nuggets with season averages of 18.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists. The emergence of Michael Porter Jr. has also energized Denver. The 6-foot-10 forward is averaging 15.5 points per game over his past four. The Nuggets have won consecutive games and are coming off an impressive 124-116 win over the Indiana Pacers on the road. Porter scored a career-high 25 in that one on 11-for-12 shooting. The Nuggets defeated Washington in Denver on Nov. 26, 117-104. This game will mark the final encounter between the teams for the season.

Win: Denver Nuggets
Line: Denver Nuggets -12.5
Total Points: Under 221.5

WARRIORS VS PISTONS

Venue: Chase Center | Start: 12:30pm AEDT

Somebody has to find a win when the Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors bring matching three-game losing streaks and injury-plagued squads into their contest Saturday in San Francisco. The Pistons are in the fourth game of their season-long six-game road trip and, at 0-3 entering Saturday, it’s not going well so far. Further, trade talks are swirling around their star center Andre Drummond, who is expected to be dealt before the Feb. 6 trade deadline. The Pistons are coming off a 14-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, and they’ll be heading right back to L.A. after Saturday, this time to play the Lakers on the tail end of a back-to-back. The Warriors are coming off a 99-84 loss at Minnesota on Thursday night despite the Timberwolves being without their top two stars, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. The Warriors themselves were without D’Angelo Russell (shoulder) and will be again against the Pistons. Further, Kevon Looney (abdomen) is out and Willie Cauley-Stein (illness) is questionable. For the Pistons, Blake Griffin is battling knee issues and hasn’t played since Dec. 28. Markieff Morris is out with a foot, and Bruce Brown did not practice Friday with a stomach ailment.

Win: Detroit Pistons
Line: Detroit Pistons -3.5
Total Points: Under 215.5

MAVERICKS VS HORNETS

Venue: American Airlines Center | Start: 12:30pm AEDT

In search of some consistency, the Dallas Mavericks will welcome the Charlotte Hornets to town Saturday. The Mavericks are just 6-6 in their last 12 games, but will enter off a 123-111 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. Luka Doncic scored 31 points with 13 rebounds as Dallas won without Kristaps Porzingis (knee) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (hamstring). Doncic did miss four games in the team’s recent .500 stretch, but the Mavericks were break-even in those as well, going 2-2. In five games since returning from a sprained ankle, Doncic has scored 28.0 points with 9.8 rebounds and 8.8 assists, which is on par with his season averages. The Mavericks will be playing the second game of a season-long six-game home stretch. The Hornets also will enter off a victory, ending a six-game losing streak Thursday with a 109-106 victory at Cleveland. The losing streak started Dec. 18 when the Hornets also were visiting the Cavaliers. Terry Rozier scored 30 points for the Hornets on Thursday as they overcame a nine-point deficit with five minutes remaining. Devonte’ Graham scored 16 points with 11 assists and hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 26 seconds remaining. Forward Marvin Williams left Thursday’s game in the second half with “nasal trauma.”

Win: Dallas Mavericks
Line: Charlotte Hornets +11.5
Total Points: Over 217.5

BUCKS VS SPURS

Venue: Fiserv Forum | Start: 12:30pm AEDT

The Milwaukee Bucks are trying to win their fifth game in a row when they play at home Saturday night against the San Antonio Spurs. It’s the first of back-to-back games against each other, with the rematch Monday at San Antonio. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.4 points per game. He’s shooting 55.6 from the field, a mark that’s not too far from his 59.9 percent on free throws. Antetokounmpo missed a couple of games last week with back soreness, so his availability could remain a topic of interest as the Bucks try to monitor his workload. Milwaukee is 17-2 in home games. The Spurs lost 109-103 to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday despite Demar DeRozan’s 30 points. LaMarcus Aldridge of the Spurs is riding a career-high five-game streak with at least one 3-point basket. DeRozan averages 21.5 points and Aldridge checks in at 19.5 so the Spurs have a couple of high-end scorers. Last weekend, the Spurs knocked down a season-18 shots from 3-point range in a victory against the Detroit Pistons and they might need considerable offensive sources to keep up with the Bucks. San Antonio is beginning a stretch with five road games across a six-game span.

Win: Milwaukee Bucks
Line: San Antonio Spurs +11.5
Total Points: Under 228.5

KINGS VS PELICANS

Venue: Golden 1 Center | Start: 2:00pm AEDT

The New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings will give mixed messages when they meet Saturday night in California’s capital city. The Pelicans are in the midst of a revival, having won five of their last seven games, but will enter after a 123-113 road defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. The Kings are the team that is struggling, having lost eight of its last nine, but that one victory came in its most recent game, a 128-123 triumph Thursday over the Memphis Grizzlies. Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox scored a team-best 27 points in the victory — 10 in the final five minutes — and has scored at least 20 points in three of his eight games since he returned from a sprained ankle that cost him cost him 17 games and kept him out until mid-December. The Kings overcame a 20-point first-half deficit. Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart returned to face a Lakers team they played for last season. Ingram and Ball combined for 45 points. They were dealt for Anthony Davis, who upstaged them both with 46 points alone. Now in question is how much energy the Pelicans’ trio has left while heading into the second night of a back-to-back scenario.

Win: Sacramento Kings
Line: New Orleans Pelicans +2.5
Total Points: Under 225.5