Beating The Book on New Year’s Eve: NBA Betting Picks for Thursday December 31st, 2020

Happy New Year’s Eve! I regret to say I’m coming off a truly disappointing performance last night. My picks went 2-4, and I have nobody to blame but myself. I can’t make any excuses; those picks were straight up terrible. Both the Spurs and Blazers got blown out, and I can’t believe how well the Hawks played against the Nets (or how badly Kyrie played until the 4th quarter). The Celtics and Hornets salvaged the night for my picks, or it could have been a lot worse. We have a 7 game slate for tonight’s NBA games, so let’s get into it!

 

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers (-8)

Both teams are 3-1 coming into this game, and both teams are trying to bounce-back from losses. I thought the Cavaliers were for real, but after a 95-86 home loss to the Knicks, I don’t have much confidence in them bouncing back in this situation. On the other hand, I think the Pacers will bounce-back after blowing a double-digit lead to the Celtics at home the other night. I’ll take the Pacers and give the points here; I don’t think this one will be close at the end.

 

Pick: Pacers -8

 

Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards (-5.5)

This same game happened Tuesday night, and the spread was very similar. I picked the Bulls in that one, and they ended up not only covering the spread, but they won the game outright 115-107. I expect the Wizards to play much better in this game, but I don’t have much confidence in them as a 5.5 point favorite, even against a bad team like the Bulls. Maybe the Wizards get their first win here to snap a 4 game losing streak to start the season, but I think this one will remain a close game.

 

Pick: Bulls +5.5

 

Philadelphia 76ers (-3) vs. Orlando Magic

This should be a great game, as both of these teams have had hot starts to the season. The Magic come into this game 4-0, but their only win against a solid team came against the Heat on opening night. The 76ers come into this game 3-1, and in their previous game they came back to defeat the Raptors 100-93. I think this game is truly a toss-up, and I don’t have too much confidence in this one, but I think the Magic will win this game outright, so I’ll take them with the points as well.

 

Pick: Magic +3

 

Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets (-5.5)

The Rockets are looking to grab their first win of the season after starting 0-2, and they look poised to do it with the return of both John Wall and Demarcus Cousins tonight. There’s a lot of unknown here; we don’t know exactly how well Wall, Harden, and Cousins will mesh together on the court, but I trust in the talent of these 3 players to help lead the Rockets to a comfortable victory. Sure, the Kings have played well in their first 4, with a 3-1 record, and I think they may keep it close until the 4th quarter, but I think the Rockets will pull away in the end and win by double-digits.

 

Pick: Rockets -5.5

 

New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors (-9)

The Raptors seek their first victory of the season here, as they come into the game with an 0-3 record. They haven’t been playing well, but their losses have come against formidable competition (Pelicans, Spurs, 76ers). On the other hand, the Knicks are riding a 2 game winning streak into this game, and Julius Randle is playing out of his mind. I love to take underdogs in this spot, but I feel as though this game won’t be close in the second half. I think the Raptors will get back on track here and take out their early season frustration on a poor Knicks team.

 

Pick: Raptors -9

 

New Orleans Pelicans (-5.5) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

This is a tricky one, as the Pelicans completely outmatch the Thunder in raw talent, but they have been very inconsistent. They’re coming off a terrible 111-86 loss to the Suns, and while I expect them to bounce-back here, I don’t know if I can trust them in this road game. While I’m not too high on the Thunder, I think they can keep this game competitive, and I’ll take them with the points.

 

Pick: Thunder +5.5

 

Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz (-3.5)

The Suns have looked great to start this season, and they come into the game with a 3-1 record. The Jazz have a 2-1 record, and are playing solid basketball as well to start the season. I think this should be a great game, and I expect it to stay close in the end. I want to pick the Suns here, but my gut tells me the Jazz will eek this one out and somehow win by 5 or 6 in the end. I’ll trust my gut on this one.

 

Pick: Jazz -3.5

 

Thanks for reading! I hope these picks perform better than yesterday’s. Have a happy New Year, and let’s win some money!

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