NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions for New Year’s Day: 3 Best Bets, Highlighted by Warriors vs. Jazz (January 1)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry.
- Happy New Year! The NBA welcomes 2022 with six games on Saturday night.
- Three of our NBA betting analysts have identified a trio of matchups with value for bettors on Saturday night.
- Check out their picks and breakdowns below.
The new year begins with a strong six-game slate in the NBA, and we have picks for you.
Our best bets for New Year’s Day start on the East Coast in Detroit and Washington, where the Pistons and Wizards are home underdogs against the Spurs and Bulls. Then, we move out west, where the Jazz host the Warriors in a matchup of the NBA’s elite.
NBA Odds & Picks
San Antonio Spurs vs. Detroit Pistons
Raheem Palmer: This line is short, with my model making this game Spurs -9 with both teams at full strength.
In this case, the Detroit Pistons are far from full strength, currently decimated by injuries and players in the league’s health and safety protocols. As it stands, the Pistons are missing Jerami Grant, Cade Cunningham, Corey Joseph, Rodney McGruder, Isaiah Stewart, Kelly Olynk and Kilian Hayes. At some point, it’s tough to overcome this many losses against an NBA team.
With the Spurs welcoming back Dejounte Murray, they’re in prime position for an easy win against a Pistons team that they beat by 35 points earlier this week. While this might typically be a spot I’d look to play the Pistons given the motivational angle, when a team is missing this many players it’s clear they’re overmatched.
The Pistons at full strength are dead last in Offensive Rating, scoring just 100 points per 100 possessions. Defensively, they aren’t much better at 23rd in Defensive Rating at 111.9, according to Cleaning the Glass. The Spurs should be able to capitalize on a Pistons defense which is 28th in opponent field goal percentage from behind the arc (37.3%).
Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards
Matt Moore: The Wizards are 5-8 vs. teams with a top-10 offensive rating this season per CleaningTheGlass.com. Chicago’s overall metrics are stunted by their injury and COVID absences and while Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball remain out, the Bulls still have their All-Star trio of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic.
I have this projected as Bulls -3.7, and don’t believe Caruso and Ball make up the 1.2 differential.
With Montrezl Harrell and Aaron Holiday out, Washington’s ninth-ranked bench unit takes a hit. Spencer Dinwiddie’s on-court numbers have been poor this season, so I’m not giving Chicago any edge with him out.
Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz
Matthew Trebby: What if I told you Draymond Green’s absence doesn’t appear to affect the Warriors that much? A bit of a surprise, right?
Well, that’s the case so far this season. Green has played 31 games this season, and the Warriors’ Net Rating with him on the court is 10.1. They’re at 111.9 on offense and 101.9 on defense.
Without Green, that Net Rating goes up to 10.7. The Warriors’ Offensive Rating goes down by three points, but so does the Defensive Rating, to 98.2.
So if there isn’t much of a difference there, it would appear there’s betting value on Golden State tonight.
This is a matchup of the NBA’s top two according to Net Rating. Utah is at 10.3, and Golden State 10.1. The Jazz have won six straight games, covering just once during that stretch. The Warriors have won three of their last four, covering in all their victories.
It also seems like Golden State plays its best against the NBA’s best. The Warriors’ last two wins came against the Grizzlies and Suns, who are the other two teams in the top four of the Western Conference along with them and the Jazz. Golden State’s last three losses have been to the Nuggets, Raptors, 76ers and Spurs. Philadelphia has the best record of those teams, and it entered Saturday 19-16.