We’re a full week into 2021 and this weekend has several must-see games, including the Utah Jazz (4-4) at the Milwaukee Bucks (5-3) on Friday, and the Phoenix Suns (6-2) at Indiana Pacers (6-2) on Saturday. Plus, the New York Knicks (5-3) are playing their best ball in years. They have two games this weekend, including hosting the road-weary Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

NBA Preview Phoenix Suns Indiana Pacers NY Knicks Denver Nuggets
Victor Oladipo and Malcolm Brogdon celebrate an overtime victory for the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers and the Phoenix Suns meet this weekend in a battle of young upstarts. (Image: Getty)

This weekend in the NBA gets the Quickie Betting Preview treatment. We selected 10 games that will be fun to watch, or have potential betting implications.

The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics meet on Sunday in a rematch of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers are the top team in the NBA with a 7-2 record. They host the slow-starting Denver Nuggets on Saturday, before the Nugs head to NYC to play the Knicks at MSG on Sunday.


NBA FRIDAY 1/8/21
  • Oklahoma City Thunder at New York Knicks
  • Charlotte Hornets at New Orleans Pelicans
  • Utah Jazz at Milwaukee Bucks
  • LA Clippers at Golden State Warriors
NBA SATURDAY 1/9/21
  • Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers
  • Phoenix Suns at Indiana Pacers
  • Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks
NBA SUNDAY 1/10/21
  • Denver Nuggets at New York Knicks
  • Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
  • San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves (2-6) are one of the worst teams in the Western Conference once again. After winning their first  two games of the season, the Timberwolves lost six games in a row. The T-wolves host the San Antonio Spurs in back-to-back games this weekend.

Friday Night NBA Action

Ready for the Ball Brothers Bowl?

Oklahoma City Thunder (3-4) at New York Knicks (5-3)… Julius Randle is putting up All-Star numbers. RJ Barrett continues to improve every game. New head coach Tom Thibodeau has NYC basketball fans excited about the Knicks again. They’re playing gritty defense and rank #3 in points allowed (104.5 ppg). Let’s enjoy this run while it lasts. Did you know the Knicks are also 5-3 ATS this season? The Knicks are only -2.5 favorites against the visiting Thunder.

Charlotte Hornets (3-5) at New Orleans Pelicans (4-4)… The Ball Brothers meet! Lonzo hosts his younger bro, LaMelo. Gordon Hayward leads the Hornets with 21.9 ppg. First-round pick LaMelo Ball is averaging 11.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game coming off the bench. Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson average 46.3 ppg and 15.1 rebounds together for the Pelicans.

Utah Jazz (4-4) at Milwaukee Bucks (5-3)… Greek Freak and the Bucks are the top-scoring team in the league once again (125.3 ppg). The Bucks look to extend their three-game winning streak. The Jazz don’t have the most robust offense in the league (108.5 ppg), aside from Donovan Mitchell (21.3 ppg). Will the Jazz find additional firepower to keep up with the Freak?

LA Clippers (6-3) at Golden State Warriors (4-4)… New head coach Ty Lue has the Clippers near the top of the Western Conference standings. Steph Curry recently busted out of his scoring slump with a career-high 62 points. Golden State’s defense, ranked fourth-worst in the league, allows 119.5 ppg. The Warriors lost to the Clippers just the other night 108-101.

Saturday NBA Betting Action: Suns/Pacers

The Pacers and Suns, a pair of unlikely frontrunners, meet in a Saturday showdown.

Denver Nuggets (3-5) at Philadelphia 76ers (7-2)… The high-octane Nuggets (117 ppg) are one of the worst teams in the NBA against the spread with a 2-6 ATS record. The slow-starting Nuggets began the season 1-4 and looked like they turned a corner before a tough overtime loss to the Mavs last night. Nikola Jokic averages a triple double with 25.9 ppg, 11.6 rebounds, and 10.9 assists per game. The Sixers lost Seth Curry to COVID-19, but Shake Milton is ready to pick up the scoring slack.

Orlando Magic (6-2) at Dallas Mavericks (4-4)… The Magic are one of the early surprises of the season with an 6-2 ATS record. They’ll be playing without starting point guard Markelle Fultz, who blew out his ACL the other night. Rookie Cole Anthony will fill in as the starter. Luka Doncic is fresh off a 38-point performance during an exciting overtime win over the Denver Nugs.

Phoenix Suns (6-2) at Indiana Pacers (6-2)… The Pacers and Suns are two teams that have been exceeding market expectations. They’re both tied for the top ATS record in the league at 6-2. The Suns boast the top defense in the NBA allowing only 102.3 ppg, which is impressive for a West Coast squad. Devin Booker’s scoring is down a tick, but he’s getting much more assistance from a stronger supporting cast. Mikal Bridges averages 14 ppg, while Cam Johnson (13.1 ppg) adds firepower off the bench. Malcolm Brogdon leads the Pacers with 23.6 ppg, 7.0 assists, and two steals per game. Domantas Sabonis (20.8 ppg, 11.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists) continues to dominate as a top fantasy basketball stud.

Sunday NBA Games of Note

Can the Knicks stay hot?

Miami Heat (3-4) at Boston Celtics (6-3)… It’s a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat got off to a slow start, especially their offense which is ranked fifth-worst, averaging only 105.7 ppg. Spol’s cagey defense has kept them in games. Rookie Precious Achiuwa cracked the rotation (7.3 ppg, 4.7 rebounds) as Bam Adebayo’s backup.

San Antonio Spurs (4-4) at Minnesota Timberwolves (2-6)… Pops and the Spurs play the bottom-feeding Timberwolves on back-to-back nights. The Spurs are one of the best teams in the NBA with an 6-2 ATS record. The Timberwolves are desperate to stop their six-game skid, but they have the second-worst defense in the league allowing 121.9 ppg. Anthony Edwards, the #1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, averages 15.4 ppg coming off the bench for the T-Wolves. Karl-Anthony Towns continues to nurse a wrist injury.

Denver Nuggets (3-5) at New York Knicks (5-3)… This could be a good spot to back the Knicks as a home dog. The Nugs are 2-6 ATS. Plus, they’ll be playing on back-to-back nights. Keep an eye on Immanuel Quickley. The rookie is on a fast track to become the next dominating point guard at MSG.

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