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Sean B’s Best NBA Bets Today: Picks & Predictions for 1/6/22

Sean Blazek



Do not let the small slate scare you away on Thursday. There are four games featuring two matchups on TNT. Celtics – Knicks kick it off at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed up by the Clippers – Suns to end the night. Make sure to keep an eye on injury news and updates throughout the day. Let’s dive into the best bets to make tonight and overall NBA betting tips for Thursday, Jan. 6.

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Best NBA Betting Picks Tonight | Jan. 6

Warriors vs. Pelicans

The Warriors are coming off an uncharacteristic night in Dallas on Wednesday where they were defeated 99-82. Stephen Curry is on a rare cold streak, shooting 2-for-19 from 3 over the last two games. Keep an eye on Curry’s status, as he is uncertain for tonight’s matchup with a bruised quad. Curry is too good of a shooter to stay in a slump for long, but tonight could be good timing for him to rest up on the second night of a back-to-back. Even if he cannot suit up, the Warriors will be looking to bounce back against a slumping Pelicans team.

The New Orleans Pelicans come into tonight’s matchup with a 13-25 record. They have lost their last three games and will not have any easy test going up against an angry Warriors squad. The Pelicans are back to a healthy roster outside of Tomas Satoransky (COVID) and Zion Williamson (foot). Brandon Ingram leads the team in scoring, averaging 22.2 points per game. The Pelicans rank 25th in offense rating and average 105.4 points per game on 43.4% shooting. Tonight’s matchup will be difficult, going up against a Warriors defense that is allowing just 101.5 points per game to opponents — fewest in the league.

The Warriors sit atop of the Western conference with a 29-8 record. Golden State handled the Pelicans in their first matchup this season, cruising to a 126-85 victory in New Orleans. It is good to note that Ingram was absent in that game, so the Pelicans will have their leading scorer back. Ingram is struggling to find his shot, going 8-for-36 from the field over the last two games since returning from the two-game absence with an injured Achilles. The Warriors are one of the most well-rounded teams in the league, with the second-best net rating in the NBA. Golden State has a major advantage from 3-point land in this one, ranking second in the league and playing a Pelicans team that ranks 26th. Golden State will take a hit with their 3-point production if Curry cannot suit up, but Gary Payton II is shooting 41.5% from beyond the arc and will see an increase in minutes if Curry sits this one out.

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While this line makes it seem like Curry is for sure going to rest, it does not make sense to back a Pelicans team that has lost their last three games by double digits and are just 1-6 against the spread in their last seven against Western Conference teams. Golden State is 18-11-2 against the spread as a favorite and 6-1 against the spread following a loss, with an average margin of 16.6 points. Lay the points with the Warriors, with or without Curry, and watch them cruise to victory over a below average Pelicans squad.

Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: Golden State Warriors -2.5

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Clippers vs. Suns

The Clippers travel to Phoenix on Thursday to take on the 29-8 Suns. The Clippers are 19-19 on the season but have been struggling without their All-Star Paul George, going just 3-7 over their last 10 games. The Suns are going in the opposite direction with an impressive start to the season. Phoenix is 7-3 over their last 10 games and has a 16-4 record at home. Both teams are dealing with a myriad of injuries for tonight’s matchup.

The Suns will be without Landry Shamet and Abdel Nader, who are in the league’s health and safety protocols. Dario Saric and Frank Kaminsky are both nursing knee injuries and will be held out of tonight’s game. Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder and JaVale McGee were able to clear the leagues protocols, but all three will remain out on Thursday due to conditioning. Cameron Johnson and Jalen Smith should get the start again on Thursday. Phoenix ranks seventh in offensive rating, putting up 112.6 points per game as a team. The Suns have also been dominant on the defensive side of the ball, ranking second in defense efficiency.

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The Clippers were already without Kawhi Leonard to start the season and now will be without Paul George for the foreseeable future with a torn ligament in his elbow. Nicolas Batum is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. Ivan Zubac, Brandon Boston and Luke Kennard are in the league’s health and safety protocols. Eric Bledsoe and Reggie Jackson will need to step up the offensive production if the Clippers wish to have any chance to beat the Suns on Thursday. The Clippers are only averaging 103.5 points over their last eight games.

These two teams faced off a few weeks ago, with the total ending at 206 points. Booker and Ayton were absent for the Suns, and George was out for the Clippers. Ayton and George will both be missing again from this one. Both squads are very familiar with each other after a six-game series in the Western Conference Finals last season. The total went under 221 in four of the six games. These two teams rank top seven in the league for fewest points allowed. The Clippers are averaging a total of 211.1 points, and the Suns are averaging a total of 217.1 points per game this season. The under has cashed in 60% of the Clippers road games, and the Suns have an 18-19 over/under on the year. This line looks to be set a few points too high which presents some value for the under in tonight’s divisional showdown.

Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: Total Under 221 Points

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Sean Blazek (aka SweatBets) has contributed to Awesemo since November 2021 and is currently a NBA Content Creator. His articles can be found on Awesemo under the NBA Betting section. Sean has a knack for identifying value in spreads and totals using an analytical approach to find his Best Bets. Follow him on Twitter @SweatBets and get ready to cash.

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