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Sean B’s Best NBA Bets Today: Picks & Predictions for 1/4/22

Sean Blazek

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NBA Tuesday welcomes a five-game slate. As always, continue to monitor the injury updates throughout the day as the league has many key players sitting out or questionable with injuries and the league’s health and safety protocols. Let’s dive into the best bets to make tonight and overall NBA betting tips for Tuesday, Jan. 4.

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Best NBA Betting Picks Tonight | Jan. 4

Grizzlies vs. Cavaliers

The Memphis Grizzlies take on the Cleveland Cavaliers inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Tuesday. The Grizzlies are coming off an impressive road victory last night over the Brooklyn Nets. Memphis is 24-14 on the season, good for first in the Southwest division. They will look to extend its five-game winning streak against a banged-up Cavaliers squad. Cleveland enters tonight with a 21-16 record but have managed to drop three of its last four games. The injuries have been a momentum killer for Cleveland, with Ricky Rubio being its latest victim.

Cleveland has now lost Rubio and Colin Sexton to knee injuries for the remainder of the season. The Cavaliers acquired Rajon Rondo in a trade, but he will not be available on Tuesday. Cleveland will be without Isaac Okoro, who is nursing a sprained elbow and expected to miss the next 2-3 weeks. Cedi Osman is still in the health and safety protocols. Darius Garland cleared the COVID protocols but is still a game-time decision on Tuesday due to conditioning. The Cavaliers, who have been known for their defense this season, have slipped as of late, ranking 17th over the last five games. The trio of Jarrett Allen, Kevin Love and Evan Mobley are handling business in the paint, averaging 52.8 points in the paint during this span, but it has not been enough to close out games as of late.

Memphis is without several players in tonight’s matchup. Dillon Brooks, De’Anthony Melton, John Konchar and Kyle Anderson are all in the league’s health and safety protocols. Ziaire Williams is still nursing an ankle injury and is questionable. Even with these pieces missing from its lineup, the Grizzlies have been taking care of business, covering in four of their last five games. Memphis’ offense is averaging 113.4 points on 46% shooting over the last five games. Ja Morant is playing at an All-Star level, averaging 24.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game. Its defense has stepped up as of late, ranking fourth in defensive rating over their last five. The Grizzlies are averaging 56.2 rebounds per game, which should help limit the Cavaliers’ second-chance opportunities.

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The Grizzlies won the first matchup of the season 132-121 in Memphis. The Cavaliers will be missing several key players that they had in the previous matchup, which they lost by double digits. Memphis is 4-2 against the spread on no rest and 12-5 against the spread on the road. Even though Cleveland the league’s best record against the spread, it has failed to cover the spread in its last four games. Take the hotter team with the points in tonight’s matchup, as the Cavaliers will have a hard time finding ways to guard Morant with all the missing pieces in their backcourt.

Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: Memphis Grizzlies +3

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Kings vs. Lakers

The Kings are traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers. These two teams have matched up twice this season already, splitting the series 1-1 with both teams winning on the road. One key note is LeBron James was absent for the Lakers’ loss in the most recent matchup on Nov. 30. James is probable (abdominal) for tonight’s matchup, but the Lakers will be without Anthony Davis, who is nursing a sprained MCL.

The Lakers are 6-5 on the season without Davis, averaging 113.5 points per game and allowing 111.2 points per game to opponents. LeBron is playing lights out, averaging 35.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and six assists over the last seven games. The Lakers have managed to get their record back to .500 and could be turning the tide if they can manage to pull off the victory at home tonight. LeBron has been forced to step up his play on the defensive side of the ball with Davis out, which has shown to take some energy out of LeBron on both ends of the floor.

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Sacramento ranks 28th in the league, allowing opponents 113.7 points per game and 117 points per game on the road. The Kings are fresh off a 3-3 homestand and will now look to break a four-game road losing streak. They will be without big man Richaun Holmes, who entered the leagues health and safety protocols on Saturday. Terence Davis is questionable entering Tuesday, as he is managing an ankle injury that has forced him to miss the last three games. If Davis is unable to take the court, Buddy Hield and Davion Mitchell should continue to see increased minutes. Sacramento has five players averaging double figures in scoring, and the team is averaging 109.5 points per game.

Both teams rank top eight in pace on the season. These two teams are also not afraid to put up shots, as they are both top 10 in field goal attempts per game, averaging around 89 apiece. In addition, both teams rank top five in free-throw attempts per game. The Lakers have a 13-9 over/under record at home, and the Kings are 10-6 over/under record on the road. The Lakers will look to play with high energy and hustle to keep up with the Kings. Expect these two teams to have a battle in a high-scoring shootout inside Crypto.com arena on Tuesday. Take the over with confidence.

Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: Total Over 229 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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