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Sean B’s Best NBA Bets Today: Picks & Predictions for 1/7/22

Sean Blazek

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The under on the game totals was the play of the night on Thursday, cashing in three of the four games. Friday kicks off the weekend with an action-packed slate consisting of nine games across the league. Make sure to keep an eye on injury news and updates throughout the day, as there are several key players out for Friday’s action. Let’s dive into the best NBA bets and picks to make today and overall NBA betting tips for Friday, Jan. 7.

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Best NBA Betting Picks Today | Jan. 7

Cavaliers vs. Trail Blazers Best Bets

The Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Portland on Friday to kick off a six-game road trip. Cleveland will be looking to break out of a slump after dropping five of their last seven games. They were able to get Darius Garland back on Tuesday. Garland ended with a game-high 27 points and 10 assists, but the Cavs came up short 110-106 to Memphis. The Trail Blazers will look to defend their home court on Friday and will have to do so without their two leading scorers, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

The Cavaliers enter tonight’s matchup with a 21-17 record. Several of their recent losses can be contributed to some key missing players, but Cleveland comes into tonight a healthier squad than the Trail Blazers. Outside of Ricky Rubio and Colin Sexton, who are both out for the year, Isaac Okoro will be the only other player absent for Cleveland, as he underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with an elbow sprain that will have him sidelined for the next few weeks. Cedi Osman and newly acquired Rajon Rondo are both probable for Friday. The Cavaliers frontcourt is going to present problems for a Trail Blazers squad that will be without Larry Nance Jr., as he has been ruled out with a knee injury. Cleveland’s defense ranks third on the season in defensive efficiency, holding opponents to 102.6 points per game. The Cavaliers rank sixth in opponent rebounds allowed, which will pose as a challenge for a Trail Blazers squad that ranks 26th in rebounds per game.

Portland has hit a rough patch and will have to continue to find ways to compete while McCollum and Lillard recover. Anfernee Simmons has stepped up over the past two games to lead the scoring both nights, but expect some regression out of him tonight, as the Cavaliers allowed the fourth-fewest points to shooting guards this season. Portland is averaging 112.6 points per game at home, but without several key players, it will be tough for them to reach this average tonight.

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Portland started off the season hot at home, but they have recently lost three of their last four inside Moda Center. These two teams matched up once this season with the total ending at 211 points. Cleveland has cashed the under in 59.5% percent of their games this season. Portland has extremely limited offensive options with all the injuries they are dealing with. Cleveland’s defense will suffocate the few options the Trail Blazers are working with. Expect Cleveland to hold the Portland under 100 points and push this game under. Take the under with confidence, and expect the Cavaliers get back in the win column on Friday.

Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: Total Under 217 Points

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Kings vs. Nuggets Best Bets

The Sacramento Kings will travel to Denver on Friday evening for a showdown against the Nuggets. The Kings come into this one with a 16-24 record, 11th in the Western Conference. The Nuggets hold a 18-18 record, seventh in the West. These two teams will face off tonight for their first of four matchups this season.

Sacramento dropped its second consecutive game on Wednesday, coming up short at home 108-102 versus the Atlanta Hawks. De’Aaron Fox finished with 30 points and six assists, while Tyrese Haliburton contributed 24 points for the Kings. Sacramento ranks 18th on the season in offensive rating, averaging 109.4 points per game on 45.3% shooting from the field. They have been dealing with the loss of center Richaun Holmes, who entered the leagues health and safety protocols on Saturday. Chimezie Metu (COVID) is out Friday, and Terence Davis (ankle) is questionable. Maurice Harkless and Tristian Thompson will likely see an increase role with Metu and Holmes sidelined.

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The Denver Nuggets are led by Nikola Jokic, who is making his case for back-to-back MVP trophies. Jokic is averaging 25.7 points, 14.2 rebounds and seven assists on the year. He is coming off a monster game on Wednesday where he posted a triple-double that included 26 points, 21 rebounds and 11 assists. Unfortunately, his performance was not enough for the Nuggets to pull off the win, as they were defeated 115-109 to Utah. Tonight they will look to bounce back at home against the Kings. Aaron Gordon and Bones Hyland, who have both been dealing with non-COVID illnesses, are listed as probable for Friday. Jeff Green and Zeke Nnaji are both questionable as they look to clear the league’s health and safety protocols. Denver ranks eighth in effective field goal percentage with 105.9 points per game. They will be facing a Sacramento defense that ranks 27th in defensive rating.

The Kings have an average combined score of 229 on the road this season. The Nuggets average a combined score of 207 at home. Both teams hold .500 over/under record on the season. In their three matchups last season, the total averaged 239.6 points combined and went over 225 points in all three games. The Nuggets do not have trouble putting up points against teams with poor defenses. Look for their offensive to use this matchup to get back on track and put up above average points against a below-average Kings defense. Take the over in this one.

Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: Total Over 225.5 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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