NBA Picks: NBA Locks for Sunday 1/4

David Lawrence

Sunday, January 4, 2015 11:13 AM GMT

Approaching the midway point in terms of the 82 games on the full slate. Legs are getting weary and focus is that much more precious a commodity. Here are three selections from Sunday’s NBA card.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
NBA Odds: Mavericks -7
While the Cleveland Cavaliers know that there is no dominant team in the Eastern Conference, they also know that the next week and a half will be endured without LeBron James in the lineup. LeBron has been forced to sit with accumulated injuries, a not entirely unexpected result of the toll taken on his body over time. LeBron is now 30-years-old. He’s not a young man in basketball terms or in terms of being an athlete. There’s no long-term structural damage or any cause for concern on a larger level, but LeBron will have to manage his body a little better. This much is clear. Without LeBron on the floor, Cleveland was able to get past the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night, but Charlotte is a long way from the Dallas Mavericks, an elite team now equipped with an All-Star at the point in Rajon Rondo. Dallas has a full assortment of pieces to offer. Cleveland, without LeBron, does not. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving will have to carry this team right now, but they’re probably not going to be ready to do so. Take the Mavericks on the road with your NBA picks. They’ve won four straight and seven of nine, and should extend those streaks.

Free NBA Pick: Dallas -7 at The Greek

Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat
NBA Odds: Nets -1.5
This is a game in which the Heat’s injuries – to Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts – might not matter, but then again, it’s hard to see how Miami can endure these setbacks. The Heat are 2-0 against the Nets this season and they won in Brooklyn right after the Bosh injury as well. However, can the Heat make it 3-0 against the Nets, with Bosh and McRoberts out? That’s going to be very hard to do. What should also be said is that the Nets have finally begun to play well, winning their last three and six of their last 10 to reach the .500 mark. The Heat have lost three in a row and just don’t seem very likely to be able to remain in a playoff spot as the season continues. Nets NBA odds opened at-1.5 at the moment of press and it's a good call to take them here and add them to your pro basketball picks..

Free NBA Pick: Brooklyn -1.5 at Bovada

Toronto Raptors vs. Phoenix Suns
NBA Odds: Suns -1
This is a very attractive game between one of the top teams in the East and a playoff contender in the very deep Western Conference. Toronto is winding down a long Western road trip. The Raptors have just lost to both Portland and Golden State. Now they make their way to the Southwest to face the Suns, which are holding down the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, just ahead of New Orleans and Oklahoma City. Both teams are 7-3 in their last 10 games, so that’s a wash. The feeling here is that Phoenix is a lot more rested, while Toronto just wants to get back to Canada. The Raptors won’t have enough energy to win this. Make Phoenix your NBA pick.

Free NBA Pick: Phoenix -1 at 5Dimes