NBA Picks: New Year's Day Basketball Odds & Free Picks Report

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, January 1, 2015 6:34 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 6:34 PM UTC

Looking for a NBA parlay with the Sugar Bowl College Football Playoff game? Well you might be in luck at sportsbooks as there are two games in the Association on Thursday night opposite the bowl game. Here's a look at them with BetOnline NBA odds.

Nuggets vs. Bulls (-10, 204), 8 p.m.
Denver held Indiana to a season-low 73 points in a win on Dec. 20, but that defensive effort clearly was a fluke as the Nuggets have allowed at least 102 points in the five games since, losing four of them. They allowed 111 to a bad Lakers team on Tuesday night in Denver in an 8-point defeat as a solid favorite at sportsbooks. Kobe Bryant had his 21st career triple-double in that one. The Lakers led by as many as 23 in the third quarter. Nuggets reserve guard Nate Robinson was ejected from the game after getting two technical fouls. Ty Lawson and Jusuf Nurkic led Denver with 16 points. The Nuggets were only 8-for-26 from long range and missed 10 free throws out of 27. The team again played without the injured Randy Foye, Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee. The only guy close to returning is Foye, but it won't be here. In addition, small forward Wilson Chandler bruised his right quadriceps in the first half and didn't return. Chandler, third on the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game, is day-to-day. He has been rumored on the trade market.

Sometimes a good team will just lay an egg in a game. It happens to all clubs as it's a grueling, long NBA season. That's exactly what occurred Tuesday night in Chicago as the Bulls were routed by Brooklyn 96-82 to end their seven-game winning streak -- I previewed that game here at SBR and took the double-digit points the Nets were getting on NBA odds. The Bulls looked tired. They shot just 38.4 percent from the field. During their seven-game streak, the Bulls had averaged 106.6 points on 45.4 percent shooting. Derrick Rose had one of his worst games as a pro, shooting 2-for-15 from the field for four points. Red-hot Jimmy Butler was only 3-for-12 for 8 points and a team-worst minus-16 rating. The only Bulls who played well were Mike Dunleavy (23 points) and Joakim Noah (12 points, 12 rebounds). It's one of those you simply throw away.

This is the final meeting of the season between the Nuggets and Bulls. Chicago lost 114-109 in Denver on the second of a back-to-back on Nov. 25. Rose played only 10 minutes because of hamstring tightness. Noah and Taj Gibson missed the game. Check out who Jason likes in this one.


Kings vs. Timberwolves (+4, 211.5), 8 p.m.
Minnesota is by far the worst team in the Western Conference and brings an NBA-high nine-game losing streak into this one. The Timberwolves had a rare close loss during that skid Tuesday night in falling 100-94 in Utah but covering the spread at sportsbooks. That concluded a four-game road trip and was also the ninth straight game Minnesota allowed at least 100 points. The Wolves led Utah by 8 with around four minutes left before collapsing. The lone bright spot was a career-high 30 points from second-year play Shabazz Muhammad. Rookie Andrew Wiggins added 21 points. This is Minnesota's longest losing streak since dropping 11 straight in 2012. The team remains without three injured starters: Ricky Rubio (ankle), Nikola Pekovic (foot and wrist) and Kevin Martin (wrist). They all will miss multiple more games.

It's the second of a back-to-back for Sacramento as it visited Boston on Wednesday afternoon. The Kings entered that game 2-5 since firing head coach Mike Malone and replacing him with Tyrone Corbin, who will keep the job the rest of the season. The Kings had lost five straight road games entering Wednesday. Corbin removed power forward Jason Thompson from the starting lineup for that game and replaced him with Ryan Hollins. Sacramento did win the last time it played the second of a back-to-back but that was home to the sorry Knicks.

The Kings visited Minnesota as 8.5-point favorites at sportsbooks on Nov. 22 and won 113-101.  DeMarcus Cousins dominated with 31 points and 18 rebounds. Wiggins led Minnesota with a career-high 29. The Wolves were missing the three injured starters listed above as well as starting forward Thaddeus Young, the team's leading scorer. Four of the teams' past six meetings have been decided by three points or fewer. Will this one? Check out what Jason's NBA picks are.

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