NBA Picks: Sunday Picks of the Day

Steven Suarez

Sunday, January 5, 2014 2:22 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 2:22 PM UTC

Seven games make up the schedule, including an early matchup between Detroit and Memphis. Which two picks hold value in our eyes?

Boston Celtics vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder will hope to avoid a letdown after a terrific come-from-behind win over Minnesota last night. They're favored by nine points for this home game against the Celtics, while the O/U is at 196.

Kevin Durant was out of this world, scoring 48 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists. He hit numerous big shots down the stretch, including the game-winner jumper with four seconds to go.

Boston has been off since Friday's 95-92 home loss to New Orleans. The Celtics have lost three straight and six of their last seven to drop to 13-20 SU overall (16-16-1 ATS).

A lot of points were scored in the Thunder's amazing win last night, but that bound to be the case against the high-scoring Timberwolves.

We expect a different kind of game tonight with the Celtics coming to town. Both teams rank in the top ten in defensive efficiency, with Oklahoma City in second (97.7 points allowed per 100 possessions) and Boston in tenth (101.7).

The Celtics have had a lot of trouble scoring the ball lately, averaging a mere 89.4 PPG over their past five. The Thunder have been better in that regard (101.6 PPG), but they're still way below their season average with Russell Westbrook out.

Tonight we don't see an offensive explosion coming, so we'll take the UNDER to come through as one of our NBA picks.

Pick: UNDER 196


Golden State Warriors vs. Washington Wizards

Winners of eight straight, the Warriors will take on John Wall and the Wizards in hopes of getting a ninth consecutive victory. Golden State is favored by 3.5 points at the sportsbooks, with the O/U at 203.

It's been quite a run for the Warriors. Five of their wins have come on the road, including victories over the defending champion Heat, as well as the Hawks and Nuggets. They've also beaten both Los Angeles teams (along with the Suns) at home.

A great balance has been key to success for Mark Jackson's team. They're averaging 108.2 points per game (on 49.1 percent shooting) and are holding opponents to 97.0 PPG on 42.3 percent shooting in their last five contests.

The Wizards are having a tough time, especially after a double-digit loss (88-101) at home to the surging Raptors. They've now gone 2-3 SU and ATS over their last five, though they're still a solid 5-3 SU in their previous eight.

Washington's home form has left a lot to be desired this season. They're 7-7 SU and 7-7 ATS and have lost five of their past six straight up at the Verizon Center.

There's instability in the Washington camp right now, with disagreements popping up between coaches and players due to the struggles over the past couple of games. The Wizards need to be really careful tonight by bringing a concentrated effort, or they could easily get blown out by a Golden State team that can catch fire easily.

We realize the Warriors are going to be a heavy public play here, but we're going to ride them while they're hot. They're playing with a lot more confidence than the Wizards and should be able to secure the win despite being on the road.

Pick: Golden State Warriors -3.5


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