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NBA Picks and Predictions for January 24th

Yesterday was a slow day in the NBA with only the Nuggets and Pacers seeing action. Alas, we are back today with a nice robust slate of games, and of course some free picks to help you navigate the day.

The game that most piques my curiousity is Memphis’s trip to Toronto. It is the kind of game that Memphis needs to win if they have serious aspirations of becoming a playoff team in the competitive West…but I have no idea what to expect. No team has been more erratic than the young Grizzlies. One night they are beating the Lakers and Heat, the next they are getting rolled up by the Nets and Kings. I am intrigued by the game tonight, but won’t touch it with a ten foot pole. There are far easier games to wager tonight without riding on the Memphis Grizzly roller coaster.

Today’s picks feature a little Eastern Conference action and a Western Conference nightcap.

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Today’s Free NBA Picks:

Phoenix Suns @ Philadelphia 76’ers -4 (Total: 207) @ Bodog.com

Very quietly Philadelphia has inched back into the #7 spot in the Eastern Conference and is playing like a team that deserves to make the playoffs. The Sixers will attempt to win their fourth straight game at home tonight when the Suns come to town.

Phily has already beaten the Suns once this season, a pleasant surprise-win out in Phoenix last month. One of the reasons for Phily’s turnaround has been their solid defense – allowing only 93 ppg, good for seventh-best in the league.

Phoenix is rarely wont for offense, averaging a league-best 105.3 points per game on the road this season. However, the stat that gets my attention is the league-best 30.2% FG percentage allowed from the behind the arc at home. Translated, that means the 76’ers defend the three point line well at home. Phoenix is as jump-shot reliant as any team in the league.

I like Phily to contest shots and force Phoenix into a low-percentage night from the floor – and get a nice home win as the begin to solidify their playoff standing.

PICK: Philadelphia 76’ers -4 (-105) at Bodog.com compared to -4.5 (-103) at 5Dimes

San Antonio Spurs -5 @ Golden State Warriors (Total: 211) @ 5Dimes.com

At first blush, this line seemed absurdly low to me. The Spurs are one of the three or four true elite teams in the NBA. The Warriors are one of the league’s worst teams. So why only a 5-point spread? I’ve learned that when it seems to good to be true with Vegas…it usually is. So I dug a little deeper into the numbers.

OK – so the Warriors are pretty good at home, sporting a 13-7 home record that is even more impressive when contrasted against their dismal 19-24 overall record. The Warriors can also score points; we all know that. But can they defend the Spurs?

If the Warriors are good at home, then the Spurs are great on the road. Their 13-5 mark on the road is about as good as it gets in the NBA. Add in the fact they have won 11 straight contests against their friends from the Bay and I once again feel great about having to only lay five.

Gimme the Spurs in yet another road win for Manu, Tony and Timmy.

PICK: San Antonio Spurs -5 (-109) at 5Dimes.com – compared to -6 (-105) at Bodog

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