Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics

Thursday, 1/20 at 5:30pm MST on ESPN in Boston

The Boston Celtics (45-18, 2nd in the East) have been in the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference seemingly all season long and they have earned their placement among the true contenders in the NBA. That is why this will be such a tough challenge for the Brooklyn Nets (34-28, 6th in the East) to overcome with their new-look team after trading away Kevin Durant.

The Brooklyn Nets will take on one of the Eastern Conference's best teams in the Celtics and they will have to do so without Ben Simmons, who is still nursing a sore left knee. Yuta Watanabe will be out with back soreness and Edmond Sumner will miss the matchup for personal reasons.

The Celtics have been a spectacular team all season long and there is just no denying that. Jayson Tatum has been playing at a near-MVP level all season long an Jaylen Brown completes arguably the best star pairing in the league.

The Celtics will look to continue their dominant ways with a mostly clean injury report. Malcolm Brogan is on the report, but is listed as probable with a right ankle sprain. Jaylen Brown will also be available despite his facial fracture. That leaves Danilo Gallinari as the lone injured player for the Celtics.

DraftKings Odds

  • As to be expected, with the far superior Celtics hosting the new-look Nets, the betting line heavily favors the Celtics at -11 according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
  • The total points line in this one is a good looking wager though at 222.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook which seems a bit low.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Denver Nuggets

Thursday, 1/5 at 8pm MST on ESPN in Denver

This will be a battle of the best in the West. The Denver Nuggets (44-19, 1st in the West) will be hosting the Memphis Grizzlies (38-23) in a game that could ultimately swing who ends up claiming the title of Western Conference’s top seed.

The Nuggets have been at the top all season long and show no signs of slowing. If anything, they are just getting better. They are 28-4 at home this season and 31-12 against the West overall. That is why the Nuggets are 4.5 point favorites despite taking on the next best squad in their conference.

As usual, the Denver Nuggets injury report is long. Zeke Nnaji will miss another game with a right shoulder strain. Aaron Gordon is listed as probable with a left rib contusion that he has been nursing for a while now. Vlatko Cancar is questionable with a right wrist sprain. Michael Porter Jr. is also listed and is probable with a left heel strain that the team is trying to manage. Lastly, Collin Gillespie will continue to be out as he has been all season with a right lower leg fracture.

The Grizzlies have been chasing Denver virtually all season long. They currently sit five games and four losses behind the Nuggets in their pursuit of the top seed in the West. It will take a herculean effort from the Grizzlies to pull it off…or a dramatic change of course by the Nuggets.

The Grizzlies will take on the Western Conference’s best in the Nuggets without Steven Adams who is out with a PCL strain in his right knee. Ja Morant is listed as available with a nasal fracture.

DraftKings Odds

  • As stated above, the Nuggets enter their home matchup with the Grizzlies as 4.5 point favorites which feels just right.
  • The total points in this one is 233.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook which does feel a touch too high, but this Nuggets offense is that good so maybe Vegas is just ahead of the curve once again.