Zach to the Rack: NBA Picks For MLK Jr. Day – 1/18/2021
Zach's Season Record: 14-10
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, NBA fans! I know that during the pandemic parades and gatherings will be limited. So let’s just hope next year we are all back out celebrating in the right manner. Hopefully, these MLK Day picks will help you feel better as you watch the NBA tripleheader that TNT has planned for today. Now, let’s get some money in your pockets.
Last week, NBA flop Josh Jackson killed me with his last-second chuck 3-pointer knocking the Bucks’ 12-point lead down to 9 – thus ruining my spread and making me hate Josh Jackson even more than I did when his mom Apples Jones took money from Kansas to make Josh a Jayhawk. (True story, Apples Jones, Josh’s mom is one of the most corrupt “NBA Dance Moms” of all time.) Anyway, Josh ruined my day – and my perfect record in picking Milwaukee all season. Now, I’m back to re-plant my money trees like I was Kendrick Lamar and make some undeniable MLK Day NBA picks to hopefully avenge my crappy Wednesday five days ago.
Atlanta Hawks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: Minnesota +8 (-140)
Point Total: Under 227.5 (-105)
I can’t deny that Minnesota is currently ranked 15th in their division, but we need to look at strength of schedule. They have played EVERY great team and have lost to most of them, but they are battle-tested and have a backcourt with a LOT of talent. Beasley and D’Angelo are both averaging over 20 points a game and even though Karl Anthony-Towns is out with COVID-19 (get well big fella), Atlanta does not have many quality wins and they are lacking any inside game to take advantage of KAT’s absence.
Trae. I dunno, Trae. I want to see a 50-point game from Trae SO BADLY, but right now his shot is flatlining worse than… Phil Spector. (Too soon?) Anthony Edwards is also starting to develop for the Wolves and with Bogdan out for the Hawks, they aren’t bringing much to the table. Both teams have lost a lot of games recently, but I’m leaning towards Minnesota either winning this game – or at least them NOT losing by more than eight points. And they will make you more money on your $100 bet if they can keep this one close.
I’m leaning towards the UNDER here based on both team’s inconsistent scoring. Last year, 228 seemed like a no-brainer with Trae’s performances, but right now, it just looks unattainable. Atlanta has not covered for me all season, and I don’t see it happening today. In fact, the only time I ever get excited when I hear the word “Atlanta” is when FX announces that Donald Glover is going to make a third season of his TV show of the same name. Apparently, right now the show is on hiatus, however – so I’ll have to settle for the third season of All American tonight. (Actually, great show – other than the lead high school actor being like, 29. Check it out.)
Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Brooklyn +2.5 (+105)
Point Total: Over 238 (-132)
Yo. THIS is the game of the week. Harden and KD (no Kyrie yet) vs. Giannis and Middleton? It’s hard to judge the Nets after one game, but they are out to prove that they can hang with the big boys in this matchup. Milwaukee has had some dicey games on the road this season, needing some late 3s to take down Dallas a few days ago. No matter what, I think we will see one of the closest and most exciting games of this young season.
Harden somehow lost 14 pounds on his flight from Houston to Brooklyn and came out blazing with a triple-double in his debut. Durant made everything look easy, but as I said in my feature on the Nets this week – it looks like the rest of the team are now terrified of shooting the ball. With the Easy Money Sniper and the Beard on the perimeter, are Landry Shamet, Joe Harris, and Jeff Green going to keep working to get open for their shots? They’re going to need to if they plan on getting by Giannis and crew. If Jrue Holiday can disrupt Harden, the Bucks may pull this one off… but I am going to bet that Brooklyn wins or loses in a nail-biter.
Points-wise? Can you deny Harden, Giannis, and KD on the same court? Doubtful. This game could see more pick and pops than a teenager’s acne-ridden face. (Get it? Pick? Pop? SORRY.) Look, I’m not sure why, but Milwaukee suddenly decided recently to stop covering my totals. And now I’ve been afraid to take the over… BUT I still will. Mainly because new teams are hard to get used to (we saw Harden turn the ball over 9 times on his debut), and Milwaukee capitalizes on turnovers better than ANY team in the league. Even if Milwaukee pulls off the win, I think we can get the over here based on the firepower of these ballplayers.
So, enjoy this beautiful MLK Day – as best you can during this pandemic – and make sure to follow me on Twitter @ZachSelwyn1 for more NBA picks and commentary. By the way, I almost picked Orlando to beat the Knicks in the Garden today – so place a totally separate bet on that – OR at least bet that Cole Anthony scores 20 points in his first game in the MECCA. He’s out to prove that, in the draft a few months back, the Knicks chose… poorly.