TheSpread.com NBA Picks and Predictions 1/27

TheSpread.com NBA Picks and Predictions 1/27

Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their NBA picks and predictions for Tuesday, January 27.

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Denver Nuggets at Memphis Grizzlies, 8:05PM ET

There are plenty of problems on Lionel Hollins' plate now that he's taken over as Memphis Grizzlies coach. His first order of business is trying to get a couple of long losing streaks stopped.

In Hollins' first game at the helm Tuesday night, the Grizzlies look to avoid dropping 10 in a row for the first time in more than seven years, while also trying to avert a sixth straight defeat to the Denver Nuggets.

Hollins takes over for Marc Iavaroni, who was fired Thursday after compiling a 33-90 record in 1 1/2 seasons. He's inheriting a team that's lost 17 of its last 19, including nine straight for the first time in a single season since dropping its first 13 games in 2002-03.

Mayo had a big game against Denver in November, finishing with 31 points and eight rebounds. He leads the team with 19.1 points per game.

NBA Free Pick: UNDER  – Best Line: 201 Sports Interaction

San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz, 9:05PM ET

A home game against one of the league's top teams didn't help the struggling Utah Jazz over the weekend.

Maybe this one could.

The Jazz, in danger of losing four straight for the first time this season, look to hand the San Antonio Spurs their fifth consecutive regular season loss in Salt Lake City on Tuesday night.

Utah (25-20) has lost three in a row for the second time this season, matching its skid from Nov. 12-15. A loss to the Spurs (29-14) would give the Jazz four straight defeats for the first time since a six-game slide in December 2007.

Even when struggling, Utah can usually count on a boost at EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz have one of the NBA's best home records this season at 17-5 after going a league-best 37-4 in 2007-08.

Utah has played one of its last three at home, but lost that contest 102-97 to Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland on Saturday night for its first defeat in eight games at EnergySolutions Arena.

Two of Utah's wins there last season were against the Spurs, who have lost four straight regular season games in Salt Lake City since a 95-86 win on April 4, 2006. Utah has held San Antonio to 80.8 points per game during that stretch, and it can certainly use another strong effort on defense against a Spurs team which owns the second-best record in the West.

The Jazz have struggled to stop the opposition offensively during their skid, giving up 109.0 points a contest. They're coming off one of their worst defensive games of the season, losing 117-97 to Denver on Sunday night.

NBA Free Pick: San Antonio – Best Line: +2.5 Sports Interaction

Charlotte Bobcats at LA Lakers, 10:35PM ET

The Los Angeles Lakers made a big statement in their last game, easily defeating their closest competitor in the Western Conference standings.

While a win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday won't have nearly the same impact, the Lakers would still like to improve upon a frustrating record against that perennially struggling franchise.

Los Angeles (35-8) is beginning to run away with the West, taking a six-game lead over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday after defeating them 99-85. The Lakers have the NBA's best record.

The game was so lopsided that Kobe Bryant sat out the fourth quarter, finishing with 22 points. Andrew Bynum had 15 points and 11 rebounds for his third straight double-double and Pau Gasol, the only starter to play in the final period, added 16 points.

The win was the 14th in 17 games for the Lakers, who held the Spurs to 37.5 percent shooting in one of their best defensive efforts of the season. They led by as many as 21 points and had five players score in double figures, including Jordan Farmar, who had 14 points in his return after missing 17 games because of an injured left knee.

NBA Free Pick: Utah – Best Line: +11 Sports Interaction

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