Astros-Mariners features a lopsided pitching matchup to take advantage of, plus other best bets for Tuesday

Good afternoon everyone. It’s Chris Bengel here again to guide you on the road to gambling success while Tom is off for a few days. This is definitely one of the more fun weeks of the sports calendar in my book. Thursday marks the start of the NFL Draft, which is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s one event that I steer clear of from a betting standpoint, because you truly don’t know what will happen aside from Trevor Lawrence being picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

We also have Major League Baseball in full swing, the NBA playoff picture coming into a clear focus … and one of the biggest gambling events of the year, the Kentucky Derby, this weekend.

That’s a lot of exciting action, but let’s take it one day at a time, starting with some winners for tonight’s slate.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

Mariners at Astros, 8:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Astros -1.5 (+100)

If you’re trying to pick the winner of an MLB game between a pitcher that has a 6.04 ERA and one that has a 1.32 ERA, it’s pretty clear where your head is going. Tonight, Seattle starting pitcher Marco Gonzales is the owner of a 1-2 record to go along with that lofty 6.04 ERA. I will say that Gonzales has been fairly solid in each of his last two starts, with the most recent being against the Dodgers. However, Gonzales also surrendered 12 home runs in his first two starts this season. In addition, the lefty has an inflated 8.68 ERA in away games and I expect that trend to hold true in this one. 

On the other side, the Astros have an extremely dangerous lineup. The likes of Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez are off the COVID-19 list and back in the lineup. As a team, the Astros are hitting .260 this season, which is good for fourth in all of baseball. It also doesn’t hurt that the Mariners are hitting just .215 as a team despite the likes of Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager absolutely raking so far. 

Lastly, Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier has been the definition of solid in three starts this season. While Javier hasn’t gone more than five innings in any of those starts, the Astros pitcher has only given up two total runs while striking out 20 batters. Javier’s steady approach, combined with the Astros lineup, lead me to believe that Houston will cover the -1.5 run line with ease.

Key Trend: Astros are 4-1 in their last five games as a favorite.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: Sportsline’s game forecast has a slight lean for the money line and spread on this matchup — and both favor the same side.

💰 The Picks



Milwaukee Bucks at Charlotte Hornets, 7 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass
The Pick: Hornets (+9)
The Hornets have been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA this season. It wouldn’t have been a surprise to see this young team fall off a little bit with talented rookie LaMelo Ball and veteran forward Gordon Hayward on the injured list … but the Hornets have managed to rip off wins against the Nets and Trail Blazers as of late. Charlotte also defeated the Bucks earlier this month. It’s worth noting that Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday didn’t play in that game, but the Hornets still came away with an eight-point victory.

The Bucks are going to have Antokounmpo and the usual cast of characters in this matchup, which does make things a little bit tougher for the Hornets. However, Charlotte was incredibly efficient in their most recent matchup against the Boston Celtics. The Hornets dominated the pace of play for the majority of the contest and shot 50.5 percent from the field. Point guard Devonte’ Graham was sensational all afternoon as he scored 24 points and nailed six threes.

While I certainly don’t expect Charlotte to beat Milwaukee outright, the Hornets have more than enough firepower to stay with the Bucks for the majority of the game. The group of Graham, Miles Bridges, P.J. Washington and Terry Rozier have been phenomenal as of late and nine points should be an easy number to stay within in this one.

Key Trend: Hornets are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games

Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets, 9 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass
The Pick: Over 234 (-110)
Late in the NBA season, you might ask why in the world anyone should care about a game between two of the worst teams in the league. Watching the Rockets face off against the Timberwolves certainly isn’t something that fans are going to watch for the love of the game. However, there’s definitely some value here for two teams that give up a ton of points.

Minnesota is surrendering 117.7 points-per-game to their opponents while the Rockets are giving up 115.0 points a game. The Rockets are certainly a far cry from the team that nearly went to the NBA Finals a few years ago. Despite not having John Wall for the remainder of the season, the Rockets still have topped the 100-point mark in each of their last two games — which were against two of the Western Conference’s more elite teams in the Nuggets and Clippers.

The Timberwolves have topped the century mark in points in each of their last seven games. It also doesn’t hurt that 2020 No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards has scored at least 23 points in three of Minnesota’s last four games and is averaging nearly 20 points-per-game against the Rockets this year.

These are two teams that will get up and down the floor and not a ton of defense will be played. While 234 points is quite a big number, this will get covered despite not much star power on the Houston side of this matchup.

Key Trend: The over is 4-0 in games involving the Timberwolves when the team is coming off zero days rest (the Timberwolves beat the Utah Jazz 105-104 on Monday)

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The simulation model’s strongest lean on Tuesday night involves the spread of Spurs vs. Heat.

⚾ MLB Stack Attack

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We’re going to look to exploit Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez tonight.

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