NBA

Best bets for a night that features only two NBA games

Hello, and Happy Tuesday. I hope you’re doing well. I’m fine, though I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still a bit sore over the way things went in Monday’s newsletter. Between my three game picks and four NBA props, only one of the seven picks won. Not even the Brook Lopez Over 0.5 assists prop — a prop which could rebuild entire economies! — won.

Still, while nights like that will happen, what I remain most annoyed about was the end of the Baylor-Kansas game. No, not the meaningless three-pointer by Kansas at the buzzer that killed Baylor -8.5 tickets. I’m angry about Kansas repeatedly sending Baylor to the free-throw line in the final two minutes despite being down double digits. Listen, I understand the whole “never give up” approach, but some of us are on the under! Some of us need that under to cash to at least salvage something from an awful night!

When will college coaches consider the plight of the under bettor? It’s clear we can’t rely on them, because they let us down time and time again. It’s on us to raise awareness, so make sure you spread the word throughout your communities. Stop fouling in the final minutes when you’re down double-digits. It’s good for the economy.

Reading these stories will be good for the economy too.

Alright. Tonight will be better than last night. It almost has to be.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Pelicans at Jazz, 9 p.m. | TV: NBA TV
The Pick: Under 217.5 (-110)
: The New Orleans defense has fallen off a cliff lately, and I’m left trying to figure out whether it’s due to the fact the Pelicans were overperforming to start the season or that they’ve just gone through a bad run. Even when ending their five-game losing streak against Sacramento on Sunday, they allowed 123 points. Even so, my inkling is that this has been a bad stretch, and tonight presents a chance to recover.

Check out more experts picks on The Early Edge podcast — download and subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, or listen below:

Utah ranks 10th in the NBA in offensive efficiency, but it moves at a slower pace. The Jazz rank 26th in the league in possessions per game at 101.5. One spot ahead of them, at 101.7 possessions per game, we find the Pelicans. The slow pace that both of these teams move at, combined with a solid Utah defense (6th in the league in efficiency) and a New Orleans defense I believe is better than recent numbers show, all have me leaning toward the under in this spot.

Key Trend: The under is 5-0 in Utah’s last five as a favorite and 4-1 in New Orleans’ last five as a road dog.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game: This is one of only two NBA games on the schedule tonight, so you know the Advanced Computer Model has been giving it the extra special attention.


💰 The Picks


USATSI

🏀 College Basketball

Kansas State at Oklahoma, 6:30 p.m. | TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma
The Pick: Oklahoma Over 75.5 (+100) — 
I wanted to take Kansas State and the points in this spot because 14 points struck me as too much, but I just couldn’t find enough to convince me. The most significant factor working against the play is that Kansas State’s defense has been awful. The Wildcats rank 176th nationally in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom, but unless they force turnovers, teams can get buckets on them at will. Opponents have an eFG% of 55.3% against them this season, which ranks 322nd nationally. Opponents shoot 55.5% from two (315th) and 36.7% from three (282nd).

Oklahoma is a team that does not turn the ball over. Their turnover rate on offense ranks 15th nationally. While they aren’t a great shooting team, they shoot well enough, and given the way Kansas State defends, I’m expecting the Sooners to have a healthy offensive night.

Key Trend: Against teams ranked outside the top 50 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom, Oklahoma is averaging 84.8 points per game.

Maryland at No. 7 Michigan, 7 p.m. | TV: FS1
The Pick: Maryland +10.5 (-110) — 
When Michigan lost to Minnesota on Saturday, I told myself I would hammer the Wolverines in this game. Michigan played so out of character that I believed we could see an overreaction to the line. We haven’t. Instead, we haven’t seen a correction at all, and Michigan is still being overvalued in this spot.

Don’t get me wrong, Michigan is a legit Final Four contender, and it’s much better than the team we saw against Minnesota, but I don’t have it as 10.5 points better than Maryland. The Terps have enough offense and size to give Michigan problems and stay within single digits.

Key Trend: The road team has covered six of the last eight meetings.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Uncanny golf handicapper Rick Gehman gives his best bets for the PGA Tour event in La Quinta, including a couple of massive long-shot plays.


💸 The DFS Rundown


USATSI

With only two games on tonight’s slate, I’m only listing my favorite players at each position.

Favorites

PG: George Hill, Thunder
SG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder
SF: Brandon Ingram, Pelicans
PF: Isaiah Roby, Thunder
C: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Full lineup advice

Get winning NBA DFS picks from SportsLine pros Mike McClure and Jacob Gibbs. McClure has won almost $2 million in daily Fantasy, while Gibbs crushed the NBA last season, cashing around 65 percent of the time in cash games and nearly 45 percent of the time in tournaments. See their DraftKings advice and FanDuel lineups here.


 🏀 College Basketball Parlay


USATSI

A four-team money line parlay paying +136.

  • Tennessee (-320)
  • Missouri (-250)
  • Toledo (-1600)
  • Illinois (-475)



 

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