Good afternoon sports fans, it's Chris Bengel back with you on this Wednesday.
I hope everybody tuned into that ridiculous finish to Tuesday's game between the Knicks and Mavericks. One nugget outside of Luka Doncic's insane stat line that featured 60 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 rebounds: at one point, the Mavericks' live moneyline was around +1200 on some sportsbooks. I hope someone had the stones to put some money on it.
Let's go back to the NBA for Wednesday's picks.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Timberwolves at Pelicans, 8 p.m. | TV: NBA.TV
- Key Trend: The Timberwolves are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games
- The Pick: Pelicans -6.5 (-110)
The Timberwolves have been in an absolute free fall since Karl-Anthony Towns went down with a calf strain about a month ago. Minnesota is just 6-7 since, including six losses across their last nine contests. Considering the Timberwolves' recent struggles, I'm backing the Pelicans at home in this spot.
It's worth noting that the Pelicans will continue to be without star swingman Brandon Ingram, who has been out of the lineup due to a toe injury since late November. While the Pelicans were banged up prior to Christmas, the majority of the team's rotation is expected to play, including Zion Williamson, who is listed as probable for Wednesday's contest. Williamson has topped the 30-point mark in four of his last six games. It also doesn't hurt that New Orleans is 4-1 ATS in its last five games and scores the second-most points-per-game (117.8) in the league.
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games when facing a team with a winning percentage above .600, and enters with a three-game losing streak.
💰 More NBA Picks
Suns at Wizards, 7 p.m. | TV: NBA.TV
The Pick: Suns -2.0 (-110) -- The Wizards pulled off an impressive upset win over the Sixers on Tuesday. I'm not expecting lightning to strike twice, especially against another one of the league's elite teams.
Despite being without star guard Devin Booker, the Suns still came away with dominant 125-108 win over the Grizzlies, who are just two games back of the top spot in the Western Conference. Being without Booker isn't ideal, but the Suns have the necessary depth to withstand such a loss. Expect Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges to shoulder the scoring load on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Suns also hold a 19-9 record ATS in their last 28 games against the Wizards. It's possible that the Wizards could be without star guard Bradley Beal after Beal suffered a hamstring injury on Tuesday. If he can't go, this line could be a steal.
Key Trend: The Suns are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 meetings in Washington
Nets at Hawks, 7:30 p.m. | TV: NBA TV
The Pick: Kevin Durant Over 28.5 Points (-121) -- The Nets are on an eight-game winning streak, thanks in large part to Kevin Durant. He's registered at least 29 points in six of his last nine contests, including five 30-point performances. Of note, Durant is shooting 41.2 percent from three and has drilled multiple threes in seven of his last eight games.
The Hawks are one of the better teams when it comes to defending the perimeter. However, they still allow 115.3 points-per-game, which is 20th in the NBA. Durant should score early and often and take advantage of a team that is on the second night of a back-to-back in Atlanta.
Key Trend: Durant has scored at least 29 points in six of his last nine games