Good afternoon gamblers, it's Chris Bengel back in your inbox. I trust that everyone had a better weekend than the Cowboys did.
As an Eagles fan, it's my duty to throw shade at the Cowboys whenever possible, which, to be fair, is almost always when the postseason rolls around. The 49ers didn't even play that clean of a game in the Divisional Round. But Dak Prescott helped them out while Ezekiel Elliott proved to just be moving scenery once Tony Pollard left the contest due to injury. Now the 49ers will face off against the Eagles in what promises to be a fantastic NFC Championship Game. Enjoy the final two weekends of NFL action, folks.
Let's get to Tuesday's picks.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Bulls at Pacers, 7 p.m. | TV: NBA.TV
- Key Trend: Bulls are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 0 days rest
- The Pick: Bulls -2.0 (-110)
Normally, I wouldn't take a team on the second night of a back-to-back, but the Bulls have thrived in this scenario of late. It doesn't appear that the Bulls are going to be resting any of their star players, so we should be in the clear. It also doesn't hurt that they're facing a skidding Pacers team.
The Bulls came away with a 111-100 win over a scrappy Hawks team on Monday. It marked Chicago' third consecutive victory and their seventh triumph ATS in the past nine games. One of the reasons that this Bulls teams is so dangerous is that any one of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine or Nikola Vucevic can pour in a 25-30 point outing on a given night. It also doesn't hurt that the Bulls rank 10th in the NBA in three-point shooting with a 37.1 percent clip from long-range.
On the other hand, they'll be facing a Pacers squad that ranks 29th in the league when it comes to defending the three as opponents are shooting 37.4 percent against them. The Pacers are also going to be without star point guard Tyrese Haliburton for the seventh consecutive game due to a knee injury. Indiana is winless since Haliburton exited the lineup and is 1-5 ATS without him, including dropping their last five games ATS. With the spread being this small, take the price while you can get it and exploit the matchup.
💰 More NBA Picks
Cavaliers at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. | TV: NBA.TV
The Pick: Over 221 (-110) -- We're going back to the well once again. The Knicks' over plays have been good to us this season, so I see no reason to fade them now.
The over is 12-5-1 over the Knicks' last 18 games, including the over hitting in six of their last 10 contests. During that recent 10-game stretch, the Knicks are averaging 115.0 points-per-game and haven't netted fewer than 105 points in any of those games.
On the other hand, the Cavaliers are getting some reinforcements back in their starting lineup with star guard Donovan Mitchell likely to return. Mitchell has missed the last three games with a groin injury, but his scoring prowess drastically improves the chances of the over clearing. The Cavaliers' over has hit in five of the team's last 10 contests, including in two of their last three. It could be a nail-biter, but the over should get there.
Key Trend: The over is 12-5-1 in the Knicks' last 18 games
Clippers at Lakers, 10 p.m. | TV: TNT
The Pick: Russell Westbrook Over 18.5 points (-115) -- Don't look now, but the Lakers are actually playing decent basketball and have won three of their last four games. Surprisingly enough, Russell Westbrook has been thriving on the offensive end, so why not take advantage of it.
Westbrook is averaging 19.5 points-per-game in January and has scored at least 19 points in seven of his last eight games. During that stretch, six of those outings have seen him pour in at least 20 points and shoot close to 50.0 percent. Efficiency has never been Westbrook's strong suit, but the tables have been turned in recent weeks. Westbrook's production won't be affected by recent acquisition Rui Hachimura as Hachimura isn't slated to play in Tuesday's game.
Key Trend: Westbrook has scored at least 19 points in seven of his last eight games