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USATSI

Happy Wednesday, everybody. It's good to be back. Sorry, I couldn't be around yesterday, but I appreciate Chris Bengel for filling in for me. Actually, I lied to you just now. While I appreciate Chris for filling in, I'm not sorry I wasn't here yesterday because I was getting the first of two COVID vaccine shots yesterday.

The Pfizer is pflowing through my pfeins. It wasn't a big deal, but if any of my picks today are wrong, it's because I had difficulty sleeping last night.

Anyway, we've had a bit of a surprising development today that wasn't a real surprise if you've been paying attention to the situation in recent years, but Arizona fired basketball coach Sean Miller. Miller spent the last 12 seasons with the Wildcats, but his program was also involved in an FBI investigation, which is never a great thing for a coach. Miller is the second member of his family to lose their college coaching gig recently, as his brother Archie Miller was fired at Indiana.

Next month's Memorial Day celebration could be a bit tense at the Miller family outing.

Let's see what else is happening today.

There are only two MLB games this evening, but thankfully there's plenty of NBA games to bet on. Including one involving the return of a superstar.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Pelicans at Nets, 7:30 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Kevin Durant Over 1.5 3pt Field Goals (-160)
: The big story in this game is that Kevin Durant will make his return after missing Brooklyn's last 23 games and 26 of its last 27. Durant has not played since Brooklyn's 134-117 win over Golden State on February 13. So, there might be some rust. Not enough rust to scare me away from his three-point prop, however, as he's facing a New Orleans team that lives to give up threes.

On the season, 43.5% of the shots taken against New Orleans have been from three, for an average of 38.5 attempts per game. They shoot that many because 39.3% of them go in, tied with Sacramento for the worst in the NBA. Before the injury, Durant was averaging just under six three-point attempts per game, and he was making 2.6 of them. He could go over this prop before the first quarter ends.

Key Trend: The Pelicans are one of the worst three-point defenses in the league, allowing opponents to shoot 39.3% while attempting 38.5 per game.

Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Advanced Computer Model has a couple of slight leans on both the spread and total in tonight's game, but there aren't any sparks flying.


💰 The Picks

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🏀 NBA

Grizzlies at Hawks, 8 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass
The Pick: Grizzlies +2 (-110) -- 
I'm looking to take advantage of an Atlanta team that could be a bit tired here. The Hawks will not only be playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, but this will be their seventh game in eight days, and it's their second back-to-back in that stretch. Memphis played on Tuesday night as well, but this will be only their fifth game in that same stretch.

It also doesn't hurt that Memphis has been so good against the spread on the road this season. The Grizzlies are 14-8 ATS on the road and a very nice 14-5 ATS against Eastern Conference teams. Toss in the fact my numbers suggest the Hawks are only about a point better than Memphis, and I see value here.

Key Trend: Memphis is 14-8 ATS on the road this season.

Jazz at Suns, 10 p.m | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Under 227 (-110) -- 
Who would've thought a matchup between the Jazz and Suns would be such a big deal this season? Yet, here we are, and these are the two best teams in the NBA at the moment. Maybe they're not the two favorites to win the title, but you can't argue with their win-loss records.

And they're winning so many games because they've been so good on the defensive end. Utah ranks fourth in the NBA in defensive efficiency, one spot ahead of the Suns. We're likely to see that defense on display in tonight's matchup, and that will keep us under this total. You see, while both teams are also two of the most efficient offenses in the league, neither moves at a quick pace. The Jazz rank 19th in the league in possessions per game, while Phoenix ranks 25th. This should be a tight, slower-paced game with both defenses forcing the other team to run a lot of half-court offense.

Key Trend: The under is 7-2 in the last nine meetings.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The Masters tees off Thursday morning and uncanny golf handicapper Rick Gehman released his best bets for the tournament.


💸 The DFS Rundown

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I'm likely to spend up at PG tonight, as the value options aren't very valuable.

Building Blocks

PG: Trae Young, Hawks
SG: DeMar DeRozan, Spurs
SF: Jaylen Brown, Celtics
PF: Jayson Tatum, Celtics
C: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Value Plays

PG: Derrick White, Spurs
SG: Svi Mykhailiuk, Thunder
SF: Joe Harris, Nets
PF: Aleksej Pokusevski, Thunder
C: Moses Brown, Thunder

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.


🏌 The Masters Top 20 Props

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The Masters tees off on Thursday morning, and we're betting on each of these 10 golfers to finish in the top 20.

  • Sungjae Im +120
  • Webb Simpson +125
  • Abraham Ancer +200
  • Corey Conners +200
  • Jason Kokrak +275
  • Brian Harman +300
  • Christian Bezuidenhout +333
  • Ryan Palmer +350
  • Lanto Griffin +450
  • Brendon Todd +650