Good afternoon, it's Chris Bengel back with you once again this Tuesday. I hope the long holiday weekend was good to everyone and produced a large amount of winners -- whether it was on the hardwood or the gridiron.
It's a good time of year to be a sports gambler. We've got NFL playoff games for the next few weekends on top of a larger sample size when it comes to the NBA and college basketball. Since most NBA teams took the court on MLK Day, there's a limited NBA slate tonight -- but there is one game I'm very comfortable attacking.
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Let's dive right into the picks and win some cash!
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
The Pick: Timberwolves -3.0 (-110): As I mentioned in the introduction, many teams played on MLK Day on Monday. The Timberwolves were one team that didn't take the court, but the Knicks were in action. With that in mind, I'm more than comfortable rolling with the fresher team in this one.
The Timberwolves have won five of their last seven games and are coming off a convincing 119-99 win over the Warriors. Minnesota possesses one of the higher scoring offenses around the NBA as they're putting 110.1 points-per-game. On top of that, star big man Karl-Anthony Towns has been on fire as of late. Towns has averaged 29.3 points and 9.3 rebounds over the team's last four games and I don't see the Knicks being able to slow him down. The Timberwolves are also 8-3-1 against the spread over their last 12 games.
The Knicks fell 97-87 at the hands of the Hornets on Monday and only shot 40.0 percent in that contest. In addition, the Knicks aren't a team that scores a ton of points on a nightly basis. New York averages just 104.2 points per contest, which is fourth-worst in the entire league. On the second night of a back-to-back and the spread being a small number, I'm simply fading the Knicks in a big way.
Key Trend: Timberwolves are 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine road games against a team with a losing home record
💰 The Picks
🏀 One more Timberwolves vs. Knicks pick
The Pick: D'Angelo Russell Over 6.5 assists (-130): -- I'm already fading the Knicks when it comes to the spread, so let's continue that trend. Over the Timberwolves' last eight games, guard D'Angelo Russell has registered at least seven assists in six of those contests. Additionally, Russell has recorded double-digit assists in those six occasions in which he surpassed this number. Despite shooting just 2-of-9 from the field against the Warriors, Russell still saw the court very well as he dished out 12 assists on the night. With a team that boasts weapons like Anthony Edwards and Towns, Russell should have no problem reaching this number.
Key Trend: Russell has had at least seven assists in six of his last eight games
Hurricanes at Bruins, 7 p.m. | TV: NHL.TV
The Pick: Over 5.5 goals (-110) -- Betting the NHL is always about the goaltending matchup, but sometimes even with good goaltenders, it just doesn't matter. The Hurricanes will be likely be starting Frederik Andersen in between the pipes while the Bruins will send Tuukka Rask to the ice in this matchup. It's been no secret that Andersen has been one of the most impressive goalies in the league this season. He boasts a 2.03 goals-against-average (second in the NHL) and a .928 save percentage (third in the NHL) while playing for one of the better teams across the league.
Meanwhile, the sample size isn't quite as big for Rask. This will be just the second start of the season for Rask after he recently re-signed with the team following offseason hip surgery. The 34-year old netminder stopped 25 of 27 shots in a 3-2 Bruins' win over the Flyers. It's worth noting that the Flyers have lost eight consecutive games and have been in an absolute free fall since firing head coach Alain Vigneault.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Rask give up more than a few goals in this one considering that the Hurricanes are one of the more lethal offenses around. The Hurricanes average 3.4 goals-per-game and have scored at least four goals in four of their last six games. The over just makes too much sense in this spot.
Key Trend: The over is 6-1 in the Bruins' last seven games against a team with a winning percentage above .600