Good afternoon, it's Chris Bengel back in the saddle. Have you emotionally recovered from the insanity of the NFL's divisional round this past weekend?
At this point, I'm absolutely terrified to bet the remainder of the NFL postseason. As a Buffalo Bills bettor, I don't think I've ever felt such a range of emotions in such a short period of time. My condolences if you're a Bills fan. That just didn't seem fair.
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With the NFL playoffs taking a backseat until Sunday, let's shift our focus towards the NBA, where I have two picks that should win us some money tonight. Put those Bills tickets in the rearview mirror and let's get into tonight's picks!
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
The Pick: Under 217.0 points (-110): The Nuggets and Pistons did battle on Sunday and easily surpassed this number. However, I simply don't see it happening again. We're not talking about two juggernaut offenses here. The Nuggets average just 107.9 points-per-game, which ranks 18th in the entire NBA. The Pistons are one of the worst offenses around with just 102.0 points-per-game, which ranks only ahead of the Thunder.
In addition, the Nuggets just happen to be one of the better defensive teams in the NBA. Denver is holding their opponents to 106.9 points-per-game and just a 34.3 percent shooting clip from three. We're not exactly talking about a lethal offense when it comes to the Pistons, so I'm very confident that the under will cash for us in this one.
Key Trend: The under is 6-1 in the Nuggets' last seven road games
💰 The Picks
The Pick: Hornets +2.5 (-110): -- The Raptors recently wrapped up a five-game road trip in which they came out on the losing end in three of those contests. They followed that up with a 114-105 loss to the Damian Lillard-less Trail Blazers on Sunday. It's also worth noting that Raptors guard Fred VanVleet was a late addition to the team's injury report. VanVleet is currently being listed as questionable with a sore right knee. That leads me to believe that it's possible that VanVleet doesn't suit up in this one and Dalano Banton would likely start in his place if VanVleet can't go.
With the spread being this small, I'm siding with the Hornets, who can easily grab the road win even if VanVleet does suit up.
It's been no secret that the Hornets have been one of the most dynamic offenses across the league throughout the 2021-22 season. This is a group that averages a league-best 114.1 points-per-game and has gifted athletes up-and-down its roster. Now, the Hornets are coming off a 113-91 loss at the hands of the Hawks, but I don't see them getting tripped up in this one. Charlotte is 5-0 ATS in their last five games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. The Hornets also have thrived as a road underdog as of late with a 6-1 ATS mark in that role. I never have a problem trusting the Hornets to fill up the stat sheet and, with the spread being this small, I feel comfortable backing the road team.
Key Trend: The Hornets are 4-0 ATS in their last four games as an underdog
Golden Knights at Hurricanes, 7 p.m. I TV: NHL.TV
The Pick: Over 6 goals (-125) -- The Hurricanes host the Golden Knights in a battle of two of the more dangerous offensive teams around. Carolina has scored at least four goals in each of its last four games while the Golden Knights have topped the three-goal mark in three of their past four games. Helping out matter is that the Hurricanes average 3.6 goals-per-game (fourth in the NHL) and the Golden Knights are not too far behind with 3.4 goals-per-game.
It's also worth noting that the Golden Knights are likely going to start goaltender Laurent Brossoit in net since Robin Lehner drew the start against the Capitals on Monday. Brossoit hasn't been stellar as of late. He's yielded three or more goals in three of his last four starts. Additionally, Brossoit is coming off a start against the Jets in which he surrendered five goals in a 5-4 overtime loss. The Hurricanes should have no problem getting three or four goals past Brossoit. Combine that with the Golden Knights' offense and I believe this could be a very high-scoring affair.
Key Trend: The over is 4-0 in the Hurricanes' last four games against a team with a winning record