Today's top picks: Best bets for Tuesday, including two potential NBA playoff previews

Buckle up folks. Tuesday might have the single best double-header of the NBA regular season. To kick things off, the two top seeds in the Eastern Conference -- the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors -- will duke it out in a rematch of last season's/potential preview of this season's Eastern Conference Finals.

Following that up is the first-ever showdown between the face of the league for the past 15 years, LeBron James, and the player that seems destined to replace him someday, Zion Williamson. Adding to the drama? The Lakers and Pelicans could play in the first round of the postseason. There is also quite a bit of residual bad blood between these two teams from the Anthony Davis trade. 

So sit back, relax, and enjoy what should be an incredible night of basketball. We've got you covered with today's top picks for one of the best slates of the season. 

All odds via William Hill 

Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors: Raptors +1

There's hardly a good time to pick against a team that is 49-8 overall and 33-24 against the spread, but logically, the Bucks have to lose every now and then. A road back-to-back against a 42-15 Raptors team that knocked them out of last season's playoffs seems like a sensible occasion to pick against them, especially when that Raptors team they are facing is 17-1 in its last 18 games and has the size defensively to at least hold its own against Giannis Antetokounmpo

New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers: Over 239.5

Very rarely will you see an over/under set this high, especially when a top-five defense is involved, but the under is a trap here. The Lakers have gone over this total in four of their past 11 games, while the Pelicans have done so in six of their past nine. Since Jan. 22 (the date of Williamson's return), the Pelicans are second in pace and the Lakers are 11th. This is going to be a fast-paced, high-scoring game, and uncomfortable as it might be to bet on an average of 60 points per quarter, that should be the expectation here. 

Oklahoma City Thunder at Chicago Bulls: Thunder -7

This one is relatively straightforward. The Thunder are 21-5 against the spread on the road. The Bulls are 12-17-1 against the spread at home. Chicago is still dealing with a variety of injuries. Oklahoma City is at full strength. Until the Thunder actually start losing road games against the spread, or at least provide a real reason to believe that they might, taking them there is the logical move. 

Sam Quinn joined CBS sports as a basketball writer in 2019. Prior to that, he wrote for 247Sports and Bleacher Report. He is a New York native and NYU graduate who also has roots in Florida and California. Full Bio

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