Today's Top Picks: Best NBA bets for a surprisingly deep Tuesday slate
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There's usually some sort of binding theme behind my picks. Last week, for example, favored regression candidates, and while those are always going to be a major part of my process, I can honestly say that I don't see much connective tissue in this group of winners. Two of them are in big markets, but one is in Detroit. There are two favorites and one underdog. Injuries don't play a significant role in these picks.
Today's picks stand on their own. It's a rare change of pace, but a welcome one. If any part of me had an unconscious bias towards narrative betting, it is no longer in the picture today. Here are today's top picks.
All lines via DraftKings
Oklahoma City Thunder at Brooklyn Nets: Nets +2.5
Betting against the red-hot Thunder right now is a difficult proposition, but Brooklyn's two major problems are easily fixable. The Nets can't score when Spencer Dinwiddie sits? The return of Caris LeVert should help fix that. Brooklyn is shooting 28.8 percent from behind the arc in its past 13 games? Even a team with bad shooting talent would regress from that number, and while the Nets aren't elite, the presence of Joe Harris alone should garner some improvement there. The things making the Nets home underdogs in this one just aren't as important as Vegas thinks.
New York Knicks at Los Angeles Lakers: Lakers -13.5
The Knicks have, by their standards, feasted on an easy schedule of late to earn some cheap wins. That all changes now, as the Knicks embark on a stretch of nine games that includes seven matchups against championship contenders. They'll have to take on the Lakers on Tuesday with a hobbled Marcus Morris. He is the only player on the roster who could hope to defend LeBron James. A Lakers blowout seems likely here.
Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers: Pistons -3
At least the Pistons make sense right now. A Derrick Rose-Andre Drummond pick-and-roll can at least produce passable offense. Detroit rebounds well. But the Cavaliers? They are in utter chaos. Kevin Love threw a tantrum Saturday that got him fined, and then he mysteriously sat out Sunday for "rest." The only meaningful veteran on the roster so publicly sharing his unhappiness with the team can't exactly be good for morale. Until the Love situation resolves and the remaining veterans in Cleveland show some degree of respect for John Beilein, Cleveland should be bet against whenever possible.
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