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Happy Wednesday, dearest reader. Congratulations on making it halfway through the current week. Nobody believed you could do it, but you shut out the haters, focused on the task at hand and worked your butt off to get here. I'm proud of you. Only a couple more days to go before you get to the weekend.

Of course, while some of you might be looking forward to Thursday, I am not. I am scheduled to have a root canal tomorrow. I've never had one before. I've had my wisdom teeth removed, but that wasn't a big deal. All I remember from that is counting to 10, and the next thing I knew, it was over, and I was loaded up on painkillers and couldn't feel anything. I asked if I'll be out for the root canal and been told I'll be awake for the whole thing, though the dentist assures me I won't feel anything and it'll be fine.

But what's the dentist going to say? "Oh man it's gonna hurt like hell. You're going to hate it and I'll love it because I love to hurt people." So, yeah, I'm a bit nervous about it. I'm just hoping it ends with me being loaded up on painkillers again because, honestly, it's pretty fun when that happens.

Do you know what else is fun? Reading. 

Here's hoping tonight's less painful than tomorrow's root canal.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

Lakers at 76ers, 7:30 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Lakers -3.5 (-110)
: I'm on the Lakers here for the same reason I was on the Lakers when they played in Milwaukee last week. LeBron James likes to make statements in nationally televised games against teams that could be considered threats to his supremacy. Last week, the Lakers were underdogs against the Bucks and beat them by seven points. Tonight, the Lakers are favored against the Sixers, and they should be because they're the better team.

Check out more experts picks on The Early Edge podcast -- download and subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, or listen below:

They're even better than the spread suggests. If we were playing in packed stadiums, I'm not sure I'd be backing the Lakers as 3.5-point favorites on the road in Philly, but in an empty stadium? Sure! I mean, we shouldn't look past the talk in the NBA this season about Joel Embiid playing at an NBA MVP kind of level. He is, of course. He's been fantastic, but LeBron James has heard the talk about Embiid possibly being the MVP, so don't for a moment think he won't want to remind the world who the actual NBA MVP is.

Key Trend: The Lakers are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games.

Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: SportsLine's projection model generated selections for Wednesday's matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers.


💰 The Picks

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🏀 NBA

Nuggets at Heat, 7:30 p.m. | TV: League Pass
The Pick: Over 219.5 (-110) -- 
As we've documented here, the Nuggets defense has not been good, but it has improved a bit in recent games. Still, it's not good enough to justify a total this low. We're dealing with a Denver defense that ranks 23rd in the league in efficiency, and Miami's defense is just a nudge better in 22nd. Overall, the difference between these teams is that Denver's been much better offensively, ranking third in offensive efficiency, while Miami is 24th.

Now, Miami's numbers are affected by not having Jimmy Butler, and he's not going to be playing tonight. Still, at home against a Nuggets team playing its fourth road game in six days, I have a feeling the Heat will find success tonight. Maybe not a lot, but enough to push us over this total.

Key Trend: The over is 22-8-1 in Denver's last 31 games as a favorite.

Timberwolves at Warriors, 10 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The Pick: Warriors Over 118.5 (-110) -- 
On Monday night I told you to take the Warriors Over 117.5 at home against this same Minnesota team. The Warriors went out and scored 130 points. Tonight we're taking Golden State's team over again for all the same reasons we took it on Monday, even if it has gone up a point. Minnesota is awful defensively, and not nearly enough has changed in the last 48 hours to make me feel any differently.

Key Trend: The Warriors just scored 130 points against this team two days ago.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: The SportsLine Projection Model simulated the 2021 Famers Insurance Open 10,000 times and came up with a shocking leaderboard.


💸 The DFS Rundown

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USATSI

Star Plays

PG: Stephen Curry, Warriors
SG: Bradley Beal, Wizards
SF: Brandon Ingram, Pelicans
PF: Bam Adebayo, Heat
C: Joel Embiid, Sixers

Value Plays

PG: Jerome Robinson, Wizards
SG: Kevin Huerter, Hawks
SF: Joe Harris, Nets
PF: Jae Crowder, Suns
C: Mason Plumlee, Pistons

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


 ⛳ Farmers Insurance Open Top 20 Props

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We're betting on each of these golfers to finish in the top 20 this weekend.

  • Harris English +110
  • Sungjae Im +138
  • Corey Conners +300
  • John Huh +350
  • Max Homa +450
  • Joel Dahmen +500
  • Lanto Griffin +500
  • Maverick McNealy +550
  • Tom Hoge +600
  • Jhonattan Vegas +700