The Suns shouldn’t be underdogs against the Lakers tonight, plus other best bets for Tuesday


Hello and Happy Tuesday. Yesterday’s newsletter had an average performance that was so close to being a great night. A great night we all could have used after a rough week last week.

It would figure that on the day when I went in-depth explaining an NBA player prop that the prop would lose in a painful fashion. I told you why Zion Williamson was likely to struggle (for Zion) against the Jazz on Monday, and we took the under 25.5 points prop on the night. So, there we were in the final minute of the game, with the Pelicans doing everything in their power to give the game away when Zion was fouled by Rudy Gobert going for a rebound. With the Pelicans in the bonus, it sent Zion to the free-throw line, and once he was there, the career 68% free-throw shooter drained both to push himself over the total.

That’s not what I meant yesterday when I wrote that if we lost the prop, it would likely happen at the free-throw line, but it was poetic anyway.

Then there was our college basketball parlay that was destroyed by Richmond losing to a 3-14 St. Joseph’s team as a 17.5-point favorite. So one free throw and one nearly 20-point favorite losing was all that separated us from a perfect night. The margins, folks, they are thin.

But these stories I have for you to read, they are ample.

And now back to those thin margins.

All times Eastern, and all odds via William Hill Sportsbook


๐Ÿ”ฅ The Hot Ticket

Suns at Lakers, 10 p.m. | TV: TNT
The Pick: Suns +1.5 (-110)
: Are we sure the right team is favored in this game? Like, if it weren’t the Lakers and LeBron James, the line is likely flipped here, isn’t it? Since losing Anthony Davis, the Lakers have gone 3-4 both straight up and against the spread, though they do enter tonight having won and covered two straight. Still, in two games against other NBA title contenders like the Nets and Jazz, this iteration of the Lakers has been handled soundly. You might not consider the Phoenix Suns legitimate title contenders, but they’re arguably one of the five best teams in the league right now and are playing better than the Lakers.

Put this game at a neutral site, and I’d have the Suns as 1.5-point favorites. The Staples Center isn’t neutral, but it is empty. Also, while the Davis injury is well-known, there’s a chance the Lakers could be without Kyle Kuzma tonight too. If he does play, odds are he’s not at full-strength. One of the trade-offs of having both LeBron James and Anthony Davis on your team is that it’s hard to have a deep roster. The Lakers will be testing that depth in this spot against an outstanding team. The better team is getting points, and we’re going to take them. I don’t hate the Phoenix money line (or the under), but the Suns and the points is the best play of the night.

Key Trend: The Suns are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 as underdogs.

Here’s what SportsLine is saying about the game:ย The Advanced Computer Model has been simulating this game and it’s finding excellent value on both the spread and money line, but which side?ย 


๐Ÿ’ฐ The Picks


USATSI

๐Ÿ€ NBA

Nuggets at Bucks, 9 p.m. | TV: NBA League Pass
The Pick: Bucks -7 (-110) —ย 
The Nuggets were short-handed in Chicago on Monday night, and though they won the game 118-112, the lack of depth began to show. When the Nuggets had to rely on their bench, the Bulls made up a lot of ground and eventually took the lead in the second half. If not for Nikola Jokic putting the entire team on his back in the fourth quarter (he had 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting), odds are good the Nuggets lose.

Now that same short-handed team heads about 100 miles up the road to Milwaukee to face a team that’s a lot better than the Bulls. A team that the Nuggets aren’t likely to beat with Jokic alone. The Bucks are healthier, fresher, and have won five straight. I won’t be surprised if the Nuggets keep it close for a while, but the Bucks pull away in the second half.

Key Trend: Denver is only 3-8-1 ATS in its last 12 as an underdog.

๐Ÿ€ College Basketball

No. 25 Wisconsin at No. 23 Purdue, 9 p.m. | TV: ESPN2
The Pick: Purdue -2 (-110) —ย 
This one isn’t complicated. These are two teams heading in different directions at the moment. Purdue has won three straight and has been a monster at home this season, going 9-1 straight up, and the lone loss was to Michigan. Meanwhile, Wisconsin enters having lost three of four and six of its last 10. The Badgers are a respectable 5-4 on the road overall, but those five road wins have come against Michigan State, Rutgers, Maryland, Nebraska and Northwestern. Purdue is of a much higher quality than any of them, and that will show itself in Mackey Arena tonight.

Key Trend: Purdue is 9-3-1 ATS in its last 13 games.

๐Ÿ”’ SportsLine Pick of the Day:ย The Advanced Computer Model was at today’s morning skate and it sees tremendous value on one of the sides in tonight’s NHL game between the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes.


๐Ÿ’ธ The DFS Rundown


Getty Images

Star Plays

PG: Russell Westbrook, Wizards
SG: Paul George, Clippers
SF: Khris Middleton, Bucks
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
C: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Value Plays

PG: Derrick Rose, Knicks
SG: Dillon Brooks, Grizzlies
SF: Will Barton, Nuggets
PF: Nerlens Noel, Knicks
C: Robin Lopez, Wizards

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.ย See their DraftKings advice and FanDuel lineups here.ย 


ย ๐Ÿ€ NBA Player Props

  • Marcus Morris Over 0.5 assists (-145)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo Over 45.5 points and rebounds (-125)
  • Nikola Jokic Over 2.5 3-pointers (+120)
  • Chris Paul Over 4.5 rebounds (-150)





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