Good afternoon gamblers, it's Chris Bengel back in the saddle with you.
Happy Super Bowl week! All bias aside, I truly believe we've gotten the best possible matchup for Sunday's contest. The two best teams are going to be duking it out for NFL supremacy. You've got two MVP candidates in Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts along with two very strong defenses. There certainly are going to be fireworks and I, for one, can't wait to tune in to all of the action that Super Bowl LVII will have to offer.
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Enough about the pigskin, let's dive into Tuesday's picks.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
Knicks at Magic, 7 p.m. | TV: NBA.TV
- Key Trend: The Knicks are 27-10 ATS in their last 37 road games.
- The Pick: Knicks -1.0 (-110)
This line surprises me. Sure, the Magic are getting some respect since they'll be playing at home and have been solid lately. Still, I will gladly take the Knicks' in this one with the line being nearly a pick 'em.
The Knicks have been victorious in two of their last three games, including a 108-97 comeback win over the scalding hot Sixers at home on Sunday. In addition, New York beat the Heat and just fell short against the Clippers in overtime. This is a team that's playing some darn good basketball recently.
Despite having center Mitchell Robinson out of the lineup, star forward Julius Randle has picked up the slack as he's averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds over his last three games. It also doesn't hurt that New York is one of the NBA's better defensive teams as they're yielding just 112.7 points-per-game (12th in the NBA).
Now, the Magic are coming off a pair of wins, but those came against the lowly Hornets and a Timberwolves squad that is clinging to a playoff spot without Karl-Anthony Towns. I just don't see the Magic having an answer for Randle on the interior and that should lead to a huge night for the Knicks big man.
💰 More NBA Picks
Thunder at Lakers, 10 p.m. | TV: TNT
The Pick: Thunder +6.5 (-110) -- There's three certainties in life: death, taxes and the Lakers struggling on the defensive end. That's why I'm more than happy to take the Thunder and the points in this spot even on the road.
The Lakers rank 26th in the NBA as they're surrendering 118.4 points-per-game. Over their past five contests, Los Angeles has been even more of a sieve defensively, allowing 122.2 points-per-game, including at least 125 points in two of those contests. Even Anthony Davis's recent return really hasn't seemed to matter much from a defensive standpoint.
Meanwhile, the Thunder have sneakily been one of the more explosive offenses. Entering Tuesday, Oklahoma City averages 117.3 points-per-game, good for fifth in the league. It also doesn't hurt that star point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander currently ranks sixth in scoring as he's averaging 30.8 points and has topped the 30-point mark in six of his last eight contests. Considering that the Lakers can't stop a nosebleed right now, give me the Thunder to cover in this one.
Key Trend: The Thunder are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings in Los Angeles
Bulls at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. | TV: NBA.TV
The Pick: Nikola Vucevic Over 18.5 Points (-109) -- Memphis has struggled more than just about any team across the NBA over the last month. That's a matchup that we can exploit tonight with Nikola Vuevic's points prop as the Bulls take on the floundering Grizzlies.
Vucevic has recorded at least 20 points in four his last five games. The Grizzlies are without center Steven Adams for the foreseeable future, so Vucevic won't have nearly as much to contend with when it comes to the Memphis frontcourt. On the season, the Grizzlies give up 11.1 offensive rebounds per game, which is the eighth-most in the NBA. On the other hand, Vucevic grabs 2.1 offensive boards per contest, so he should get a few second chance opportunities if he happens to miss a shot. I'm expecting the Bulls to dump the ball down low to him early and often in this one.
Key Trend: Vucevic has scored at least 20 points in four of his last five games