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Good afternoon sports fans, it’s Chris Bengel with you once again. I actually took a day off from betting on the NFL on Monday and it may have been a missed opportunity.

Monday’s game between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills featured strong winds that made throwing the football an adventure. If you bet rushing props from that game, you most likely came away with a good amount of money. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Patriots quarterback Mac Jones only threw the ball three times. But when the running game is ripping off nearly five yards per carry, it made sense to keep the ball on the ground.

With football in our rearview mirror for a few days, let’s go win some money on the hardwood.

All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


🔥 The Hot Ticket

🏀Nets vs. Mavericks, 7:30 p.m. | TV: TNT

Latest Odds:

Brooklyn Nets
-4

The Pick: Nets -2 (-110): It’s hard to bet against the Nets’ dynamic offense and I’m not about to start now. This is a very small number for the top team in the Eastern Conference to cover and the Mavericks are banged up heading into this one. Luke Doncic (ankle soreness), Tim Hardaway Jr. (knee contusion) and Kristaps Porzingis (knee contusion) are most likely all going to play, but none of them are at close to 100 percent. On top of that, the Mavericks have dropped seven of their last nine games and each loss came by at least six points.

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant has been playing out of his mind as of late.

It’s certainly nothing new, but the Nets star forward has scored 58 points over his past two games and is shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. The Nets are a team that averages nearly 110 points-per-game and this is a group that is playing some of their better basketball of the young season. Barring Doncic going off with a triple-double type of effort, I see the Nets covering this small number fairly easily.

Key Trend: The Mavericks are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog


💰The Picks

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🏀 NBA

Celtics vs. Lakers, 10 p.m. | TV: TNT
The Pick: LeBron James Over 23.5 points (-105) —
It’s been an up-and-down season for LeBron James. The Lakers star missed multiple weeks with an abdominal strain, was suspended a game due to his scuffle with Isaiah Stewart and missed another game due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Now James is back on the court and appears to have picked up right where he left off.

In three of his last four games, James has scored at least 30 points. During that stretch, the Lakers forward is shooting 45.8 percent from the field and has taken at least 20 shots in each of those four games. In addition, James has also scored at least 24 points in seven of his 12 games this season. He has looked extremely aggressive as of late and I’m expecting that to continue against a Celtics team that is yielding nearly 107 points-per-game.

Key Trend: James has scored at least 24 points in four of his last seven games.

🏒 NHL

Predators vs. Red Wings, 7 p.m. | TV: ESPN+

Latest Odds:

Detroit Red Wings
+110

The Pick: Red Wings (+100) — The Red Wings were one of the worst teams in the 2020-21 NHL season. They finished with just 48 points in the pandemic-shortened year, but have completely shifted their fortunes so far this season. The Red Wings are currently riding a five-game winning streak and four of those victories have come by just one goal. Lucas Raymond is turning in a sensational rookie season thus far as he’s accumulated 22 points and registered goals in three of his past five games.

On the other hand, the Predators aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut despite being favored. This is a team that scores just 2.8 goals-per-game, which is good for 23rd in the league. In addition, the Predators haven’t won consecutive games since Nov. 13 when they won three in a row.

As if Nashville’s scoring struggles weren’t enough reason to side with Detroit, Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljovic has been strong in between the pipes lately. Nedeljovic has surrendered two goals or less in seven of his last nine games. Take the extra juice with the Red Wings and expect another impressive outing from Nedeljovic.

Key Trend: The Red Wings are 5-1 in their last six games as a home underdog.