Today’s Top Picks: Three NBA best bets for Tuesday, plus an angle to consider for the MVP race

To be absolutely clear, Giannis Antetokounmpo is still the NBA’s MVP front-runner. It isn’t all that close. On objective merit, he is having one of the greatest seasons of all time. The voters will still probably recognize that. 

But in light of the weekend’s upheaval of the race, it’s time to at least consider a hedge. LeBron James odds for MVP can be found at +350 to +450, and those numbers are going to fall in the coming days, at least until Antetokounmpo can return to the court and regain some momentum.

Few awards in sports are more susceptible to narrative-driven fallacies than the NBA MVP. Voters want to vote for LeBron. He probably won’t deserve the award. There is suddenly a universe in which he wins it anyway. And if you’re heavily exposed on Giannis, which has been a sensible stance all season, it might be time to hedge a bit while you have the chance. 

But we still have months before an MVP is officially crowned. There are plenty of games to look into for today’s top picks. 

All lines via William Hill SportsBook.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets: Timberwolves +12.5

Since the trade deadline, the Timberwolves and Rockets are averaging 87.5 combined 3-point attempts per game. That makes this one of the highest-variance games in NBA history. We’re talking about a Timberwolves team that has beaten the Clippers and Heat since the deadline playing against a Rockets group that has lost to the Knicks and Hornets in the past week and change. None of that is to say that the Timberwolves definitely will beat the Rockets. They probably won’t. But it illustrates the randomness that can overtake teams that shoot this many 3-pointers. A 12.5-point spread is incredibly generous in a game that will largely amount to luck.

DFS millionaire Mike McClure saw multiple huge cashes again early in the 2019-20 NBA season and got 2020 off to a blistering start with his optimal lineup returning at least 7x on DraftKings on three of the first five days of the year. See tonight’s picks only at SportsLine. 

2. Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors: Clippers -11.5

The last time these two teams played in San Francisco, the Clippers won by 19 points. Stephen Curry played in that game. Paul George didn’t. That could be reversed on Tuesday with George now healthy and Curry dealing with the flu. Even if the Warriors are healthy, the Clippers could use a good punching bag after their disappointing loss to the Lakers. The worst team in the NBA by record seems to fit the bill.

Sal Johnson nailed his season-ending Tour Championship picks and knows what it takes to play well in the PGA Tour’s “fifth major” at TPC Sawgrass. His picks for this week’s 2020 Players Championship can be found over at SportsLine. 

3. Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers: Nets +9.5

If ever there were a time for a letdown game from the Lakers, it would be now. They are coming off of their two biggest wins of the season. They have another huge game against the Houston Rockets looming Thursday. LeBron James is questionable with a groin injury. The Nets are still riding high on new coach syndrome. The Lakers are still heavy favorites to win, but the points here are too tempting to pass up.

Brad Evans is one of the most accurate bracket predictors in the business. Two years ago, he dominated high-stakes bracket pools, correctly predicting Michigan and Villanova to make the National Championship Game. Check out his college tourney picks over at SportsLine.

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