This article is part of our NBA Picks series.
Magic to win (-102) at Trail Blazers – FanDuel, 2:50 PM CT
After a pair of tear-down trades, Portland is extremely shorthanded for Tuesday's game. They still have Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic for some firepower, but I don't think that matches the full Magic roster. Both teams have been bad relative to expectations lately, but Portland has been worse. Over the past two weeks, the Blazers are an average of -7.5 points ATS, while the Magic are just -3.3.
Milwaukee Bucks -3.5 at LA Lakers – FanDuel Sportsbook, 2:30 PM CT
LeBron James looked fantastic against the Knicks on Saturday, and Anthony Davis has been great since returning from injury, but let us not forget one important point: This Lakers team is not very good. Injuries to their two best players have certainly played a role in the Lakers' struggles, but even when healthy they've consistently failed to hang with good teams like Milwaukee. The Lakers have also struggled to string consistent performances together. LA is just 8-17 ATS following a win, and the Lakers continue to struggle against the spread, entering Tuesday with a 12-17 ATS mark at the arena formerly known as Staples Center. With LeBron and Davis both playing well, the Lakers should be able to keep this one close, but they don't have enough to keep up with Milwaukee's depth.
Jonas Valanciunas under 33.5 points + rebounds (-104) vs. Rockets – FanDuel, 12:09 PM CT
Maybe I'm just missing something regarding the Pelicans' blockbuster trade, but it feels like in order for the veteran big man to even hit this figure, he'd have to play 34-plus minutes. Maybe that's on the table given all the bodies that theoretically will be unavailable, but their PF/C depth seems to be untouched. Just looking at the numbers over the last 14 games, Valanciunas is averaging 17.4 points and 11.1 rebounds, and since returning from a three-game absence due to a non-COVID illness, the 29-year-old is posting just 16.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game over the last four contests. The Rockets do allow the third-most points to opposing centers, but actually are middle-of-the-pack in terms of rebounds allowed to the position.
Trae Young OVER 36.5 Pts + Ast vs. Pacers – FanDuel Sportsbook 12:00 PM
Young struggled mightily with his shot against the Mavericks on Sunday, but I expect him to bounce back in a big way against the Pacers. In the only meeting between these two teams this season, Young went off for 33 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in 37 minutes during a 114-111 win. Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles) has made just three appearances since Dec. 15, but he's officially listed as questionable. However, even if he does play, it's possible he may be limited, so Keifer Sykes, Duane Washington and Chris Duarte will likely be tasked with slowing down Young for the majority of the contest, which should bode well for the All-Star's chances of bouncing back.