Greetings fellow gamblers, it's Chris Bengel back in the saddle with you.
The holiday season is upon us, which means we've got everything from college football bowl season to the NFL playoff races heating up. In addition, for all you fantasy football players, your regular seasons should be winding down this weekend and that means playoff time. Go slaughter your friends and family and win that trophy!
Let's get to Tuesday's picks, which have a heavy basketball flavor to them.
All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The Hot Ticket
- Key Trend: The Cavaliers are 11-1-1 ATS in their last 13 home games
- The Pick: Cavaliers -5.0 (-110)
After a horrendous start to the 2022-23 season, the Lakers are winners of five of their last six games. But I'm still fading the Lakers on the road against the Cavaliers. The Cavs struggled in mid-November and even went on a five-game losing streak. Then this group completely turned things around and have posted a 7-3 record since.
Cleveland is dangerous on the offensive end of the floor. Entering Tuesday, the Cavs are averaging 111.3 points-per-game, which is good for just 18th in the league. However, Cleveland thrives from the perimeter as they're connecting on 37.8 percent of their shots from three (sixth in the NBA). Donovan Mitchell (42.1 percent) and Darius Garland (40.8 percent) really lead the charge from long-range and should give the Lakers problems all night.
Meanwhile, despite their defensive struggles, the Lakers are more than capable of scoring on the offensive end. This is a group that averages 114.8 points-per-game (10th in the NBA). On top of that, star big man Anthony Davis has been playing out of his mind over the last two games with 55 and 44-point outings. But they'll be facing a Cavaliers team that allows the fewest points-per-game (105.0) across the league. The Cavaliers are in the middle of the pack when it comes to defending the three as opponents shoot 35.4 percent from deep against them, but the Lakers are one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA.
💰 More Picks
Panthers at Jets, 8 p.m. | TV: ESPN+
The Pick: Under 6.0 Goals (+100): -- Two of the NHL's top goaltenders will take center stage Tuesday when the Jets host the Panthers. With that in mind, I'm comfortable riding with the under in this particular matchup.
Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck has been one of the best at his position, posting a 12-5-1 record to go along with a 2.27 goals-against-average (fifth in the NHL) and a .931 save percentage (third in the NHL). The 29-year-old keeper has surrendered two or fewer goals in each of his last three starts and earned wins in all three.
Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight has been just as impressive of late. On the season, Knight has compiled a 8-3-3 record, a 2.49 goals-against-average (seventh in the NHL) and a .923 save percentage (fifth in the NHL). He's given up a grand total of two goals across his last two starts. The under is 15-5-1 in the Jets' last 21 home games, so the trends are certainly there.
Key Trend: The under is 7-1-1 in the Jets' last nine games after scoring five goals or more in their previous game
Pistons at Heat, 7:30 p.m. | TV: NBA.TV
The Pick: Saddiq Bey Over 11.5 Points (-109): -- Saddiq Bey recently returned to the Pistons lineup after missing multiple games due to an ankle injury. After getting back into the flow of the offense, I'm confident that we can cash his points prop in this spot.
Bey is a versatile wing player that is averaging 14.6 points-per-game on the season. Over his last four games, the 2020 second round pick has recorded at least 12 points in two of those contests. While that may not be an insanely large sample size since returning from his ankle injury, Bey is coming off a 24-point performance against the Grizzlies on Sunday in which he connected on 7-of-16 shots. Cade Cunningham continues to be out of the lineup, so the Pistons will need to continue to lean on Bey to chip in offensively on a nightly basis.
Key Trend: Bey has registered at least 12 points in two of his last four games