Rockets vs Suns, Pelicans vs Jazz

For the second straight night, we posted a 2-1 record against the spread with our NBA picks, thanks to a blowout win by the Trail Blazers and a valiant cover by the underdog Thunder.

Alas, the Spurs foiled us for the second time with a surprise win over the Cavaliers, who are starting to look worrisome after dropping five of their last 10 games.

Regardless, we’re riding high heading into Tuesday’s five-game slate. And while not all five games are worth betting, we’ve zeroed in on a couple of sides worth backing. Here’s what we’re targeting at BetMGM:

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NBA Tuesday odds and picks (via BetMGM)

  • Rocket’s +6.5 vs. Sun’s
  • Pelicans -1.5 @ Jazz

Rockets vs. Suns prediction and analysis (8 pm ET)

A brutal month for the Suns got even worse over the weekend when Devin Booker (hamstring) suffered an injury that will keep him sidelined through Tuesday’s contest, at least.

Phoenix was already spiraling amid an embarrassing December that started, fittingly, with an outright loss to the Rockets at home. That was the first of five losses for this group – including three by double digits – over its last six games, which includes four straight losses after the Pelicans beat them twice over the weekend.

That win over the Suns actually sparked a mini-run for the Rockets, who have won three of their last five games following stunning victories over the 76ers and Bucks last week. This line is too reflective of what these teams have been and not what they are now, and it wouldn’t shock me to see another outright upset here.

the pick: Rockets +6.5 (BetMGM)

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans
NBAE via Getty Images

Jazz vs. Pelicans prediction and analysis (9 pm ET)

It wasn’t long ago that the Jazz were sitting atop the Western Conference and were clearly the biggest surprise contenders in the entire league. Boy, that was fun while it lasted.

Dating back to Nov. 21 – when this team owned the No. 1 seed out West – Utah has lost eight of 11 games (4-7 ATS), with seven of those eight losses decided by at least seven points. The last two losses came without Lauri Markkanen, who’s back in the lineup on Tuesday, but the team is still without Collin Sexton (hamstring) for this one.

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets
Getty Images

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On the other side, the Pelicans have been the NBA’s top team over the last month, posting the league’s best net rating (+10.8), straight-up record (12-2), and ATS record (10-4) since Nov. 12. Zion Williamson has picked up the slack with teammate Brandon Ingram (toe) out of the lineup, averaging 30 points on a jaw-dropping 66.9% shooting percentage to spark his team’s current seven-game win streak.

All of that makes this line particularly curious. Neither team is at full strength, but the Pelicans are clearly playing at an elite level while the Jazz clearly aren’t, so I’ll gladly pay the short price for the far superior side.

the pick: Pelicans -1.5 (BetMGM)

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