This article is part of our NBA Picks series.
Timberwolves to cover +2 (-114) at Hawks – FanDuel, 1:03 PM CT
This isn't an ideal line since the Wolves are on the second half of a back-to-back, but they continue to perform well while the Hawks continue to struggle, so it's not too surprising the spread is tight. Both teams have decent defensive pieces, but I don't trust Onyeka Okongwu to check Karl-Anthony Towns, and De'Andre Hunter can only guard one of D'Angelo Russell or Anthony Edwards. Meanwhile, Patrick Beverley should be able to hound Trae Young.
CJ McCollum OVER 17.5 points (-125) at Miami Heat – DraftKings Sportsbook, 1PM CT
I'm coming in red-hot after picking the Pistons to cover at Golden State last night (that did not happen, although Detroit made it close at the end), so let's see if we can keep it rolling. I was encouraged by how McCollum looked in his return against Orlando on Monday, when he finished with 16 points on 13 shots in 28 minutes. That workload should tick up slightly tonight, and he'll go up against a Heat team missing an ace defender in Kyle Lowry, as well as Tyler Herro. Portland will again be without Norman Powell, and while Anfernee Simons has taken on an increased role, McCollum should begin functioning as the true No. 1 option with Damian Lillard sidelined.
Josh Giddey to score 10-plus points at SAS (-360) – FanDuel, 1:12 PM CT
I know we're always trying to hit big, and frequent readers of this column know I have an affinity for some plus-money bets. But sometimes it's ok to take a layup too. I initially was drawn to this because the Spurs allow the most points to opposing point guards, so I figured Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be an obvious over. But SGA has been thriving at the free-throw line – an area in which the Spurs predictably have been pretty disciplined. The Spurs still allow a decent amount of points to the other side of the backcourt equation, and Giddey actually has scored 10-plus points in 11 of the last 12 games played, so I'm not really sure why these odds are the way they are. Just consider this a perfect parlay piece with whatever bets the rest of my talented colleagues recommend.
Minnesota Timberwolves +1.5 (-106) @ Atlanta Hawks – FanDuel, 11:15 AM
Atlanta snapped a five-game losing streak by executing a marvelous comeback win over the Bucks on MLK Day. The revenge win over the team that booted them from the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago could easily propel the Hawks to a nice mid-season winning streak that makes fans forget about their recent woes. However, NBA storylines are hardly ever that whimsical. The Timberwolves are averaging 123.3 points per game over their last six contests and have solid individual defenders (Patrick Beverley) that matchup well against Trae Young. I think the star power in this one more-or-less evens out, but I like Minnesota's bench – led by Jalyen Nowell, Jaden McDaniels and Naz Reid – to be the difference maker in this one.
Karl-Anthony Towns OVER 9.5 REBOUNDS – DraftKings, 10:46 AM CT
Towns takes on an Atlanta squad that's playing without Clint Capela. The big man had one of his better rebound totals against the Hawks earlier in the season with 16 boards. Also, he's beaten 9.5 rebounds in five of his last seven games.