Hello sports friends, Chris Bengel is with you again.
Scott Rolen is entering the Baseball Hall of Fame after six years on the ballot. As a Phillies fan, my biggest question is: which team will Rolen go to Cooperstown with? While he is probably best known for his stint with the Cardinals, he played more games with the Phillies, where he spent the first seven seasons of his career. In any case, I think Rolen was well-deserved of this honor, especially since he was one of the best defensive third basemen the sport has ever seen.
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Now let’s dive into Wednesday’s picks.
All Eastern times and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook
🔥 The hot ticket
Nets at the 76ers, 7:30 p.m. | TV: ESPN
Philly 76ers -5
- key trend: The 76ers are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 home games.
- The Pick: 76ers -5.0 (-110)
Few teams are hotter than the Sixers right now. They have won seven of their last eight, including an active five-game winning streak. With the Nets still without Kevin Durant, I’m siding with the Sixers on this one.
Philadelphia has been 17-7 at the Wells Fargo Center this season, including 15-4 ATS in their last 19 home games. Both James Harden and Tyrese Maxey missed extended periods of the season through injury but are both back and it has paid off hugely. In addition, star center Joel Embiid pulls off another MVP season averaging 33.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest. It also doesn’t hurt that the Sixers are yielding just 110.2 points per game, which is the third-lowest in the NBA.
The Nets have lost four of their six games since Durant suffered an MCL sprain earlier this month. Kyrie Irving has accumulated a great many points, but the Nets just don’t have the supporting cast to compete with the Sixers at this point.
💰 More NBA tips
Jazz at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. | Television: NBA.TV
Utah Jazz +3.5
The Choice: Jazz +3.5 (-110) — These are two teams with identical records, but the Trail Blazers were the definition of inconsistent. That’s why I’m happy to support the underdog jazz at this point.
The Jazz have been successful and are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 games. They’ve also excelled on the road, with a 4-1 mark ATS in their last five road competitions. And those latest numbers are largely without talented guard Collin Sexton, who has been sidelined with injuries for several periods throughout the season. But Sexton is back in the lineup now.
Since returning earlier this month, he has been averaging 15.2 points and shooting 50.0 percent from beyond the arc. It was a huge boost for a team that ranks fourth in the NBA with 117.6 points per game. Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers have been on the losing side in eight of their last 11 games. Additionally, Portland is 3-8 ATS in these particular competitions. Yes, the Trail Blazers clinched a 147-127 win over the Spurs but needed 45 points to pull away in the third quarter.
Key trend: The Jazz are 4-1 ATS in their last five away games.
Raptors at Kings, 10 p.m. | Television: NBA.TV
The choice: Kevin Hürter over 2.5 three (+106) — The Kings was one of the feel-good stories of the season. One of the team’s biggest offseason acquisitions was sniper Kevin Huerter, which they acquired in a trade with the Hawks. We will rely on Hürter’s three-point shooting ability on Wednesday.
Huerter is currently fourth with the Kings at 15.5 points per game but lives from beyond the arc. He is second on the team with a 41.4 percent shooting clip from distance. Huerter has connected at least three shots from deep in four of his last eight games. The Kings Guard will attempt 6.5 shots per fight, so there should be opportunities for this prop to make money.
key trend: Hürter has hit at least three three-pointers in four of his last eight games.