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NBA Three at 3: Best Bets for Tuesday, December 28

Published on 12/29/2021
By Zachary Cohen
Warriors star Steph Curry
Warriors star Steph Curry is once again an MVP candidate.
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

After going 2-1 with our Christmas Day NBA best bets, the Three at 3 is now 7-4-1 over the last four days. Now, we'll look to deliver some more winners for tonight's eight-game NBA slate, which features the Washington Wizards facing the Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors hosting the Denver Nuggets in an NBA TV doubleheader. 

1. Cavaliers at Pelicans - The Cavaliers would have been a good pick in tonight's game under normal circumstances, but news broke earlier on Tuesday that Darius Garland is entering the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Cleveland is getting Evan Mobley back in this game, which should make this defense extremely hard to score on. However, without Garland, the Cavaliers are going to have a difficult time manufacturing offense. Garland has looked like an All-Star this season, and it's just going to be impossible for the team to replicate his ability to shoot and penetrate. Meanwhile, the Pelicans are also playing some great basketball right now. New Orleans is coming off of a bad loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but that was a road game and this team is still 5-2 straight-up and 4-3 against the spread in its last seven contests. Look for the Pelicans to get back in the win column in this one, with Brandon Ingram potentially having a big game and leading his team to a victory. 

THE PICK: Pelicans +3

2. Knicks at Timberwolves - The Timberwolves are coming off of an unlikely victory over the Boston Celtics, as they relied heavily on the likes of Jaylen Nowell and Greg Monroe in that game. Now, Minnesota appears likely to be getting some key players back out of quarantine, and it'll only take a few for the Wolves to take care of business in this game. The Knicks are just 3-11 against the spread when coming off a victory this year. New York has also lost nine of its last 13 games straight-up, and the team was just 5-8 against the spread in those contests. Sure, Kemba Walker has the Knicks offense looking a bit better as of late, but the Timberwolves have been a good defensive team this year. This line looks a bit disrespectful with the Wolves playing at home, and it wouldn't be all that surprising if they won outright. 

THE PICK: Wolves +4.5 

3. Nuggets at Warriors - The Nuggets are coming off an unimpressive win over the Los Angeles Clippers, who were playing without Paul George and a couple of other key rotation players. Denver had lost three of its previous four games before earning that victory, so this is not a team that is playing good basketball right now. Even with Nikola Jokic looking like arguably the best player in the league, the Nuggets are just far too depleted to compete with a team with as much firepower as the Warriors. Steph Curry won't have Draymond Green to work with in pick-and-roll situations in this game, as Green is now in the health and safety protocols. However, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are both back for Golden State tonight, so this offense should be just fine. Also, the Warriors are 22-7-1 against the spread in their last 30 games as home favorites. They're also 14-4 against the spread at home this year. 

THE PICK: Warriors -6

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