It’s incredible how the NBA’s draft lottery has evolved. When I first started following the NBA as a fan as a teenager, the draft lottery didn’t mean a whole lot to me. I was a Bulls fan during the Michael Jordan era. They were never in the lottery. The only reason I knew it existed was that the lottery itself was typically shown during halftime of an NBA playoff game on NBC during a weekend afternoon. An NBA playoff game that more often than not featured the Bulls.

It was a simple event involving David Stern opening envelopes that lasted like 10 minutes, then they went back to the studio or Marv Albert at courtside to discuss the second half of the game they were showing, and that was it.

Flash forward to Tuesday night when it’s a 30-minute show on ESPN, preceded by an NBA Draft Lottery pregame bloc of shows. And the players are there now too! It’s like a miniature NBA Draft itself the way it’s set up. It’s crazy.

To be clear, I’m not complaining about it. I might think having a 30-minute show dedicated to the drawing of ping-pong balls is stupid, but you know what? I watched it. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you watched it too.

And if I think it’s stupid to have a 30-minute show dedicated to the lottery, but I gladly watch it, what does that make me?

When the lottery started, the Pelicans were 300-to-1 to win the 2019-20 NBA title, but after landing the No. 1 pick, those odds plummeted. Where do the Pelicans rank among contenders now? Check out the updated odds at SportsLine.

Onto tonight’s picks. All odds via Westgate.

1. Raptors at Bucks: Bucks -6.5

This is a pick that goes against the trends of what has happened between these two teams. Over the past two seasons, the road team has gone 7-1 ATS between these two, and that includes the underdog covering each of the previous seven. Still, even with those trends, Milwaukee did cover in three of the four meetings during the regular season, and I like the Bucks in Game 1 as well.

Milwaukee has been off for a week. Some people will say the Bucks are rusty and that a week off is a bad thing. I don’t buy that at all. I’ve always been a fan of taking the rested team in the first game of a playoff series, particularly when that team is the favorite and at home. The Raptors are coming off what was a confusing series against the Sixers, a series that they weren’t particularly impressive in (outside of Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam, anyway). They won’t get away with playing that poorly against this Milwaukee team, which might have the best player in the sport right now on its side.

The SportsLine Projection Model has simulated this matchup over 10,000 times, and before you lock in your bets, you should see which side of the spread and total is cashing the majority of the time. Check out those picks only at SportsLine.

2. Brewers at Phillies: Under 9

As somebody who owns Jake Arrieta on his Fantasy team, I’m aware his past few starts have been a bit rough. I like him to have a bounce-back performance here against a Brewers offense that hasn’t been nearly as strong on the road as it has been at home. Milwaukee will send Gio Gonzalez to the mound, and he has been great since coming to them from the Yankees, and I like his chances of having another good night. The Phillies offense has been somewhat pedestrian against lefties this season. So that, combined with having a pitcher-friendly umpire like Mike Everitt behind the plate, leads me to believe there’s value on this Under.

DFS millionaire Mike McClure is locking in his tournament lineups across three different platforms for Wednesday’s MLB action. Before you settle on your lineup, be sure to check out his picks only at SportsLine.

3. Padres at Dodgers: Dodgers -152

I just love this matchup for the Dodgers. The Dodgers offense has posted a wOBA of only .333 against lefties this season, but that has been some bad luck, as their BABIP is only .296 despite an excellent hard-hit rate of 42.6 percent. Padres starter Matt Strahm has had a very difficult time keeping balls on the ground, and he gives up a lot of hard contact. Sounds like a bad recipe for the Padres.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here