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The close games continued on Monday in the NBA restart, with three of the six contests coming down to the wire. Here are our best bets in another six-game slate on Tuesday.
Are we sure the Mavericks want to be here? Through two games, they've blown a 14-point lead to Houston and a 15-point lead to Phoenix, allowing a combined 135 points after halftime across those two losses.
Those defeats all but lock Dallas into the seventh seed in the West, unless it can gain three games on Oklahoma City in its next six contests. So what exactly are the Mavs playing for on Tuesday, coming off back-to-back emotional losses of four points or less?
The same can't be said for the Kings, who are fighting for their playoff lives after their own 0-2 start to the seeding slate. Sacramento has struggled defending the rim in its two losses, but that's hardly a concern against a Dallas team that averages 27 shots at the rim per game, second-fewest in the league.
The Mavericks are the better team, but little motivation and a 2-6 run against the spread dating back to before the restart inspires little confidence in them ahead of this one. Take the points.
Pick: Kings +6
The Heat have consistently been one of the most overlooked contenders this season, and I have more shares than I care to admit. But even I'll admit this is a bad spot to back them.
Miami clawed its way back into Monday's game against a physical Toronto team but couldn't pull it out - it could feel the effects of that loss on Tuesday, too. The Heat are 2-8-1 ATS this year on zero days' rest, worst of any team in the restart, while the Celtics are an NBA-best 6-1 ATS against teams coming off no rest.
Miami's defense seems to have found its spark again, but it'll be hard-pressed to slow down Jayson Tatum, who lit up Portland for 34 points on 50% shooting on Sunday in a performance reminiscent of his scorching play before the league suspended its season.
The Celtics bested the Heat in both of their meetings this year and can effectively end Miami's quest for the No. 3 seed with a win. Expect them to take care of business.
Pick: Celtics -3.5
Richaun Holmes leading scorer (DAL/SAC) (+10000)
OK, buckle up for this one. The Mavericks have allowed 100 points in the restricted area over their first two games, and their lackadaisical defense has been on full display amid two blown leads. Someone's going to get buckets in the Kings' frontcourt; why can't it be Holmes?
The 6-foot-10 big man has averaged 10.3 points per game in seven career contests against Dallas - sixth-best against any squad - and he's traditionally been a better scorer late in the season. He led the Kings in scoring five times this year, and he scored in double digits in each of the team's first two games in the restart.
Holmes has dropped at least 20 points on seven different occasions this season. Who's to say he can't put up slightly better numbers against a struggling Mavericks defense? It may seem crazy, but there's frankly too much value to ignore the long-shot price.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.