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  • The Mavericks are 17-11 against the spread this season, but their ATS record dips to 5-7 on the road. Meanwhile, the Nuggets are a ridiculous 12-3 straight up and 11-4 against the spread when playing in Denver.
By Zachary Cohen
December 18, 2018

After going 6-3 against the spread over the last three nights of plays, here are Three at 3’s best bets for Tuesday night’s NBA action:

1. Los Angeles Lakers at Brooklyn Nets (+2.5)

7:30 pm ET

On the year, the Lakers are just 4-12 against the spread when playing against teams with losing records. That isn’t exactly uncommon for a LeBron James-led team. LeBron is typically able to keep his teams in games against anybody, but he is also due for plenty of letdowns over the course of the season. Meanwhile, the Nets are the exact opposite. Over the last two years, Brooklyn is 36-23 against the spread when playing teams with winning records. The Nets might not be the most talented team in the world, but they find a way to stay competitive in games. Brooklyn also comes into this one on a five-game win streak, and the Nets' Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has what it takes to make things tough for LeBron. Hollis-Jefferson is a strong and lengthy power forward, and he plays a lot bigger than his 6’7’’ size. Also, the Nets have a huge edge in the backcourt here. Both D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie are playing the best basketball of their careers right now. Look for the Nets to come out with a lot of fight, and don’t be surprised if they win this one outright.

Pick: Nets (+2.5)

2. Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks (+2.5)

7:30 pm ET

After a wild weekend attempting to acquire Trevor Ariza from the Phoenix Suns, the Wizards will finally have the veteran in their lineup tonight. The problem is that Ariza will take time to get up to speed, and both Markieff Morris and Otto Porter Jr. are beat up right now. Considering Washington isn’t that deep to begin with, that is going to hurt. The Wizards are 0-8 against the spread when playing on the road after a non-conference game this season. Washington is also 0-8 against the spread when playing on the road after three straight games with a combined score of 215 points or more. That suggests that the Wizards might not be playing at the pace their team is best suited for. The Hawks present a tough matchup for a Wizards team that refuses to play any defense. Atlanta is miserable at many things, but the Hawks' offense is capable of going off on certain nights. This looks like it could be one of those nights. With Washington’s forward position looking murky for the evening, Atlanta's John Collins could explode. Over the last five games, the big man is averaging 23.2 points and 13.0 rebounds per game on 57.0% shooting from the floor. He’ll be excited to get back home, where it’s entirely possible he leads Atlanta to an upset win.

Pick: Hawks (+2.5)

3. Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets (-4.5)

9:00 pm ET

This season, Denver is 9-0 against the spread when coming off back-to-back unders. The Nuggets are also 13-4 against the spread when coming off a cover on the year. Meanwhile, Dallas is banged up at point guard. Both Dennis Smith Jr. and J.J. Barea are dealing with injuries, which has put a lot of pressure on rookie phenom Luka Doncic to make plays. Doncic has responded positively, and his ability to see the floor at his size is second to only LeBron James, but there are concerns over how long he’ll be able to keep this up. There are going to be nights where he is simply too tired. With the way his team has leaned on him, that may have already started. Over the last five games, Doncic is shooting just 42.0% from the floor and 25.0% from three. Meanwhile, the Nuggets are still winning despite having both Gary Harris and Paul Millsap out of the lineup. The reason for that has been the play of Nikola Jokic, who should be in the MVP conversation this year. Jokic does everything his team asks of him, and it’s hard not to see him dominating this game. He is a much better player at home, and he should be a big part of the reason the Nuggets win comfortably here.

Pick: Nuggets (-4.5)

Overall Record: 70-59-3