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The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Toronto Raptors, 108-97, on Tuesday night to improve to 50-8 on the season. That’s a ridiculous record. So absurd that, if Milwaukee continues to win at the current rate, it will finish the regular season at either 70-12 or 71-11.
Did you realize this? Because I wasn’t aware of it. I think back to the 2015-16 NBA season when the Golden State Warriors were going for the NBA record of 73 wins in a regular season and got there, surpassing the 72-10 mark set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls I idolized growing up. It was a major NBA storyline.
Now, in 2020, the Bucks are on pace for 70 wins (and could conceivably win 74!) and would become the third NBA franchise to do it, yet nobody seems to care. I see more attention paid to what an NBA player posted on Instagram than I do to what could be a historic season in Milwaukee. I don’t know if it’s because it’s happening in a small market like Milwaukee, or if it’s that the 70-win mark doesn’t matter anymore. Maybe it’s another symptom of declining interest in the regular season. I don’t know, but I can’t help but be a little concerned about the health of my sport when more people care about tweets and eyeball emojis than they do my best teams, and one of my best players in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
#ThisLeague, I guess. Anyway, the odds for #ThesePicks are all via William Hill Sportsbook.
1. Timberwolves at Heat: Heat -10
For somebody who is allergic to taking double-digit favorites in NBA games, I’m sure doing it a lot lately. But it’s been working! The later you get into the season, the easier it is to find teams who no longer care that much about the current campaign, and we have one here in a Minnesota team that will be without Karl-Anthony Towns. They’ll be facing a Miami team that has a lot to play for and has been an impressive 16-6-1 ATS as a home favorite this season, as well as 18-7-1 ATS at home overall.
2. Mavericks at Spurs: Mavericks -5
Any time I see the Mavericks as road favorites this season, I’m ready to jump on board. Dallas is a remarkable 10-3-1 as a road favorite this season and is 18-7-2 ATS on the road overall. The Spurs have also failed to perform against Western Conference opponents all season long, going 13-20-1 ATS. The Mavs are also 7-2 ATS against division foes this season, though these teams have split their two meetings ATS this season. I like Dallas to take a 2-1 edge tonight.
3. No. 9 Maryland at Minnesota: Minnesota, pick ’em
Whenever you see a top 10 team going on the road against a .500 team, and it isn’t favored, that should raise a red flag in your mind. That’s the situation we have here, as this Minnesota team might be 13-13 on the season, but it’s ranked No. 31 overall by KenPom. The Big Ten is just an absolute meat-grinder, and Minnesota has been the meat a bit too often. Still, the Gophers put an end to a bad stretch by blowing out Northwestern (the tofu of the Big Ten) by 26 over the weekend on the road. Now they return home where they’ve been much stronger and will be facing a Maryland team that is coming off a road loss to Ohio State and has a date with Michigan State this Saturday. In other words, Maryland could get caught looking ahead here.
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