This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
Here are the wagers that some RotoWire writers are targeting this Tuesday:
Nick Whalen: Phoenix Suns (-3.0) at Atlanta Hawks (DK Sportsbook, noon CT)
The Suns have obviously cooled off considerably since their hot – by recent Suns standards – start to the season. They haven't beat a team with a winning record since Nov. 4, but Phoenix comes in on a two-game winning streak after beating Orlando and Charlotte over the weekend. Enter the eight-win Hawks, who are an inferior opponent to even those other Eastern Conference middlers. Atlanta gets Trae Young back from injury, but they'll be without a pair of centers in Alex Len and Bruno Fernando. Neither of those guys are knocking on the door of an All-NBA selection any time soon, but the Hawks are virtually down to one center – Damian Jones – to combat Aron Baynes and Deandre Ayton. Phoenix likely missing Ricky Rubio is a concern, but I still see Phoenix comfortably beating a Hawks team that was blown out by 22 points in Brooklyn on Sunday.
Alex Barutha: Phoenix Suns to win (-161) at Atlanta Hawks (BetMGM, 1:27pm CT)
The main concern here is Ricky Rubio's likely absence, as the Suns are 9.4 points per 100 possessions better with him on the court. The ball will run more through Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre, who aren't really point guards. But we also shouldn't pretend like Alex Len and Bruno Fernando missing this game doesn't matter for Atlanta. Those guys wouldn't be huge impact players on great teams, but within the context of how bad the Hawks are, it matters. The Hawks are +4.1 points per 100 possessions better with Fernando on the court and +3.0 points better with Len on the court. Phoenix also has the personnel to go big and take advantage.
Atlanta is also playing on tired legs. Trae Young is returning from a hamstring injury, and the rest of the team has flown from Atlanta (following a Jan. 8 loss to the Rockets) to Washington (loss on Jan. 10), then to Brooklyn (loss on Jan. 12) and now back to Atlanta. Add that to a formula that includes the Suns beating up on bad teams – 6-1 Against The Spread in their last seven road games vs. a team with a losing home record – and Phoenix should come out with a victory here.
Jeff Edgerton: Memphis Grizzlies (+5) vs. Houston Rockets (DK Sportsbook, 8:42 am PT)
Behind the strong play of Ja Morant, Jonas Valanciunas and a host of promising youngsters, the Grizzlies are entering the playoff conversation. One of their early pivotal wins came against the Rockets in a 107-100 win. Houston played that contest without Russell Westbrook, and he'll be on the bench for rest purposes again on Tuesday. One can argue that January's Grizzlies are a better version of the Memphis team that played Houston in November.