NCAA Football (1 Unit) Coastal Carolina -5 @ Appalachian State (-110): 6:30 PM CT on ESPN2
I still don’t think Coastal Carolina is getting the credit they deserve for the team they have, the way they’re playing, and the mission they’re on. I’ve also seen enough of Appalachian State struggling against quality teams to know they’re in trouble tonight.
Coastal is simply an unstoppable force, with an excellently balanced offense that grinds teams to bits. Besides CCU, the only other team in the country that is top-20 in points per game, rushing offense, and passing offense is Ole Miss, blessed with SEC talent. The Chanticleers now lead the country in scoring and should torch a suspect App State pass defense that was exposed by another dual-threat QB last week. That was an ugly loss for the Mountaineers, but one that proved they aren’t suited to handle good teams.
I’m enamored with this Coastal team – mullets, craziness, and all – and think they’re primed for an excellent performance tonight having had a week to prepare for this big game. A banged-up and one-dimensional App State squad just isn’t equipped to handle what’s truly one of the best teams in the country.
NBA (1 Unit) Houston Rockets/Minnesota Timberwolves Over 229 (-110): 7:10 PM CT on Bally Sports North
The Twin Cities still seem to be sleeping on this Timberwolves team and their offensive potential. Tonight that offense should be on full display against the pitiful Rockets, while Houston shows off its scoring pop as well.
The Wolves showed brief glimpses late last season of what could be with Chris Finch at the helm, averaging 119.3 PPG over the last 15 games of the year. With a true offseason to further implement that offense, plus full health and availability from the top trio of Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D’Angelo Russell they should continue to improve.
Houston can counter with what looks to be a strong future backcourt duo, however, as Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green can score with anyone. The Wolves will be without their best perimeter defender tonight as Patrick Beverley serves a one-game suspension, so defense will likely continue being a weak spot.
The Rockets finished last season allowing an insane 126.4 PPG over their last 12, and I see little evidence that their defense has improved. The Wolves should make a statement to open this season against an inferior opponent and carry this game over a relatively moderate total in the process.
NBA (1 Unit) Sacramento Kings/Portland Trail Blazers Over 233 (-110): 9:00 PM CT on ROOT Sports NW
What a great backcourt battle to start off the season here, with elite scoring guards from both teams looking to create a track meet in this game.
The dynamic duo for Portland of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum – regardless of how happy they might be – can and will still score at an elite level. They’re the main reason why the Blazers closed last season on a ridiculous scoring binge, averaging 237.9 points in their last 14 games.
That high-level scoring should continue tonight against a defense that was historically awful last season. Sacramento finished with the worst defensive efficiency mark in league history, allowing 116.5 points per 100 possessions. But with De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, the Kings have the scoring ability that fuels overs when combined with their bad defense.
The three meetings between these teams last season averaged 241.3 PPG, and I don’t see much reason why offense won’t dictate this matchup tonight. This may be one of the lowest Blazers totals all season, so I’m taking advantage right away.
NBA Boston Celtics/New York Knicks Under 217 (-110): 6:30 PM CT on ESPN
Somehow this one seems a little too easy, and that has me nervous so I’ll leave it as a degenerate play.
Simply put, though, these teams have little interest in playing the new pace and style of the NBA. Last season the Knicks were the slowest-paced team in the league with only 95.9 possessions per game. The Celtics were fairly close at 98.3 possessions, ranking them 20th in the league. They both had strong scoring and field goal percentage defenses as well, with the Knicks again leading the NBA in both categories.
What’s more, in their three meetings last season none of the games crossed the 200 point mark, averaging 189.3 PPG in the process. So why such a comparatively high total? I’m really not sure, which worries me, but this game does set up as a dead under so that’s where my money will be.
Tiny Nick is 409-310 ATS (+91.3 Units) on his Locks since joining Zone Coverage.
Every day he will offer his Locks and Degenerate picks. Locks are the games he’s confident in. Degenerates are entertaining but riskier picks.