NBA (0.5 Unit) Indiana Pacers @ Minnesota Timberwolves -3 (-110): 7:00 PM CT on Bally Sports North
Being a long-suffering Wolves fan makes this scary, as it feels like the other shoe is about to drop at any minute. But I have to trust that this team has figured things out, especially against a fairly mediocre opponent.
The Indiana Pacers are middle of the pack in just about every important statistical category, making them just an average team at best. Conversely, this Wolves squad is feeling themselves right now, especially at home, and that confidence should give them an edge against the unremarkable Pacers. Minnesota’s current 7-1 ATS run includes 5 straight at home, where their average margin against the number is an incredible plus-16.8 points.
What this boils down to though is a gut feeling that something is different with this Minnesota team, and the recent positive results are there. To the betting market, they’re still the poorly-perceived Timberwolves though, so I see value on them as such a short home favorite.
NFL (0.5 Unit) Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Football Team -1 (-110): 7:15 PM CT on ESPN
Full disclosure, I need Washington pretty badly in the Westgate Supercontest. But I made that pick for a reason, and I think they’re in a good position to get this win.
Seattle is truly a mess. It’s pretty obvious that Russell Wilson’s finger isn’t right and neither is his relationship with Pete Carroll. Since his return, Wilson has led the Seahawks to one touchdown and 474 total yards across two games. Seattle lost and failed to cover in both of those, while Washington is headed in the other direction.
The Football Team has come off their bye in good form, winning and covering two straight with QB Taylor Heinicke playing extremely well. He also gets Logan Thomas and Curtis Samuel back tonight against an always-suspect Seattle defense. This line actually opened with the Seahawks laying 2.5 points, but I’m following the money here that’s correctly made WFT the short favorite.
NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Grambling vs. Norfolk State -4.5 (-110): 5:00 PM CT on ESPNU
This game in the HBCU Challenge is being played on a neutral court, holding the line down from where I think it should be.
This is simply a mismatch as Norfolk State is one of the more underrated teams in the country. They’re excellent at getting to the rim, both in the half-court and transition because they play extremely fast. A Grambling team that’s incredibly turnover-prone (355th in turnovers) should create plenty of easy buckets for Norfolk here. Grambling is also 346th in offensive rating, so I don’t see how they keep up with a fast-paced Spartans team, which also owns the 17th-best defensive rating in the country.
Norfolk did not play to their potential in last night’s game, yet still ended up covering essentially this same number. I have the Spartans winning by about 8-10 points, so I’ll gladly lay this number with them again tonight.
NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) UC Riverside/St. Mary’s Under 120.5 (-110): 9:00 PM CT on WCC Network
It’s an incredibly low total here, but it’s justified given how these teams play, and I give the edge to the under.
This will be all about pace and shooting, and these teams simply refuse to play fast or get up a high volume of shots. UC Riverside is 312th in shot attempts per game, while St. Mary’s is 291st as well as 315th in possessions per game. And when those shots go up, they don’t go in very often, as these teams are 149th and 279th in true shooting percentage.
The Gaels and Highlanders are both excellent on defense too, ranking 51st and 28th respectively in defensive efficiency. The past four games combined for these teams have averaged 107.3 PPG, and I see the meeting of similar styles creating another very low-scoring contest here.
No degenerates today.
Tiny Nick is 463-360 ATS (+84.8 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.