Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 2/14

Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports
Locks

NBA – Wolves/Raptors Over 229.5 (-110): 6 PM CT on Fox Sports North

The last three Minnesota Timberwolves’ games have averaged 216 points per game, and that’s no surprise given this team’s inability to play good defense. The Wolves have been more competitive since having Karl-Anthony Towns back in the lineup and efficient on the offensive end, but that hasn’t translated on the defensive end at all.

As for the Toronto Raptors, they’ve been in the top third in the NBA in offensive efficiency over the last month and look to be hitting their stride the more the season plays out. Five of the Toronto’s last six games have flown over this number as well so look for that trend to continue today.

NBA – Blazers/Mavs Over 235.5 (-110): 6:30 PM CT on ESPN

I took a few minutes on my podcast to explain why I would take this bet if the number came in below 239 so I was pretty surprised to see it come in below 236. The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA while the Dallas Mavericks are just throwing up All-Star game numbers night in and night out.

Averaging over 256 points per game in their last five, the Mavs are 5-0 to the over and I don’t see Portland’s defense stopping that trend tonight. Over their last three games the Mavs are No. 1 in the NBA in offensive efficiency at 1.263 points per possession. Portland is 7th at 1.172 during that same stretch. If Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, and Damian Lillard all play in this one I expect another high scoring affair.

NCAA Basketball – Minnesota @ Maryland -2.5 (-110): 6:00 PM on Big Then Network

Sorry Gopher fans, but they’re just awful in road games. With an 0-6 straight up and 1-5 ATS record away from The Barn, it’s crazy to back Minnesota here, especially against a team they’ve already lost to.

Maryland is in desperation mode for an NCAA tournament berth here as well, needing this game after dropping three of their last four, while Minnesota is in an improved seeding position after their last two wins. As we saw in the first game between these teams this is a tough matchup for Minnesota, as the strong Terps defense creates a lot of problems for the Gopher offense that’s 312th in field goal percentage.

I think a desperate Maryland team continues Minnesota’s road woes here, and as a bonus pick I’d look to the under given the Gophers poor shooting and with Maryland playing at the 311th pace in the country.

NCAA Basketball – Loyola-Chicago -5.5 @ Drake (-110): 2:00 PM on ESPN2

Earlier this week I talked about how I recommended a wait-and-see approach to this weekend doubleheader given the uncertainty around Drake and the injury to ShanQuan Hemphill.

What we saw yesterday was pure dominance by Loyola, particularly by their defense that’s best in the country in points allowed and 6th in points per possession allowed. The unappreciated aspect of this Ramblers team though is their shooting: 3rd best field goal percentage in the country because of how many good looks they get inside the arc.

That was on full display yesterday against a Drake defense that was exposed after inflating their metrics on weaker teams this season. I expect to see another strong performance from Loyola as they build on their 7-1-1 ATS record as a road favorite, and so does the smart money as this line has moved from its open of -4 to here during overnight action, so grab it soon.

Degenerates

No Degenerates today.

Tiny Nick is 160-92 ATS (+64.4 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. 

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Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

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