Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 2/18

Feb 16, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (middle) reaches for a rebound against Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher (25) and forward Pascal Siakam (43) in the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Locks

NCAA Basketball – Jacksonville St. @ Belmont -12 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on ESPN+

Believe in Belmont, period. While that might be the laziest handicap possible for this game, it has the benefit of being true.

The Bruins keep rising to every challenge, winning, and covering.

Last week they took care of both the teams directly below them in the OVC standings, winning by 18 and 15 points, which were both covers. The Bruins are now 13-3 ATS in conference games, 7-1 ATS in conference home games, and importantly for this spot are 10-1 when laying double digits.

They’ve already won and covered on the road against this Jacksonville State team, and as I’ve mentioned before, you just don’t get in front of Belmont when they have this mid-season momentum going, so I think they roll again.

Bonus pick: I’d also recommend the over here because their previous meeting saw 189 points. Plus, Belmont boasts the 2nd best effective field goal rate and 6th most efficient offense in the country.

NBA – Bucks/Raptors Over 235 (-110): 6:30 PM CT on ESPN

The Milwaukee Bucks have been putting up huge numbers the past couple of weeks, and when these two teams met just two nights ago this went over the 235 mark.

In that game the Bucks actually struggled and it was the Toronto Raptors who were able to pull away late. I expect things to normalize tonight, allowing the Bucks to still get into the 120’s against a Toronto team that is just starting to find its groove as well.

Degenerates

NCAA Basketball – Rutgers @ Michigan -9 (-110): 8:00 PM CT on FS1

This line feels like we’re still getting a discount because of Michigan’s three-week COVID hiatus and how teams have struggled coming back from those.

The Wolverines needed less time than most to get back in their groove, only looking shaky in the first half against Wisconsin before getting back to their usual dominant selves. It’s easy to forget just how easy Michigan was making it look before their pause, going 7-2 ATS in Big Ten games with all but one of those wins by double digits, and only one home game closer than a 19-point margin.

Rutgers has struggled against the Big Ten elite, with a 1-5 record against the top five teams in the standings. And with Michigan chasing a 1-seed in March, they need style points in games like this, so I expect a focused and hungry Wolverines squad to notch another double-digit win here.

NCAA Basketball – Idaho/Portland St. Under 137.5 (-110): 9:00 PM CT

Portland State is arguably the best under team in the country.

The Vikings are 9-2 to the under this season, the 2nd best under percentage record nationally, and their average margin of 11.1 points in favor of the under is the only double digit margin in college basketball. They’ve also seen their last seven D1 games go under this particular total.

Idaho’s over/under record isn’t as stark at 10-7 to the under, but they only tend to go over when the other team does all the scoring — the Vandals are 334th in points per game and 256th in pace of play. That shouldn’t be a concern against a Portland State team that is 340th in effective field goal percentage.

I expected this total to be 10 points lower than it is, so look for an easy under from a slow game with lots of bricks.

NCAA Basketball – SIU Edwardsville @ Austin Peay -12.5 (-110): 7:30 PM CT on ESPN+

Okay, no Peay jokes after this Governors team pissed away a 13-point lead on Tuesday, costing us a cover. Their No. 1 problem in that game was a 3-point defense that had some leaks down the stretch.

But you’re in trouble if you believe an Edwardsville team that only attempts the 268th most shots from deep will make it rain 3s against this normally solid APSU defense that’s only allowed 56.3 PPG in their last three at home. The Governors definitely need a bounce back after that game, and hosting an Edwardsville team they’ve already beaten by 15 should do it.

This is the fourth game in a week for the Cougars with travel between all of them, and the last two against quality OVC opponents resulted in 20 and 29 point losses. The last five Governors wins have been by 15 points or more, and I expect another here behind a steady stream of points from POY front-runner Terry Taylor.

Tiny Nick is 165-96 ATS (+65 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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Feb 16, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (middle) reaches for a rebound against Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher (25) and forward Pascal Siakam (43) in the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Locks NCAA Football (1 Unit) Wake Forest/Virginia Over 68.5 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on ESPN2 Both defenses in this game are extremely vulnerable, both offenses are extremely […]

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