Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 3/3

Photo Credit: Brad Penner (USA TODAY Sports)
Locks

NBA – Nets -9 @ Rockets (-110): 6:30 PM CT on ESPN

So James Harden makes his return to Houston in a national TV game against a banged-up Rockets team on a 12-game losing streak — and the line is single digits? Sign me up.

It looks like this discount is coming because Jeff Green and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will be out again for the Brooklyn Nets, but that didn’t matter Monday against a much better San Antonio Spurs team than what they’ll face tonight. Not only is this a 12-game losing streak for Houston, but it’s also a 1-11 ATS run for the Rockets where nine of the losses have been by double digits.

Meanwhile, this Nets team keeps covering numbers, 9-1 ATS in their last 10, and haven’t lost or missed a cover on the road against Western Conference teams all season. I expect Harden to go off in this one, and a Rockets team who has lost twice in a week by double digits to the Cleveland Cavaliers should roll over once again.

NBA – Bulls/Pelicans Over 237 (-110): 7:00 PM CT

The New Orleans Pelicans may have started the season with five straight under games but it’s been all high scoring since. New Orleans is now on a 25-4 run to the over.

Eleven of those have flown over the 240-point mark which is where I expected this number to open up. I see good value here, especially against a Chicago Bulls team coming into this game as a strong over team themselves, especially out of conference. They are 13-5 to the over in games against the West.

These teams are 4th and 5th in the NBA in field goal percentage, and when you mix Chicago’s 4th highest pace with a Pelicans defensive efficiency rating that is literally 2nd worst in NBA history, you have a recipe for explosive scoring. I expect this game to fly over the total, and if your book has alt totals for boosted juice I’d be very tempted by that as well.

NBA – Hornets -1 @ Wolves (-110): 7 PM CT on Fox Sports North

The reasoning for this one is quite simple and honestly repetitive: The Minnesota Timberwolves are terrible and since firing Ryan Saunders they haven’t come within single digits of any team they’ve faced. I trust Vegas knows something here so this isn’t going to be a huge hammer for me, but I think this Wolves team is even worse and more disoriented than the oddsmakers even know.

Check the injury report before the game, but I expect both the spread and the score to balloon in this one. Wolves have lost eight straight, and I don’t see that streak coming to an end tonight.

NCAA Basketball – Abilene Christian/Stephen F. Austin Over 144 (-110): 8:00 PM CT on ESPN+

Oddsmakers continue to incorrectly line the totals for this Abilene team based on their elite defensive metrics.

The Wildcats have had a great season on the defensive side of the floor, but the metrics reflecting that were built up over the first half of the year and since then their offense has woken up. In the past nine games, Abilene is averaging 148.4 PPG, with the Wildcats accounting for 83.1 of that. All nine have gone over the total.

Now they face the 2nd best shooting team in the country with SFA, not to mention the Lumberjacks are 54th in pace and a meager 114th in defensive efficiency. Defensive metrics get inflated for good Southland teams because of the awful bottom half of the conference, so with two good teams and hot offenses in action here, I see an easy over.

Degenerates

NCAA Basketball – SIU-Edwardsville vs. Belmont -20.5 (-110): 7:00 PM CT on ESPN+

This can be a really lopsided affair if Belmont is fully healthy for this game.

Starting center and biggest matchup nightmare in the OVC Nick Muszynski is dealing with a foot injury, and his absence led to Belmont’s two losses last week to finish the regular season. He is reportedly available for the OVC tournament but monitor his status closely for this game.

The Bruins may not need him against a team that they beat by 52 and 32 points in their regular-season contests. If Muszynski plays tonight I think this line is far too short and would lay it with Belmont, as the Bruins will want to make a statement off those two losses. If he doesn’t play though this is a stay-away for me, so be sure to have all your information in hand before making a play.

Tiny Nick is 183-112 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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Photo Credit: Brad Penner (USA TODAY Sports)

Locks NBA – Pelicans/Nets Over 233 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on ESPN This one is a simple lock that all comes down to injuries. If the majority […]

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