Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 5/29

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher (USA TODAY Sports)
Locks

MLB – Braves @ Mets Team Total under 3.5 runs (-110): 6:15 PM CT on FOX

This game was rained out yesterday.

A fun and challenging game these days is to go through a New York Mets lineup card and see how many names you recognize. They have a laundry list of injuries to starting position players, and even the players you can recognize like Francisco Lindor have been failing to live up to expectations.

These absences have resulted in quite a power outage recently. The Mets are batting .194 as a team over the last week and are averaging two runs per game in their past six games. Righthanded pitching like they’ll face tonight has also held them down all season, with the Mets managing a .225 batting average and only 2.6 runs per game.

Atlanta Braves starter Ian Anderson has dominated weak lineups this season and has five starts where he allowed one run or less. In a game where it’s expected to be cool and damp, I see the Mets backups struggling again at the plate, so I love this isolated team total to stay under.

NBA – Nuggets/Trail Blazers over 227.5 (-110): 3:00 PM CT on TNT

I swear my jaw hit the floor when I saw this total get posted at 228.5 and then get bet down – again – to here. Really sharps, you’re betting the exact same thing for four straight games and expecting this time to be different?

That might be the definition of insanity, but let them follow their power ratings, I just can’t ignore how this series is being played. Yes, it took a ridiculous flurry of scoring at the end of Game 3 to push that one over the total, but that speaks more to the explosive scoring potential of these teams and ignores that the game was easily on pace until a bad 3rd quarter. The Portland Trail Blazers have just not been playing any worthwhile defense, allowing 1.214 points per possession in this series, a number that would rank them dead last by a mile in the regular season.

You’ll also notice that the Denver Nuggets have been heating up from beyond the arc, steadily improving their 3-point percentage each game, and getting a lot of points from the free-throw line in the last two as another result of Portland’s bad defense. The Blazers aren’t going away from their style and it’s one that creates overs, so I’m seeing another here that adds to the 3-0 trend.

NBA – 76ers/Wizards First Half over 116.5 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on ESPN

When the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards get together they do a lot of scoring early on. Every first half of their five meetings this season has finished at or above this total tonight, with an average of 126.6 points. These teams also do the bulk of their scoring in the first half, with an average of 16.6 points more than second halves.

This first half total being only 51.1% of the full game total simply doesn’t reflect the season-long trend of 53.5% and therefore has a lot of value. I’ve been a little surprised to see Philly willing to run and score at Washington’s highest-ranked pace in this series, thinking they might use their excellent defense to slow things down but instead have hit 120-plus in both games.

I also love the narrative swirling around this game with Russell Westbrook out for blood now, piling onto his already intense dislike of Joel Embiid and the Sixers. With home court and a lot of emotional motivation here, I see the Wizards playing with their hair on fire early in this one. That combined with the hot Philadelphia offense should fuel another high-scoring first half between these teams.

Degenerates

No degenerates today.

Tiny Nick is 268-176 ATS (+80.8 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.

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Photo Credit: Bill Streicher (USA TODAY Sports)

Locks MLB (1 Unit) Houston Astros @ Boston Red Sox -1.5 (+140): 7:08 PM CT on FS1 It’s impossible not to back the Boston Red Sox here, […]

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