Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 5/5

Photo Credit: Jason Getz (USA TODAY Sports)
Locks

NBA – Suns/Hawks over 228 (-110):  7:00 PM CT on Bally Sports SE

This Phoenix Suns team has got to be worn out. Playing your fourth game in six nights doesn’t help, nor does being on a back-to-back after needing overtime last night in Cleveland.

After being known for their defense for much of the season, Phoenix has now logged overs in seven of their last nine games and moved to the 5th best over record in the NBA. Now they face the Atlanta Hawks, a team that loves to exploit teams on no rest — they are 9-5 to the over when they have the rest advantage.

Atlanta broke out of an offensive slump against a similarly tired Portland Trail Blazers team in their last game, and I expect them to continue that momentum here. But their defense that’s 22nd in defensive rating will struggle against a Suns offense that’s scoring 1.232 points per possession in their last three games.

Metrics and the fatigue factor on defense are saying we’ll see plenty of points in this one, and I’m taking the over as a result.

NBA – Kings/Pacers over 239 (-110): 7:00 PM CT on Bally Sports IN

Public service announcement: There really isn’t a total too high for a game involving the Indiana Pacers right now.

As the best over team in the NBA, they only eclipsed one of the highest totals of the season on Monday by 50 points, no big deal. Whether it’s their terrible defense, red-hot offense, or both contributing to the total, Indiana has logged five straight overs as at least one team has scored over 130 points in all five games.

Indiana’s insanely high recent pace of play has been the main factor in all the scoring, and there aren’t many teams more willing to play a fast pace and bad defense than the Sacramento Kings. They own the worst defensive efficiency mark in NBA history and are also on the second leg of a back-to-back, the perfect team and situation for the Pacers to exploit.

In the last week, both of these teams have had 154 points put on them in regulation, something I’m not sure has ever happened before — especially given that Indiana hung 152 in a separate game. I don’t see any reason for that style of play to stop here, so grab the over and enjoy the scoring binge in this one.

NBA – Knicks/Nuggets over 214 (-110): 8:00 PM CT on Altitude Sports

Books didn’t learn their lesson from Monday when I highlighted the New York Knicks’ offensive strength and they cashed an over, so let’s go right back to that well.

A trend that looks to be holding this total down is the Denver Nuggets being just 3-7 to the over in their last 10 games. However, by digging deeper you’ll see that they’re actually 7-2-1 over this particular total. Meanwhile, the Knicks are 8-2 to the over in their last 10, and on Monday eclipsed the 110-point mark for the 13th time in 16 games.

But now they travel to altitude, a tough task for playing good defense, and the style mismatch of how Denver uses Nikola Jokic should create plenty of points against a Knicks defense not built to defend a stretch center. After being held to 89 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, I’d expect that Nuggets offense to bounce back, and combined with the recent high efficiency of New York’s offense I love their chances of getting over this low total.

Bonus Bet: Injuries abound in this matchup, as Monday’s game saw PJ Dozier added to the laundry list of injured Nuggets and Jokic dealing with foot injuries himself. While the Knicks have some injuries in the frontcourt they’re definitely the healthier team overall, plus they’re a covering machine on an insane 15-1 ATS run. Denver has been struggling to cover numbers since losing Jamal Murray and this is perhaps the hottest team they’ve faced, so I’ll take +3.5 with New York.

Degenerates

MLB – Cardinals ML vs. Mets (+105): 7:15 PM CT

In the second game of a doubleheader today, it caught my attention that I could get the home team St. Louis Cardinals without paying any juice against an underachieving New York Mets team. On top of that, the Mets are sending out the unproven Miguel Castro who is sporting a WHIP of over 1.30 currently.

The Cards are sending out a young guy of their own in Johan Oviedo who has been throwing the ball well and will get to be at his home ballpark for this Wednesday night tilt. Look for the St. Louis lineup to keep them in the win column tonight, especially if they lose Game 1 of their doubleheader today.

Tiny Nick is 242-156 ATS (+76.6 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: Jason Getz (USA TODAY Sports)

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