NBA – Hawks @ 76ers -2 First Quarter (-110): 6:30 PM CT on TNT
The full game spread tonight opening at a very high -6 for the Philadelphia 76ers gives me confidence that Joel Embiid will be ready to go in this Game 5, and the fact that the line has moved further towards Philly to -6.5 only strengthens that confidence.
That being said, I don’t want to lay that many points in a series where both teams have shown a propensity for trimming big deficits late. Instead, I’ll look to the Sixers to continue their trend of starting strong in the opening quarter as they’ve done in 3 of 4 games this series and 5 of the 7 total meetings with the Atlanta Hawks this season.
Philadelphia looked like the far superior team early on Monday and have for most of the series except for two bad halves. I think they look to right the wrongs that cost them Game 4 early in this one. As long as Embiid doesn’t miss another 12 straight shots to start this game, I’m confident the Sixers will continue being a strong bet early in games.
NBA – Paul George Over 25.5 Points (-110): 9:00 PM CT on TNT
Paul George has done a lot in this series to try to rid himself of the stigma around his playoff history. We’ll see what not having running mate Kawhi Leonard available for a possibly extended period will do to PG13’s overall perception, but for this game I see it adding to the scoring load that he’ll need to shoulder.
Defense has not exactly been a hallmark of this series, particularly by the Utah Jazz over the past two games where they surrendered 125 PPG as George found his scoring touch. He has gone over this point total in three straight now and five times in total during the playoffs. If the Los Angeles Clippers are to stay at least somewhat competitive in this game they’ll need a massive performance from George, so I’ll count on him to pick up at least some of the slack from Kawhi being out and get over this prop total.
MLB – Cubs Team Total Under 2.5 Runs (-110): 6:10 PM CT on SNY
What else can you really say at this point about Jacob deGrom other than he’s on a historic run of dominance?
It’s now three straight starts without allowing a run for deGrom, and seven starts in a row that have seen the opposing team fall under this team total. He’s only given up 15 total hits along with five walks over those seven starts, just remarkable dominance that essentially requires you to bet on him.
But the New York Mets are prohibitive favorites in this game at a moneyline not worth laying, and the Chicago Cubs are giving a reliever the start, so the full game could easily go over on the strength of the Mets offense. Books are starting to adapt to these opposing team totals in deGrom starts, but today’s still holds value as the Cubs have scored two runs in three straight games and don’t hit right-handed pitching well with a .228 average.
I just don’t see them producing against the best pitcher in baseball, so I’ll ride with this team total play again and maybe re-assess if deGrom ever gives up a run.
No degenerates today.
Tiny Nick is 296-193 ATS (+89.3 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.