Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 9/18

Photo Credit: Mark Alberti (USA TODAY Sports)

NCAA Football (0.5 Unit) Coastal Carolina/Buffalo Over 58 (-110): 11:00 AM CT on ESPN2

Coastal Carolina appears to be doing everything possible to pad its resume with plenty of style points, and now takes its high-octane attack on the road against another strong offense in Buffalo.

It’s yet to be determined whether the Chanticleers offensive effectiveness can be maintained away from the Smurf Turf, but the production so far can’t be ignored. Coastal is 4th in points per game and 19th in yards per game but has allowed a surprising amount of yardage to bad opponents – particularly on the ground where they’re 108th in yards allowed. Buffalo brings back plenty of offensive talent this year, and the Bulls want to run the ball behind running back Kevin Marks, Jr. who should find plenty of lanes in this one. Both offenses can and should be able to throw the ball as well with experienced quarterbacks and big-play receivers, especially in perfect weather conditions.

This should be the best offense Coastal has faced this season and will definitely score on the Chants’ defense. So if they want to keep winning by big margins to up their profile we should see plenty of points here, enough to get over a moderate total by Coastal’s standards.

NCAA Football (1 Unit) Nebraska/Oklahoma over 62 (-110): 11:00 AM on FOX

I can’t believe this total is below the key number of 63. These two teams – Oklahoma in particular – have the ability to go up and down the field on each other and I think they will.

You have to adjust somewhat for the opponents, but Oklahoma games so far this season have hit 75 and 76 points, and the old issues are still plaguing the Sooner defense. Most notably they’ve struggled with mobile quarterbacks, and that’s exactly what they’ll face with Adrian Martinez in this game. Nebraska will always be offensive-oriented under Scott Frost, and I expect he has plenty of ways to attack this suspect Oklahoma defense with Martinez and explosive receiver Samori Toure.

That may have to come in garbage time though as I expect Oklahoma to contribute the bulk of the scoring here. The Sooners look to be on a mission to atone for their near-collapse in Week 1, and won’t be afraid to run up the score on a Nebraska team that used to be one of its biggest rivals. The defenses will be gassed on a hot day in Norman, so this one could see a ridiculous amount of points.

NCAA Football (1 Unit) Ohio State -7 First Quarter vs Tulsa (-110): 2:30 PM CT on FS1

I would not want to be any team having to play Ohio State this week, period. Tulsa represents the proverbial lamb to the slaughter in this game that Buckeyes coach Ryan Day will undoubtedly use as a get-right spot for his team.

With Ohio State coming off their potentially CFP dream-killing loss to Oregon, the Golden Hurricane is walking into a buzz saw. Losing in the regular season is a fairly unique experience for the Buckeyes under Ryan Day, and it can’t be sitting well with him. I expect him to have his team come out firing as he’s never been shy about stomping inferior opponents. Tulsa is exactly that and in a bad spot themselves, fresh off a rivalry game loss after already having fallen to an FCS school.

To cash this bet Ohio State will need to start strong, something they really haven’t done much of so far this season. But the sting of last week’s loss should provide all the motivation they need to finish the first quarter with a two-score lead.

NCAA Football (0.5 Unit) Alabama @ Florida +14.5 (-110): 2:30 PM CT on CBS

It feels like you need a hazmat suit and a bottle of whiskey in order to fade this Alabama team, but this number and situation are still attractive to me.

Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young has looked electric in two games so far, but this is going to be a whole new experience for him. Playing in The Swamp is tough for anyone, much less a young QB, and the Florida faithful will be up for this game in a big way. The Gators have also looked much better offensively than I expected and should be able to use their two-quarterback system and fast pace to move the ball on an Alabama defense with some key injuries. I’m concerned about Florida’s ability to stop Alabama’s offense, but they should get an assist in that department from the crowd as well as wet and rainy conditions.

Getting two touchdowns plus the hook here opens up a lot of covering possibilities, especially if the weather creates a lower-scoring game. There’s no way I’d look to lay this kind of number with Alabama given the situational spot so I’ll close my eyes, take the points, and have the whiskey at the ready.

NCAA Football (2 Unit) Florida State @ Wake Forest -4.5 (-110): 2:30 PM on ESPN

Florida State has to be absolutely wrecked mentally after losing their first two games the way they did, especially last week to an FCS opponent. Following up those two heartbreakers with a road game to open ACC play is a really tough spot for this Seminoles team that’s still rebuilding.

Perhaps FSU’s biggest weakness is in defending the pass, and this game will pit that bad defense against a sneaky-good Wake Forest offense. The Demon Deacons have the best quarterback in this game, all due respect to the nice story that is Mackenzie Milton’s return to football. But Sam Hartman and a deep receiving corps is poised to take advantage of a Seminoles defense that’s 121st in passing yards allowed. The Deacs used their tune-up games effectively to hone that strong offense and should be ready for this test against the brand-name school.

Wake Forest is also just the better team overall right now, even if the perception doesn’t match that fact when thinking about the history of these programs. That perception may be contributing to the shorter number here, but I trust that Wake is on the right track and can hand another loss to this potentially broken Seminoles team.

NCAA Football (0.5 Unit) Auburn/Penn State First Half Under 26.5 (-110): 6:30 PM CT on ABC

Auburn was not supposed to be particularly great this year implementing new coach Brian Harsin’s system, and I think they’re being overvalued after stomping two very inferior opponents.

It’s a White Out game in Happy Valley on national TV, one of the toughest environments for a visiting team in all of college football. And while Auburn ran up the score on two cupcakes to start the season, this is an entirely different task for the Tigers and QB Bo Nix who has never impressed me in road games. Needing to run Auburn’s new offensive system in front of a maniacal crowd will be difficult. That’s especially true against Penn State’s strong defense that’s 8th in opponent points per play and 13th in opponent yards per play.

Penn State may also struggle to score in this one against a good Auburn defense full of SEC talent, just as they did early against a very good Wisconsin defense. This game should be fairly vanilla early on with Auburn trying to slow things down and negate the crowd noise, so I like the first half to stay under this number.

NCAA Football (1 Unit) Fresno State/UCLA over 62.5 (-110): 9:45 PM CT on Pac12 Network

I’m not entirely sure what it is about this UCLA team that has me not buying into the hype, but I’ll grant that their offense is starting to look like vintage Chip Kelly. The Bruins can and do score at will, having just torched “defensive back university” LSU for 470 yards and 38 points. Combine that with a still underrated Fresno State offense and I see this game producing fireworks.

UCLA has made a living on defense this season by being ultra-aggressive, a strategy that has paid off so far but could get exposed by this Fresno State team. The Bulldogs have an excellent QB in Jake Haener with Pac12 pedigree having transferred from Washington. Haener leads the FBS with over 1,000 passing yards already this season and should pad that number against a Bruins defense that’s 107th in passing yards allowed. Fresno won’t be afraid of UCLA either as they already gave a much better Oregon defense all it could handle, and have veterans throughout the offense.

I see this as more of a back-and-forth affair than most, but whether that’s the case or a blowout ensues, the end zone will be getting visited frequently.


No degenerates today.

Tiny Nick is 383-278 ATS (+86 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: Mark Alberti (USA TODAY Sports)

Locks NFL (1 Unit) Denver Broncos/Cleveland Browns Under 41 (-110): 7:20 PM CT on FOX Backup quarterbacks, third-string running backs, decimated offensive lines, and bad weather. I’m […]

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