NBA (1 Unit) Atlanta Hawks/Los Angeles Lakers Over 227.5 (-110): 9:00 PM CT on ESPN
As I mentioned earlier this week, Trae Young is immensely important to the totals of Atlanta Hawks games. Young rested on Wednesday and should be back for this game in a primetime spot, and that has me taking the over here.
This total is on the rise, and with the spread also being just 3 points the market is telling me that Young will be in tonight. Both of these teams have positive records to the over this season, with the Lakers having the 4th-best over record at home. They’re also 4-1 to the over in their past 5 home games, while the Hawks are 4-0 to the over in Young’s last 4 games.
LA’s offense has started to figure some things out behind the strong play of Malik Monk supporting LeBron James’ resurgence. They play at the 2nd-fastest pace in the NBA, and I see them pushing it here against a Hawks defense that’s toward the bottom in most categories. But Atlanta owns the 2nd-rated offense in the league and should be able to create another high-scoring affair here behind a healthy Trae Young.
NBA (0.5 Unit) Cleveland Cavaliers -5.5 @ Portland Trail Blazers (-110): 9:00 PM CT on Bally Sports OH
The wheels are fully off for this Trail Blazers team as injuries to all of their best players have effectively torched this season. A Cavaliers team that’s returning to health should roll here.
Cleveland already owns a win over the Blazers this season, and that came over the fully-staffed version of Portland. Tonight’s version is as thin as it gets, and we just saw them fail to cover this many points against the Miami backups on Wednesday. The Blazers just haven’t been good as an underdog all season, going an NBA-worst 3-11 ATS with the worst margin and plus/minus as well.
The Cavaliers still own the best ATS record in the league despite a tough stretch marred by injury and COVID absences. I like the new lineup they’ve adopted that puts a ton of size on the floor together, and that should give them an advantage over a thin Portland frontcourt. But mostly I’m just auto-fading this Blazers team without their stars, and I see another lopsided loss here tonight.
NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Nicholls St./Texas A&M-CC Over 148 (-110): 7:30 PM CT on ESPN+
This is an unusual situation with the Southland Conference holding a tip-off tournament, and so far the games have seen fireworks. Yesterday’s first-round games averaged 161 points, and all but the two worst teams in the conference scored 80 or more. These are the two best teams in the conference, and their offenses should light it up tonight.
Both Nicholls and A&M-Corpus Christi are top-50 nationally in shooting percentage and offensive rating. Their defenses are better than you’d expect but not good enough to slow the other team here, especially with both squads being top-60 in pace. This is a total that should be in the 150’s so I’m taking the over here for a neutral-court shootout.
No degenerates today.
Tiny Nick is 515-398 ATS (+86.2 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.