NCAA Football (0.5 Unit) 2-Team 6 Point Teaser (-110): 7:00 PM CT on ESPN
So you’re telling me that not only can I get Nick Saban catching points, I can get a full possession’s worth of points? Sign me up for the coach that’s 5-1 straight up and ATS as an underdog since the 2008 season. Add in that Saban is 3-0 ATS when facing a team for the second time in a season, plus he’s been dominant over former assistants like Kirby Smart, and I definitely see the Tide keeping it inside this number.
I don’t expect Alabama to put it on Georgia like they did in the SEC title game, with the Bulldogs having learned some lessons and the Tide missing star receiver John Metchie. But star receivers seem to grow on trees for the Alabama program, so Heisman winner Bryce Young will have options for exploiting a relatively weak Georgia secondary. I expect this to be more of a defensive battle, though, so with a full possession of cushion, I’ll roll with the live dog Tide.
I’ll be playing the standard under in this game because I think this is shaping up as more of a defensive slugfest. I mentioned the loss of John Metchie for Alabama, which will have an impact on their ability to consistently move down the field. They also won’t be able to employ an up-tempo pass attack like they did in the first meeting, mostly because Georgia won’t be caught by surprise with that style. That should force this into a running and short passing-dominated game that keeps the clock running.
With this number, I’m getting 10.5 points of cushion from the total in that SEC title game, and that’s a lot of value. Aside from that first meeting, the past 10 combined power-5 games for these teams are 8-2 under this number. Both defenses are elite, and I’d say Alabama’s is steadily improving over the 2nd half of the season, so they should be what defines this national championship.
NBA (0.5 Unit) Cleveland Cavaliers -5.5 @ Sacramento Kings (-110): 9:00 PM CT on Bally Sports OH
Both of these teams are on a back-to-back here, falling on the road with feeble offensive outputs. But I’m still a big fan of this Cavaliers team, especially against a Kings squad that I’m fully fading right now.
Not only is Cleveland still the best ATS team in the league with a 68.4% cover rate, but they also bounce back extremely well by going 11-5-1 after a loss. The Kings just don’t do that very well, going 10-15 ATS with the worst plus/minus to the number in the league. These teams are also similarly opposed when they’re on no rest, with the Cavs covering 66.7% of those spots compared to 37.5% for Sacramento.
This is also just a tough matchup for the Kings, as their sputtering offense goes up against an arguably top-3 Cavs defense. I see Cleveland rebounding nicely again here against a Kings team that hasn’t stayed inside this margin in 5 of 6 games.
NBA Milwaukee Bucks/Charlotte Hornets Over 234.5 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on NBA TV
This is a really high total but is actually less than the average of what these teams have put together against each other. Their first meeting was a 252 point scoring binge that was played exactly how I’d expect from both teams. But Saturday’s second meeting fell short due to a really bad second quarter.
There were just 32 points scored in that quarter, one of the lowest in the NBA this season. But if it had produced the average per-quarter score between these teams of 59 points, then the game would’ve flown over the total. I’m not letting that black swan event of a quarter deter me from taking an over between two teams who play fast and score at an elite level.
Tiny Nick is 516-402 ATS (+83.2 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.