Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 1/14

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Swinger (USA TODAY Sports)
Locks

NBA (0.75 Unit) Cleveland Cavaliers -3.5 @ San Antonio Spurs (-110): 7:30 PM CT on Bally Sports OH

Fresh off a 20-point demolition of the Jazz on Wednesday, this Cavaliers team has what I see as another favorable matchup. It hasn’t been pretty for San Antonio lately, and I see their woes continuing tonight.

The Spurs have only won 2 of their past 10 games and just turned in an ugly home loss to Houston on Wednesday. It’s probably bad timing then to see a Cavaliers team that is excellent at defending how the Spurs want to play. San Antonio lives inside the arc, generating the most production from two-pointers in the league and taking the 2nd-fewest threes. This big lineup being employed by the Cavs is perfect for defending that, and Cleveland is 3rd in two-point percentage defense this season.

The Cavaliers are still the best ATS team in the league, and also have the best plus/minus to the number in road games. I see Cleveland extending that here against a down Spurs team that will struggle with this excellent defense.

NCAA Basketball (0.25 Unit) Nebraska/Purdue Over 155 (-110): 5:30 PM CT on FS1

Nebraska is expected to get electric guard Trey McGowens back for this game, and that should make an already fast-paced Cornhuskers team speed up even more. Purdue has no trouble scoring points, so that should create a very high-scoring affair here.

The Cornhuskers are playing at the 37th-fastest pace in the country, and that’s with McGowens being on the shelf for two months now. He should add some much-needed offense for Nebraska, but won’t help their poor defense much, especially against the Purdue juggernaut. Nebraska pushing the pace and creating more possessions will maximize scoring against the top-rated offense in the country. That’s especially true with the Cornhuskers ranked 245th in defensive efficiency and allowing an astronomical 1.168 points per possession the past 3 games.

I’m looking for Nebraska to continue their up-tempo style, especially given the matchup nightmares that Purdue presents in the half-court. But giving an offense like Purdue more chances will inevitably lead to points, and that should lead to this game getting over the total.

NCAA Basketball (0.25 Unit) Monmouth/St. Peter’s Over 135 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on ESPN3

The handicap here is based on going against the market perception of these teams and counting on an overlooked angle. Both of these teams have played mostly to the under this season, going a combined 7-14 under the total. A lot of that can be attributed to style of opponent, as these teams tend to play weak teams in the non-conference slate. But they’re actually both faster than average in pace, and I see them getting out and running tonight.

Both teams are fresh off long COVID pauses, and when that’s been the case previously, we see those teams just wanting to get back on the court and run. That tends to create higher-scoring games, and this total is very gettable in that kind of style. Plus, despite the metrics profiles for these teams pointing to poor offense, the total has been bet up from the open of 133, so sharp bettors are seeing the same thing. The previous 4 meetings of these schools have averaged 146.8 points, and I see another high-scoring game tonight.

Degenerates

NBA Golden State Warriors @ Chicago Bulls -3.5 (-110): 6:30 PM CT on ESPN

The spot here could not be set up worse for an ailing and stumbling Warriors team. Their blowout loss last night in Milwaukee was about as ugly as it gets, and they also lost Gary Payton II to injury in that game. Golden State is already without Draymond Green, they’ll be resting Klay Thompson here, and are playing their 4th game in 6 nights with travel in between all of them.

That gives the Bulls an excellent opportunity to avenge an early-season blowout loss to the Warriors, especially with the sting of getting run out by Brooklyn on Wednesday still fresh. The Bulls are 9-4 ATS with a rest advantage, while Golden State is just 5-7-1 ATS with a rest disadvantage. That fatigue factor should define this game, and it may even be one that the Warriors are willing to throw away given their big disadvantages.

NBA Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat -4.5 (-110): 7:00 PM CT on Bally Sports SE

This is one of those quirky NBA scheduling spots where we just saw this matchup two nights ago in Atlanta, with the Heat rolling by 24 points. Does that make the 7-point swing of Miami being 2.5 point dogs to laying 4.5 here fair? I think it does if Jimmy Butler returns tonight as some reports have indicated.

It’s a bad matchup in general for Atlanta, as their poor defense and trouble defending the 3-pointer runs into the 2nd-best shooting team from deep. And with the Hawks missing Clint Capela and possibly Kevin Huerter, the excellent wing defenders of Miami can focus on locking down Trae Young. Be sure to monitor Butler’s status, because with him in the lineup this could turn into another runaway for the Heat.

Tiny Nick is 520-409 ATS (+81.6 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: Jeffrey Swinger (USA TODAY Sports)

Locks NBA (0.25 Unit) Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks -9 (-110): 7:00 PM CT on ESPN This number has been roaring towards Milwaukee since it opened, but […]

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