NFL (0.75 Unit) Arizona Cardinals +4 @ LA Rams (-110): 7:15 PM CT on ESPN
It’s tough to really trust either of these teams given how inconsistent both have been at times this season. But what I have to trust here is the trends, and those are pointing me directly to the Cardinals.
Is it any surprise that these teams split the season series with the road team winning both times? The Cardinals are an NFL-best 8-1 ATS and straight up on the road this season, so maybe getting a wild card berth was the best thing for this team who has struggled at home. Arizona is also 6-0 ATS and straight up as an underdog this season, giving them the most outright underdog wins without a loss in the Super Bowl era. I’m also more trusting of Kyler Murray than Matthew Stafford in this game, with Murray having torched the Rams to the tune of 651 passing and 100 rushing yards this season.
Since 2014, when division rivals meet again in the playoffs the underdog is 7-1 ATS. And this weekend saw favorites go an unsustainable 4-1 ATS, even though underdogs have been 15-3 ATS in the previous four wild card rounds. If the underdogs are due, I’ll gladly take points with the best underdog and road team in the league.
NBA Utah Jazz/LA Lakers Over 230 (-110): 9:30 PM CT on NBA TV
Things are starting to get bad for the Lakers. They’re allowing 117.5 PPG the past 10 games, 123.4 PPG the past 5 games, and LeBron James now tweeting out apologies for their play. It doesn’t get any easier for their troubled defense tonight with Utah in town, as the Jazz are still the best shooting team with the top offensive rating in the league.
This stretch of putrid defense for LA has seen them cash overs in 8 of 10 games, and the past 5 for both teams have combined to go 6-3-1 over tonight’s total. My one concern is LeBron rallying this team to a better defensive effort here, but this is one of the toughest possible opponents to turn things around against. I’ll stick with how these teams have been playing recently and look for another high-scoring affair tonight.
Tiny Nick is 526-413 ATS (+82.2 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.