Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 1/18

Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton (USA TODAY Sports)
Locks

NBA (1 Unit) Minnesota Timberwolves -3 @ New York Knicks (-110): 6:30 PM CT on NBA TV

The Timberwolves are getting all the support in the market for this revenge opportunity, and I see them coming out with a solid victory here.

Minnesota was only able to put a skeleton crew together 3 weeks ago when they fell to the Knicks at home. This time it’s New York who is dealing with significant absences while the Wolves are at full health. The Knicks should be without Kemba Walker, Nerlens Noel, and Cam Reddish for this game, depleting an already thin roster. The Wolves meanwhile should get Jaylen Nowell back from an ankle injury tonight, bringing their roster back to essentially full strength.

That’s caused this line to rise in Minnesota’s favor, who will look to build on their 20-point beatdown of the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. Without Kemba in the lineup, I just don’t see the Knicks producing enough offensively to keep up with the Wolves, who should get their revenge with a big win in MSG.

NCAA Basketball (0.25 Unit) Iona -2.5 @ Monmouth (-110): 6:00 PM CT on ESPN3

Monmouth started out the season on an absolute tear, covering the spread in their first 12 games. They’ve come crashing back to earth in a big way, and now have to face the best team in the conference.

Rick Pitino’s Iona team is looking the part of preseason MAAC favorite, starting out conference play with 6 straight wins. This is a battle-tested team with a win over Alabama and close calls against other top non-conference foes. The Gaels share the ball extremely well, and their efficient offense should help them pull away from a Monmouth team that can’t seem to throw the ball into the ocean right now.

Iona is too good offensively and too well-coached to relinquish their stranglehold on this conference. I see them getting a comfortable win here by exploiting a struggling team.

NCAA Basketball (0.75 Unit) Kansas St. @ Texas -10 (-110): 7:30 PM CT on Longhorn Network

This shapes up as a flat spot for Kansas State off their upset home win over Texas Tech on Saturday, and it’s a bad time to face a Texas team that’s already dominated them.

In the first matchup just two weeks ago, the Longhorns flexed their defensive muscle and showed why they’re 5th in defensive efficiency. It’s admittedly not that tough against a Wildcats team that is a lowly 253rd in shooting, and it resulted in a comfortable 13-point Texas road win. Now the Longhorns return home where they’ve been a force, winning every game in Austin by double digits and posting a 7-4 home ATS mark.

Texas is also looking for a bounce back after a loss at Iowa State over the weekend, and this team is too talented not to take advantage of a Big12 bottom-feeder. Only asking them to make this a double-digit margin is key for me, and I see the Longhorns running away here.

NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Wisconsin -2.5 @ Northwestern (-110): 8:00 PM CT on BTN

It’s time to start asking if this Wisconsin team is the class of the Big Ten conference. While they might be a little over-hyped in the polls, they’re an exceptionally strong team that should get another win tonight.

Northwestern should be in a flat spot here after their shocking upset win at Michigan State over the weekend. The Wildcats forced the weak Spartans backcourt into a lot of turnovers in that game, a recipe not likely to be replicated tonight. The Badgers are too good at taking care of the ball, with the 2nd-fewest turnovers in the country. Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis is in the Wooden Award conversation, and will be a problem again tonight as Northwestern struggles to guard beyond the 3-point line.

Northwestern will play extremely hard like they always do, and probably make this one interesting like all of their games seem to be. But the experience and talent of Wisconsin will be too much in the end, and I have the Badgers getting a win and cover here.

NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Iowa St. +8 @ Texas Tech (-110): 8:00 PM CT on ESPNU

Will the real version of both these teams please stand up? After their strange game two weeks ago both squads went in opposite directions, but I don’t see them being as far apart as this line would suggest.

Yes, Texas Tech looked like world-beaters during their week of a lifetime, knocking off national title contenders Kansas and Baylor in consecutive games. But ISU was extremely competitive in losses to both those schools, and also looked excellent in a solid win over Texas last weekend. These are still both top-10 defensive clubs, and that makes this game shape up as a low-scoring slugfest where the underdog has natural value.

That first matchup saw the line close at 5 points in favor of the Cyclones, so this 13 point swing towards Tech is not a justifiable move. Especially not with Iowa State still thriving in the underdog role at 7-1 ATS this year. Look for this game to come right down to the end again, where 8 points will be a lot of cushion.

Degenerates

NCAA Basketball IUPUI @ Ohio State -33 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on BTN

This IUPUI team is putting the “pee yew” in college basketball this season. Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week. But they really are objectively one of the worst teams in the whole country. The Jaguars rank 357th in scoring, have the worst turnover rate in the country, and are 307th in defensive efficiency.

Ohio State can win this game by 50 points if they truly want to, especially if they’re looking for momentum off a couple lackluster performances. The Buckeyes haven’t beaten anyone by this margin on the season yet, but IUPUI just lost by 35 to a weak Milwaukee team so they’re used to getting blown out and should again tonight.

NCAA Basketball Utah St. @ Fresno St. -2.5 (-110): 10:00 PM CT on CBSSN

This game will be – hopefully – an outstanding matchup between two of the best players in college basketball who don’t get nearly enough attention. Forwards Justin Bean of Utah State and Orlando Robinson of Fresno State have been dominating the Mountain West and carrying their respective teams.

But in this game I give the matchup edge to Fresno, a team that’s been a wagon at home with a 6-1 ATS record. I’m expecting Utah St. sharpshooter Brock Miller to miss this game, allowing the excellent Bulldogs defense to focus on slowing down Bean. Monitor the injury report here as Orlando Robinson is a game-time decision, but with him I’m confident that Fresno continues to defend home court.

Tiny Nick is 526-414 ATS (+81.5 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: Dan Hamilton (USA TODAY Sports)

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