Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 1/19

Photo Credit: Erik Williams (USA TODAY Sports)

NBA (1 Unit) Karl-Anthony Towns Over 24.5 Points (-110): 6:30 PM CT on Bally Sports North

I’ll admit I haven’t had great luck this season in picking which Timberwolves player will go over their points prop. But I’m pretty confident in this one tonight for several reasons. First is that Towns has gone over this total in 4 of his past 5 games as he has ramped back up after a COVID absence, and has eclipsed it 21 times already this season.

Second is the matchup, going against an Atlanta Hawks team that he dropped 31 against in their first meeting of the year. Towns had to contend with the interior presence of Clint Capela in that game, but won’t tonight as Capela is out with an ankle injury. That’s bad news for a Hawks defense that’s just 26th in opponent 2-point percentage. This also projects as a higher-scoring game given Atlanta’s style and Minnesota being on a back-to-back here, creating more opportunity on the offensive end for Towns. I think that all adds up to the Big KAT eating well tonight.

NBA (1 Unit) Cleveland Cavaliers -2.5 @ Chicago Bulls (-110): 7:00 PM CT on NBC Sports-CHI

There’s no way I can back this Chicago team with how beat up they are, especially with a red-hot Cavaliers squad in town.

Cleveland is on a 5-game win streak, 4-game cover streak, and has the opportunity here to overtake Chicago in the win column of the Central Division standings. The injuries have been piling up for the Bulls during their 4 consecutive losses, and they’ll be without Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball again tonight. That just makes it incredibly difficult to score effectively against this excellent Cavs defense, and that’s what should carry Cleveland again tonight.

The best team to bet on as a favorite in the NBA is the Cavs, going 12-5-2 ATS with the widest average margin of victory when laying points. A mostly healthy Bulls team got stomped by 23 points in the first meeting with Cleveland this season, and I see the Cavs getting another comfortable win tonight.

NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Western Carolina/Furman Under 153.5 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on ESPN+

This number is massively inflated due to how these teams have put up points at times this season. But it hasn’t been happening lately for either squad, and a key stat matchup will have a big impact on this game.

Bad defensive metrics for both teams – particularly for the 336th-rated Western Carolina defense – have caused some high-scoring games this season. But combined these teams are actually 23-12 under tonight’s total, with Furman seeing their last 10 straight go under this number. WCU has gone under this total in 3 of their last 4, and there’s a big reason why.

Both these teams love to let it fly from long range, so that will define this game. But the Catamounts have not been able to connect from deep recently, shooting one of the worst percentages in the country over the past couple of weeks. The Paladins are only allowing visiting teams to shoot 28.4% from three this season, so if those trends continue, I see a minimal output from WCU as another Furman game goes under.


NCAA Basketball San Jose St. @ Wyoming -17 (-110): 8:00 PM CT on Mountain West Network

I had much higher hopes for this San Jose State team coming into the season under new coach Tim Miles. While there was reason for optimism early, the wheels have come off recently with 4 straight D1 losses by 20-plus points. This game shapes up as a tough spot for them with travel to altitude and meeting a Wyoming team eager to make a name for themselves in the Mountain West.

The Cowboys get their first conference home game here, and it’s a great matchup for them. Wyoming is actually 4th in the country at defending the three, something SJSU is highly dependent on. If the Spartans aren’t knocking down shots and their defense tires in the elevation, this could turn into another rout. Wyoming is winning their home games by an average 24.8 point margin, so I don’t see them being shy about blowing out another struggling team here.

NCAA Basketball Colorado St. Team Total Over 84.5 (-110): 9:00 PM CT on CBSSN

The Colorado State offensive powerhouse has declined a little since their early season fireworks, but New Mexico might be a perfect opponent for getting back to those high-scoring ways. The Lobos want to play extremely fast, with the 26th-fastest pace in the country. An increase in possessions, at altitude no less, is going to make their 304th-rated defense look even worse.

I see Colorado State taking advantage of that weak defense and the extra possessions, as the Rams are still 6th in effective field goal rate. They’re also easily the most efficient offense New Mexico has seen this season, yet the Lobos have already allowed 7 opponents to get over this number. If CSU wants to get back to lighting up the scoreboard, this is a great opportunity to do so and I think they will.

Tiny Nick is 527-417 ATS (+80.5 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: Erik Williams (USA TODAY Sports)

Locks NBA (0.5 Unit) Boston Celtics/Miami Heat Under 207.5 (-110): 7:30 PM CT on ESPN This is a trap total designed to trick you into taking the […]

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