Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 1/20

Photo Credit: James Snook (USA TODAY Sports)
Locks

NCAA Basketball (2 Units) San Francisco/Gonzaga Over 159.5 (-110): 10:00 PM CT on CBSSN

A good rule to live by right now is to just take Gonzaga overs until further notice.

This amazing three-game stretch where Gonzaga is averaging 114 PPG and 1.301 points per possession has incredibly been done mostly via pace and layups. This San Francisco team will have no trouble cooperating with that style, as they’re 9th in the country in two-point percentage. They’re also a respectable 62nd in offensive efficiency, so the Dons will be able to capitalize on all the extra possessions created by Gonzaga’s style of play.

I’m sure Gonzaga has been hearing all about the excellent team San Fran has this season that could challenge for the WCC title, giving them plenty of motivation to continue their scoring binge. With Gonzaga’s conference games averaging 197.3 PPG, I have no idea why this total would be so comparably low. But I’m pouncing in a big way because I can’t see the Zags slowing down here.

NCAA Basketball (1 Unit) Tennessee St/SE MO St Over 156.5 (-110): 7:00 PM CT on ESPN+

You would have an easy time convincing me that the SEMO Redhawks simply don’t practice defense. But I won’t argue with the benefit that has on winning over bets with them, and I see another coming tonight.

When a team is giving up the 4th-most points in the country, the 8th-most on a per-possession basis, and allows the 11th-highest opponent effective field goal rate, something has gone horribly wrong. Unless, of course, you’re an over bettor benefitting from SEMO’s 10-4 record to the over, or the fact that they’re hitting the over in conference games by an average of 22 points. The Redhawks are allowing 88.4 PPG their past 8, and it won’t stop here either.

Because of a postponement, SEMO’s last game was against this Tennessee St. squad, a 179-point affair that should be easily replicated here. The Tigers also play at a relatively fast pace, and won’t be shy about taking the easy buckets that SEMO hands them. Until I’m proven wrong, SEMO games are an automatic over play for me.

NCAA Basketball (0.25 Unit) North Dakota @ Oral Roberts -20.5 (-110): 7:00 PM CT No TV

North Dakota is also in the running for worst defense in the country, whose weaknesses will be relentlessly exploited by this Oral Roberts team.

The Fighting Hawks come in at 352nd nationally in defensive efficiency, one spot below the aforementioned awful SEMO defense. And in road games, UND is allowing the 3rd-most points per possession in the country. They also happen to be 345th in opponent 3-point percentage, and tonight face an ORU team that makes the most threes per game in the country.

The Golden Eagles have already laid some big numbers this season, but they’re 8-2 ATS as a favorite including 3-0 as a favorite of 14 or more points. Their last home game was a 45-point throttling of a similarly bad Omaha team, and I see this one getting ugly as well.

NCAA Basketball (0.25 Unit) Seattle +6 @ Abilene Christian (-110): 7:00 PM CT on ESPN+

I really don’t understand this line and get the suspicion that there is some name-recognition bias involved. While Abilene was an impressive tournament team last year, things have started coming apart for them while Seattle looks like the better squad.

Abilene has thrived this season behind their excellent pressure, ranking 2nd nationally in steals. But Seattle is very good at taking care of the ball, ranking 36th in turnover rate behind some excellent guard play. If the Wildcats can’t force those turnovers, as has been the case in their 4 straight losses, Seattle will stay in this game.

The Redhawks can hang around on the strength of their 3-point shooting, as they attempt the 11th most from deep and shoot it at the 47th-best percentage. That just happens to be Abilene’s biggest defensive weakness, as they’re 294th in opponent 3-point percentage. That makes me happy to take two possessions worth of cushion with a Seattle team that’s on a 7-3 ATS run.

NBA (0.5 Unit) Indiana Pacers/Golden State Warriors Under 217.5 (-110): 9:00 PM CT on TNT

Every trend available screams that this game is headed under the total, which is actually a fairly high number for Warriors home games.

I was ready to take the under in this game down into the low 210’s because of how the Warriors have performed defensively at home. They still have the best scoring defense in the league, and the best in home games as well. They’re also the 2nd-best team to the under at home, cashing under tickets in 70% of their home games. The best road under team just happens to be Indiana, going 14-7 to the under in away games, plus 11-3 to the under as a road underdog.

This is also a rest advantage spot for Golden State with the Pacers having played in L.A. last night. Games where the Warriors have a rest advantage have gone 10-3 to the under, and have the widest average plus/minus to the total at -11.6 points. I have to trust the trends here and what I’ve seen from the Golden State defense this season, so give me the under.

Degenerates

NCAA Basketball Charlotte @ North Texas -11 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on ESPNU

I’m glad that this of all games is on ESPNU so we can get more eyes on Charlotte after their Saturday game. It was pretty obvious to me that the 49ers point shaved in the end of that game, with some curious fouls and turnovers to allow UTSA back inside the number. But I’ll fade a point-shaving team all day long, especially against a strong North Texas squad.

The Mean Green have one of the best defenses in the country, and might not have to contend with Charlotte guard Musa Jallow in this one. Charlotte meanwhile has one of the worst defenses in the country and obviously isn’t interested in competing, so I’ll lay the points with UNT here in a definite mismatch.

Tiny Nick is 528-419 ATS (+79 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: James Snook (USA TODAY Sports)

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