Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 1/24

Photo Credit: Matt Cashore (USA TODAY Sports)
Locks

NCAA Basketball (0.75 Unit) South Dakota/Western Illinois Over 149 (-110): 6:00 PM CT No TV

I mentioned the recent uptick in scoring for this South Dakota team on Saturday, and they crushed the over in their game that night. I see another one tonight against a Western Illinois team playing in similarly high-scoring games.

Both of these squads have been excellent over bets in their Summit League games to start the season. They’re a combined 11-3 over this total in conference play, with two of those unders involving the putrid North Dakota offense. In fact, their conference games not involving UND are averaging 159.6 PPG, so these teams are continually getting into shootouts.

Both teams are top-75 in offensive rating while being in the bottom fourth of the country in defensive rating, creating a matchup where offense will thrive. Western Illinois will push the pace tonight, as they’re 15th in possessions per game, and a lack of defense will get this game over the total with ease.

NCAA Basketball (1 Unit) Morgan St./Norfolk St. Over 148.5 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on ESPNU

If you’re a fan of up-tempo basketball this is the game for you, and in a national TV spot no less. Despite solid defensive metrics for both teams, that ultra-fast pace should get this game over the total.

Norfolk has been one of my favorite teams all season, but I’ve noticed that their excellent defense is running into problems against up-tempo teams. Two of their last three opponents have been top-20 in pace, and those turned into high-scoring games that went over this total. Enter Morgan St., the team who is 4th in possessions per game this season, and 1st since returning from a long COVID pause.

The Bears have been playing faster than Gonzaga in this stretch, with their three D1 games averaging 165.7 points as a result. Norfolk is actually 31st in pace themselves and are excellent at getting easy buckets at the rim, something Morgan struggles to defend. This game has the potential to be a sped-up layup line, so take the over.

NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Virginia Tech @ UNC -4.5 (-110): 7:00 PM CT on ACC Network

The disappointing season for North Carolina needs to turn around, and this should be a good spot for the Heels to get back on track.

While UNC has been disappointing overall, there has been a vast difference between their home and road performances. Being back at the Dean Dome gives them a big advantage here that’s reflected in their metrics. That’s especially true on defense where they’re allowing 0.22 fewer points per possession at home compared to away. That should help them pull away from a Virginia Tech team that plays ultra-slow and struggles against teams like UNC who can push tempo and attack the rim.

I see the Tar Heel size, speed, and athleticism giving the Hokies a lot of trouble, especially inside where the VA Tech front line has struggled. This is the start of a relatively easier home stretch for UNC, and they should take advantage of the opportunity to make up ground in the ACC with a comfortable win here.

NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Weber St./Southern Utah Over 153.5 (-110): 8:00 PM CT on ESPN+

This is another game that should be defined by a fast pace and lackadaisical defense. I see that continuing the trend of overs that both teams are currently on.

Weber State is currently on a run of 8-1-1 to the over, which is even more remarkable given the atrocious offense of several of their opponents, and a reason to discount some of their defensive metrics. The Wildcats have been playing at the 27th-fastest adjusted tempo this season, and should find a willing partner to run tonight in a Southern Utah team ranked 30th in possessions per game.

The Thunderbirds also have one of the more porous interior defenses in the country, making it a bad matchup against a Weber team who wants to attack the rim. Big Sky conference play has seen Southern Utah go 5-1 over tonight’s total, and I see another one coming here.

Degenerates

NCAA Basketball Howard @ Coppin State +2.5 (-110): 6:30 PM CT No TV

Howard is certainly no pushover this year, with several strong performances against tough opponents. But I just feel like Coppin State is undervalued here because of too much attention on their 3-15 straight up record, and not enough attention on their 12-5-1 ATS record.

Coppin State played a murderous non-conference schedule, and it has prepared them well for a weak MEAC slate. This is also their conference home opener after two road wins and taking conference favorite Norfolk St. to the brink on Saturday night. After that performance, I would’ve expected this line to be a pick’em or see the Eagles slightly favored, so I’ll gladly take a couple of points of insurance here on a live home dog.

NCAA Basketball South Carolina St. -8.5 @ Delaware St. (-110): 6:30 PM CT No TV

Fade Delaware State until they show any signs of life, it’s really that simple. The Hornets didn’t do much to improve on D1’s worst average scoring margin of -24.5 points, losing by 24 at home on Saturday night. This team is the epitome of awful in all phases, and regardless of the opponent, I simply refuse to back them, period.

Tiny Nick is 536-427 ATS (+76.6 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: Matt Cashore (USA TODAY Sports)

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