Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 1/26

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj (USA TODAY Sports)
Locks

NCAA Basketball (0.25 Unit) Iowa St. @ Oklahoma St. -3 (-110): 7:00 PM CT on ESPN+

It makes me sad to go against my Cyclones here, but I watched the wheels come fully off this team on Saturday and think it’s a sign of what’s to come.

Things have gotten real for ISU in the rugged Big 12, starting off conference play at 2-5 and only scoring 61.9 PPG as the offense has stagnated. A couple of double-digit road losses mixed in has me skeptical of their chances against an Oklahoma State team that’s better than their record indicates. Let’s not forget that the Cowboys beat Baylor on its home floor, and I see them having the size and length at all positions to create mismatches against the Cyclones.

This is not likely to be pretty basketball, as both teams struggle on offense while making a living on the defensive end. But those size, speed, and athleticism mismatches will matter in this game as will home court, so I see the struggles continuing for ISU here.

NCAA Basketball (1 Unit) Drake/Illinois St. Over 144 (-110): 7:00 PM CT on ESPN+

We just had this matchup two weeks ago, and with the same exact total. That game hit 161 total points, and I’m seeing another high-scoring affair here.

These teams can really shoot from three, with both inside the top-50 in 3-point shooting percentage. Coincidentally, neither team defends beyond the arc very well, as Drake is 228th and Illinois State 274th in opponent 3-point percentage. That’s why the first meeting saw these teams shoot a combined 46.3% from deep, and I see a similar script playing out here.

Illinois State is also one of the worst defensive teams in the country overall, ranking 314th in points allowed and 284th in defensive efficiency. The Redbirds should also be missing Sy Chatman in this game, making the lane wide open. Drake might not be last year’s elite team, but they still have scorers who can take advantage here and push this game over the total.

NCAA Basketball (0.25 Unit) Stephen F. Austin @ Seattle -2 (-110): 9:00 PM CT on ESPN+

Seattle treated me well on their recent road trip, winning two straight as a short underdog in this 6-0 straight up and ATS start to WAC play. While the shift to a short favorite is significant, I just don’t think the market has caught up to how well the Redhawks are playing.

Seattle is being carried by guard Cameron Tyson right now. The Houston transfer has been on fire from deep all season and is the biggest part of the team’s let-it-fly style. Those shots have been dropping for the Redhawks, and they should again tonight against an SFA defense not known for defending beyond the arc.

If their shots are dropping, I see the Redhawks pulling away easily here, as the Lumberjacks just don’t have the offensive firepower or tempo to keep up. The top WAC teams and the road have been unkind to SFA, so I’m glad to lay the short price with maybe the best team in the conference.

NBA (0.5 Unit) Memphis Grizzlies -4 @ San Antonio Spurs (-110): 7:30 PM CT on Bally Sports SW

A tough road trip concludes tonight for the Grizzlies, and I see them taking advantage against a Spurs team who struggles against top competition.

While Memphis is not as hot as they once were, this is still one of the better teams in the Western Conference and NBA overall. That alone should make them a tough matchup for this Spurs squad since they haven’t stayed inside this number at home against a contending team since early last month. The offense that’s reliant on 2-pointers has fallen off for the Spurs and should struggle again as Memphis has been excellent at guarding the paint.

San Antonio is also just 5-9 ATS when catching points at home, and has failed to cover in 6 straight as an underdog. The smart money has recognized the mismatch here and has been hitting the Grizzlies hard. I agree given the trajectory of these teams, and I’ll back Memphis to get the comfortable road win.

Degenerates

NCAA Basketball Boston College @ UNC 1st Half -7.5 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on ACC Network

Boston College has had some truly ugly losses to their name in recent weeks, and this could very easily turn into another one. It was ugly the first time these teams met, with the Tar Heels winning in Boston by 26 points in a game they led by 29 at halftime. That’s made even more remarkable given the home/road splits for UNC, and being back at home here has me seeing another blowout coming.

North Carolina has not been shy about jumping on teams early, just as BC is used to big halftime deficits, particularly on the road. I see UNC wanting to get up early and coast in this game to maintain health for a much tougher upcoming stretch, especially since Dawson Garcia has now been lost to injury. BC is extremely weak in all phases, UNC knows how to push them around, and I see them doing it again early on tonight.

NBA Sacramento Kings/Atlanta Hawks Over 231.5 (-110): 6:30 PM CT on Bally Sports SE

I’m watching the status of De’Aaron Fox for Sacramento closely here, as the star guard has missed two games with an ankle injury. If he’s in the lineup tonight though, this should be a shootout where defense is optional. These are the 2nd- and 3rd-worst defenses in the NBA from an efficiency standpoint, with both also bottom-5 in points allowed and opponent shooting percentage.

The Kings have been so bad defensively that they’re allowing 123.7 PPG their past 6 games and should continue to give the excellent Hawks shooters easy looks from long range. With Sacramento likely pushing pace as they usually do, this game has all the makings of an easy over.

Tiny Nick is 538-433 ATS (+74.1 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: Kevin Jairaj (USA TODAY Sports)

Locks NBA (0.75 Unit) Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat -1.5 (-110): 7:30 PM CT on ESPN Strangely enough, I kind of like Boston to win this series, […]

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