Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 11/16

Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Locks

NBA (0.25 Unit) Minnesota Timberwolves Team Total Over 115.5 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on Bally Sports North

With the Timberwolves at full strength now, and having just put 129 points on a good defensive team in the Cleveland Cavaliers, maybe this offense is turning a corner. If it is, then we should see them put a big number on the Orlando Magic, a poor defensive team, tonight. The Magic enter this game ranked 19th in the league defensively, and have struggled with up-tempo offenses in particular.

The Wolves want to play at pace, ranked 5th in possessions per game, so their tempo should create more problems for the Magic defense. The Magic are actually a decent shooting team, so they should push the Wolves into a higher-scoring game. The total is creeping up in this one, and I expect the Wolves to contribute a good amount to it and get over this isolated number.

NBA (0.5 Unit) OKC Thunder/Washington Wizards Over 228 (-110): 6:00 PM CT on Bally Sports OK

Until the heater that the Oklahoma City offense is on runs out, I’ll be taking the over in their games, period. With the Thunder averaging 129.5 regulation points across their past 4 games, this team is simply in a groove at the offensive end of the floor. That’s moved them all the way up to 7th in the NBA for per-game scoring, and I don’t see an end to it here.

The Wizards have played some strong defense this season, but it falters against teams that can push the pace. That’s exactly what the Thunder want to do, ranking first in the league for possessions per game. If they can dictate the game flow and create the style that’s been working for them in recent games, then we should see both teams put up plenty of points against overall average defenses. The market has agreed here that the total was too low, so follow the smart money and take another OKC over.

NBA (0.5 Unit) Houston Rockets/Dallas Mavericks Over 220.5 (-110): 7:30 PM CT on Bally Sports SW

The offense for Dallas has slowed down from the start of the season, where every game was flying over, but I see a return to plenty of points tonight. The Mavericks are on a back-to-back here, so defense will not be as high a priority. It’s never a priority for the Houston Rockets, who sit at 28th or worse in the league for most overall defensive metrics and opponent shooting percentages.

Despite slowing down from a points-per-game perspective, this Dallas team is still a high-efficiency offense. That should allow them to score at will against the awful Houston defense that has allowed an average of 122.6 points in their past 5 games. There’s a reason Rockets games are 11-3 over this total on the season, and a lack of overall defense should create another one tonight.

NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Texas Southern @ Houston -18 First Half (-110): 7:00 PM CT on ESPN+

It’s a lot to ask of a team to run out an opponent in the first half by this kind of margin. But considering the team we’re asking it of, and the opponent they need to do it against, this number actually looks like a bargain. Houston should be the odds-on favorite for the national championship in my opinion, but somehow they’re still flying a bit under the radar. What they’re definitely doing is making statements so far, handing out three straight beatings to start the season.

And those beatings have predominantly come in the first half, with the Cougars holding an average 22-point lead at the break and covering this number every time. They’ve tended to let up after halftime though, so the massive full-game spread doesn’t interest me here. This is an absolute mismatch too, with Texas Southern being very limited offensively, and facing an elite Cougar defense. This game is part of Houston’s own event, and I expect them to come out on fire and race to a big early lead.

Degenerates

No degenerates today.

Tiny Nick is 946-786 ATS (+87.8 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: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

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