Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 5/17

Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove-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, and will like it even better when their odds to do so improve after tonight’s loss. The Celtics have the resiliency of Twinkies in a nuclear holocaust, but I just think they’re in a bit of trouble tonight.

That’s primarily because of the tough spot this resilient Boston team finds themselves in. The Celtics are only 48 hours removed from a long and physical series against Milwaukee, while Miami has been waiting for them. The Heat were dominant this season when they had a rest advantage over their opponent, going 19-6 straight up compared to Boston going just 10-12 with a rest disadvantage. I’m also predicting some significant 3-point shooting regression from Boston, as long-range shooting has carried them the past two games. Miami owns the league’s best 3-point percentage defense, and completely stifled excellent shooting teams in the first two rounds.

Let’s also not forget Miami’s home-court dominance in this postseason, where they are 5-1 ATS and 6-0 straight up. At this essentially pick-em price, I like Miami to continue that dominance and start this series strong before Boston fights back.

MLB (0.75 Unit) LA Angels/Texas Rangers Over 8.5 (-110): 7:05 PM CT on Bally Sports SW

These AL West foes have already met 5 times this season, and each game has gone over this total with an average of 12.2 runs scored. Books are trying to trick bettors into buying the hype of Angels starter Reid Detmers, fresh off a no-hitter in his last outing.

If oddsmakers were true believers in Detmers today, they would not have made the division-leading Angels such a short favorite. So they’re fully aware of the tried-and-true strategy of fading pitchers off no-hitters. While I’m not totally ready to back Texas outright, I believe the regression off a no-hitter will have an impact here in terms of scoring. Detmers was rocked in his only other start against the Rangers this season, getting pulled in the 4th after allowing 5 runs.

But Texas starter Taylor Hearn has his own issues, as he didn’t make it out of the 4th inning in his lone start against L.A. last month. The Angels are batting a collective .308 against Hearn and should be able to produce plenty of runs again tonight with their strong offense. That should all combine for another high-scoring game between these teams on a very gettable total.

MLB (0.5 Unit) SF Giants/Colorado Rockies First 5 Innings Under 6 (-110): 7:40 PM CT on SportsNet RM

Yesterday I preached the gospel of Coors Field overs and cashed as these teams combined for 13 runs, 7 of which came in the first 5 innings. But today I’m going the opposite direction and fading the high-scoring trend in Denver due to the starting pitchers. It’s another matchup we just saw in San Francisco last week, with these teams combining for 8 total runs and 5 in the first 5 innings.

That daytime road game was Rockies starter Chad Kuhl’s worst start of the season, but he’s been immensely better at home and at night so I’m expecting improvement here. In the 6 starts for Kuhl on the season, this bet is 5-1 and most have not been close. Alex Cobb has been excellent for the Giants as well, never getting tagged for more than 3 earned runs in any start this year and dominating the Rockies last week.

Both pitchers also tend to have lengthy appearances, which is particularly good in Colorado’s case. No under bettor wants to see their bullpen that has the highest ERA in the majors. But the best thing for this bet was yesterday’s game going over and not depressing today’s totals. That makes this big F5 number have a lot of under value given the quality of pitching we should see.

Degenerates

No degenerates today.

Tiny Nick is 722-594 ATS (+80.9 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: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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