NBA (0.5 Unit) Boston Celtics/Miami Heat Under 207.5 (-110): 7:30 PM CT on ESPN
This is a trap total designed to trick you into taking the over, and I’m not falling for it. Tuesday’s 225 points would make it seem like this is going to be a high-scoring series, and only adjusting the total upwards by 3 points might look like a bargain. But I smell a rat, and I’m going the opposite way for a number of reasons.
Even with Tuesday’s scoring outburst, these teams have only averaged 204 points across their 4 meetings this season. They also got a little out of control with the pace in Game 1. We saw 101 possessions between two teams that are 28th and 24th in pace this season. And let’s not discount the impact Marcus Smart and his defense will have on this total as he returns from injury tonight.
Boston as a team has also significantly reduced their opponent’s scoring output from Game 1 to Game 2 in both the previous rounds. That elite defense is surely stinging after allowing their playoff-high on Tuesday, and I see them clamping down here. All those reasons plus a tingle on the back of my neck have me looking to the under tonight.
Bonus Bet (0.25 Unit): Jimmy Butler Over 36.5 Points+Rebounds+Assists (-110)
Jimmy Butler is simply on a different planet right now, and this is a low number given his otherworldly level of play. He has gone over this number in 6 straight games and 9 of 11 overall this postseason, totaling 42.9 on average. While I believe Marcus Smart and his defense in the pick-and-roll will keep Butler from having a truly monster game, Buckets can still impact tonight’s matchup by rebounding and assisting enough to get over this number.
MLB (0.25 Unit) Seattle Mariners (+105) @ Boston Red Sox: 6:10 PM CT on MLB Network
If you haven’t heard the name George Kirby yet, you’d be smart to acquaint yourself soon. Kirby is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, and has looked the part in two starts this season against excellent opponents. The rookie righty will have another opportunity to shine here against a Boston team that is severely underperforming.
The Red Sox should be ashamed that they’re only 1.5 games out of the AL East cellar, and a very inconsistent offense is largely to blame. I see that offense faltering again here as they face a talented pitcher for the first time. The fact that this line is so short should tell you something, and Boston’s brand name recognition is likely doing a lot to make them the favorite. I’ll take a shot at the plus money here against the overrated Red Sox since I see this as a coin flip at best.
No degenerates today.
Tiny Nick is 724-596 ATS (+80.5 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.