Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 9/05

Photo credit: Ken Ruinard-The Greenville News via USA TODAY Sports
Locks

MLB (1 Unit) New York Yankees/Minnesota Twins Over 8 (-110): 12:05 PM CT on MLB Network

I remember the first three games of this season series at Target Field very well, as I got to see a couple of them live. Apparently, the oddsmakers have forgotten them though, especially the part where they scored 14, 9, and 17 runs. While these teams have gone through their struggles plenty of times since, we don’t need an offensive eruption like that series had to clear a relatively low number.

I think the pitching matchup sneakily lends itself to a higher-scoring game here. Jameson Taillon has been average on the mound this year for the Yankees, declining sharply after a strong first couple of months. Notably, his past 10 starts have produced a 7-3 record over this total, and his numbers against Minnesota are not great.

Meanwhile, Chris Archer has been strong against the Yankee lineup in his career. But he hasn’t pitched more than 5 innings all season, giving the Yankees plenty of at-bats against the Twins bullpen. There are realistic scenarios where either team could get over this total on their own, but I definitely think it gets there one way or another.

MLB (0.5 Unit) Boston Red Sox ML @ Rays (-110): 3:10 PM CT on MLB Network

Both these teams are hot and seemingly playing to their potential and lofty expectations. But I’ve been a Tampa doubter all season, and I think this is the exact situation they always seem to fall flat in.

The Rays have next to no consistency at the plate, lacking anyone in their lineup that should actually scare the opposing pitcher. So when they face a starter who’s on a roll, such as what Michael Wacha is doing lately for Boston, the Rays tend to short-circuit offensively. Wacha has been exactly what the Boston rotation was desperate for after months of futility, posting a 2.19 ERA in his 4 games since returning from injury.

It shouldn’t be surprising then that Boston has won all of those starts from Wacha, including against the Rays just 10 days ago. I also don’t know what Tampa’s plan is at pitcher, with listed starter Luis Patino having just 13 innings of work this year. Against the grab-bag of whatever the Rays send out after Patino, I’ll take the Sox at this pick’em price to win another behind Wacha.

MLB (0.5 Unit) Chicago White Sox @ Seattle Mariners ML (-115): 5:40 PM CT on MLB Network

With just a two-game lead in the American League Wild Card race, the Mariners desperately need games like this in September. Being at home against a team that can’t stop tripping over its own feet gives Seattle the advantage here. Plus they’re on fire, winning 9 of their past 10 games, all against Central Division opponents.

With Marco Gonzales on the mound, who has been far better at home, I like their chances of shutting down the wildly inconsistent Chicago lineup. Seattle’s pitching has been excellent lately, allowing just 1.7 runs per game during their hot 10-game stretch. And while Lance Lynn deserves credit for calming down recently, he still has a 5.59 ERA on the road, and the White Sox haven’t won behind him on the road in 5 straight starts. Basically, a pick’em price is too cheap to ignore for a Mariners team that’s head and shoulders above Chicago right now.

MLB (0.5 Unit) Cleveland Guardians ML @ KC Royals (-125): 7:10 PM CT on MLB Network

Being that it’s Labor Day, I’m not going to labor too much on this pick. It should be fairly obvious that Kansas City called it quits on the season long ago, fielding hardly more than a minor league team at this point.

Cleveland needs this game and this series like they need blood, barely clinging to the AL Central lead after a 5-game losing streak. It’s a good time to play the Royals then, as Cleveland is 6-2 in their past 8 games against KC with a plus-37 run differential in those games.

The pitching matchup heavily favors the Guardians here, with Triston McKenzie having fairly dominant numbers against the Royals. And while Cleveland has struggled at the plate recently, they’ve had plenty of success against Brady Singer this season to give me confidence that they’ll bounce back. Don’t overthink this one, the Guardians should get back on track tonight.

NCAA Football (1 Unit) Clemson -23.5 vs. Georgia Tech (-110): 7 PM CT on ESPN

Most of the top-ranked teams in the country made statements over the weekend by blowing out cupcake opponents. You can’t technically call Georgia Tech a cupcake opponent since they’re a Power-5 conference school, but the description isn’t too far off base.

I can’t think of a single team in the country that the transfer portal did more damage to than the Yellow Jackets. That decimated a team that was already in trouble at the end of last season, as they allowed an average of 40.9 PPG in the closing 8 games. Tech was able to at least put up a fight offensively in some of those games, but they lost their top offensive weapon in running back Jahmyr Gibbs who transferred to Alabama.

So I see the Yellow Jacket offense doing essentially nothing against the elite defense of Clemson. They might have lost their long-time coordinator in the offseason, but the scheme and talent haven’t changed. What hopefully has changed for the Tigers is finding some offense, and I believe the talk that it has. This should be a more up-tempo offense behind a slimmed-down DJ Uiagalelei, plus they still have one of the best backs in the country with Will Shipley. They should shred the feeble Tech defense tonight, handing out a beatdown to keep pace with the other top teams this week.

Bonus Bet (0.5 Unit): GA Tech Team Total Under 13.5 (-110)

Georgia Tech isn’t putting up two touchdowns against this Clemson defense, they just aren’t. The Tigers are back to being D-line University with plenty of returning starters who will play in the NFL someday. Tech managed just 8 points against Clemson in last year’s meeting with more talent on offense than they have now. It should be a long day for QB Jeff Sims and company against this fearsome Tiger defense.

Degenerates

No degenerates today.

Tiny Nick is 841-706 ATS (+77.6 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: Ken Ruinard-The Greenville News via USA TODAY Sports

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