Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 01/23


NBA (0.5 Unit) Boston Celtics @ Orlando Magic +8 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 6:00 PM CT on NBCS-Boston

Jayson Tatum will return tonight for the Celtics, and that bit of good news seems to be inflating this line in my opinion. But they’ll be without Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, and possibly Robert Williams, against a team that simply has their number. Boston has played Orlando three times already this season, and the Magic have beaten them twice as a big underdog and covered the other in a loss.

The Celtics have been one of the better cover teams in the league this season, but somehow own a minus-12.3 ATS margin in the season series against Orlando. And as a home underdog, the Magic have been one of the better teams in the league, owning the most covers in that spot. I can’t quite understand it from a numbers perspective, but Orlando just has Boston figured out this season. And against a depleted version tonight, I’ll take all these points with a strong home underdog.


NBA (0.75 Unit) San Antonio Spurs @ Portland Trail Blazers -4.5 1st Half (-110; Odds via Caesars): 9:00 PM CT on ROOT Sports NW

If the Blazers have any professional pride, they’ll absolutely smash the Spurs early in this game. Portland squandered a 25-point halftime lead last night to the Lakers in an ugly loss, which ideally should motivate them to atone for it tonight. You can’t ask for a much softer opponent to do it against than San Antonio, objectively one of the worst teams in the league by any measure.

And Portland knows how to put it on the Spurs early, posting leads of 6 and 16 points in the previous meetings this season. While the Blazers are fairly average in first half scoring and points allowed, it’s the poor starts from San Antonio that I’m concentrating on here. The Spurs are dead last in first-half points allowed, both overall and on the road. A hopefully motivated Blazers squad has a great opportunity to put it on a terrible opponent, and I think they do it early against this fairly short number.


NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) New Mexico/Nevada Over 148.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 8:00 PM CT on CBSSN

We’re getting a somewhat inflated total here due to both teams having success to the over recently. New Mexico and Nevada are a combined 15-5 to the over in their past 10 games each, which is actually surprising against some of the more defensive-oriented MWC teams. But both squads are much more interested in offense, especially the Lobos who are top-25 nationally in scoring, shooting, and pace.

Nevada isn’t quite on that level, but their home/road splits show a team much more explosive offensively in Reno. The difference in their efficiency numbers is drastic, scoring 0.129 more points on a per-possession basis at home compared to away. That’s led to their conference home games averaging 17.7 more points than the road games, and should factor in again tonight. With an opponent that’s so strong offensively, I’m seeing another high-scoring game for the Wolfpack at home.


No degenerates today.


Tiny Nick is 1038-885 ATS (+87.9 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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