Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 01/25

Locks

NBA (0.5 Unit) Atlanta Hawks/OKC Thunder Under 238 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 7:00 PM CT on Bally Sports OK

There’s something unusual going on in Oklahoma City lately, and it almost looks like defense. The Thunder have been a reliably awful defensive team the past couple seasons, but they’re now up to 9th in defensive rating this year. The past few weeks have really seen them step it up on the defensive end, especially the past 7 games where they’re allowing just 108.7 points per game.

It’s not easy to defend the Atlanta Hawks if their scorers get going, and there’s always the temptation to go off on the weak Atlanta defense. But these aren’t terribly efficient offenses from a season-long standpoint, and the recent defensive resurgence from the Thunder should slow the game down and limit scoring somewhat. This high of a total seems based more on perception than recent reality for these squads, and such a high number is worth a shot at the under.

 

NCAA Basketball (0.25 Unit) George Mason @ VCU -8 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 6:00 PM CT on ESPN+

The spread here is right at the limit of where I want to back VCU, but their home-court dominance should carry them to a cover in this one. Excellent defense from the Rams will also be key here against a George Mason team that’s been an excellent shooting squad all season. But the Patriots have shot it considerably worse on the road, and are up against the 18th-best team in the country for defensive efficiency.

VCU is also far outperforming expectations against a down A10 conference this season, going 6-1 ATS in league play and also covering a couple big numbers in the home games. I don’t see George Mason having an answer for Ace Baldwin who has been heating up since returning from injury. And if their shots aren’t dropping against this elite VCU defense, the Rams will pull away into double-digits territory before it’s all over.

 

NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) 2-Team Moneyline Parlay (+145; Odds via Draftkings)

St Joseph’s @ George Washington -175: 6:00 PM CT on ESPN+

The teams at the bottom of the A10 this year are separated from the rest of the league by an enormous gap. That’s who St Joseph’s has beaten up on during this fraudulent 3-game winning streak, which should not be taken seriously. This team is always a deserving underdog, just 2-8 straight up when catching points, and should be in trouble again here. George Washington has been sneaky-good all season, especially at home. This is an incredible mismatch when it comes to shooting ability with GW 39th in shooting percentage while St Joe’s is 301st, and that will carry the Colonials to another home win.

Fordham @ St Bonaventure -175: 6:00 PM CT on ESPN+

Another team in the A10 that is incredibly reliable at home is St Bonaventure. The home and road splits are so drastic for the Bonnies that you would be 15-2 if you bet them on the spread based solely on home and away games. But I’m not asking a team that’s 10-1 ATS in home games to cover, just win, and it’s against a Fordham team that I’ve seen as fraudulent all season. The Rams might be an impressive 15-4 this season, but they’ve been exposed in league play. This is a rivalry that St Bonaventure has dominated for years, and given their strong home court advantage, I see them getting another in the win column tonight.

 

NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) West Virginia @ Texas Tech -1.5 First Half (-110; Odds via Caesars): 6:00 PM CT on ESPNU

Texas Tech just can’t catch a break. The Red Raiders really aren’t deserving of their winless status in Big12 play, losing a lot of close games and coughing up some considerable leads to great teams. It’s the fact that they tend to build strong leads that has me liking them early tonight. Tech should be fired up at home to finally get a win, and that should carry them in the first half where they still have the country’s 15th-best average margin.

And this should be an excellent spot for the Red Raiders to get off their losing streak. West Virginia is actually deserving of their 1-6 mark in conference play, and have not been terribly competitive against the better teams. The Mountaineers have flashed some strong offense this season, but Tech’s excellent defense and the home crowd should help neutralize that shooting which hasn’t shown up on the road anyway. In a must-have game for the home squad, I’ll back them early to build another lead before the break.

Degenerates

No degenerates today.

 

Tiny Nick is 1041-888 ATS (+87.5 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.

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