Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 01/28


NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Stetson/Queens Over 155.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 12:00 PM CT on ESPN+

I’ll maintain that the handicap for Stetson’s game on Thursday was correct, but they combined with Liberty to shoot 18% from beyond the arc. They’ll have to prove me wrong twice before I consider backing off their totals, especially against a team with worlds of defensive difference in Queens University. The Royals are playing the typical D1-newcomer style of lots of three’s and no defense, ranking 302nd in defensive rating.

With Stetson’s usually poor defense, now at 335th in defensive rating, likely to continue here, this should be another game for them with plenty of points. The Hatters are 13-5 to the over now, which pairs well with Queens going 9-1 to the over in their past 10 outings. The bottom line here is two offenses with top-20 ratings, firing plenty of threes against minimal defensive effort, should have no trouble with this high of a total.


NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Iowa State -1.5 @ Missouri (-110; Odds via Caesars): 1:00 PM CT on ESPN2

I took some flak on TV this week for bashing Brock Purdy, so I’ll return to my Iowa State roots here and back them in this one. Such a short number has me once again sensing the disrespect that’s followed the Cyclones all season, especially as they step out of conference here for the SEC/Big12 Challenge.

I’ve talked before about how the Big12 is far and away the top conference in the country, and ISU is looking like they really should be considered the class of the conference. I have a lot of respect for Missouri, but things have definitely trended downward for the Tigers lately. It only gets more difficult here against a still underrated team, especially with star Tre Gomillion expected to be out today.

Excellent defensive teams that guard you close like ISU does have been very tough on Mizzou, and I expect the Cyclones to slow down that high-octane offense even on the road. But as I mentioned for their last game, don’t underestimate the Clones offense which will have an easy matchup today against a team 282nd in defensive rating. That and general conference strength should be the differentiators today and carry ISU to a road win.


NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Nebraska @ Maryland -11 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 3:30 PM CT on BTN

My only other college allegiance is to Maryland, and I think this is a good spot to back them as well. While the Terrapins are far from the heights they enjoyed before conference play, they’re still a strong team at home against inferior competition. It doesn’t get much more inferior than Nebraska right now, as the Huskers are riddled with injuries and playing terribly. They’re now 2-8 ATS in their past 10, showing that books have not caught up to how dramatic this slide is.

Maryland at home this season is 9-3 ATS with a 12.5 average margin of victory. While their offense goes through lulls, the Terps have been making a living on defense this season, and I see that continuing here. They’ll have no trouble shutting down a team that’s 319th in offensive rating and 297th in true shooting percentage. Nebraska hasn’t covered in a road game since early December, and I don’t see it happening here against a Terps team used to taking care of business at home.


NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Florida @ Kansas St -5.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 5:00 PM CT on ESPN2

Recent success from Florida has this number lower than where it should be. The Gators are on a 7-3 ATS run, but favorable scheduling spots against weaker teams have inflated their value. Once again, the vast difference in conference quality comes into play here with the SEC facing the Big12, this time on the road. And not just any Big12 team, but perhaps the most complete team with Kansas State looking outstanding.

Florida has faced off against a Big12 opponent before this season, falling by 9 to conference bottom-feeder Oklahoma. I don’t have a lot of confidence in them against such higher-level talent, especially with Keyontae Johnson looking to show out against his former school. The metrics don’t quite tell the real story of this Wildcats squad, but in watching them I see Final Four potential. I think Florida finds out the hard way here as a dose of reality interrupts their soft schedule.


NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Gonzaga/Portland Over 164 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 6:00 PM CT on WCC Network

Gonzaga has been brutalizing Portland recently, and I see it continuing tonight on the offensive end. The Zags have crossed the century mark against the Pilots the past 3 meetings, averaging 111.7 points. That’s obviously driven the full games sky high in points, with 190 on average between these schools the past couple seasons.

There’s no reason for it to stop here, as Gonzaga looks to atone for some sketchy performances in their last couple games. Portland and their 316th-rated defense won’t have an answer for the country’s top shooting team, even on their home floor. But home is where the offense has been for the Pilots, averaging 84.5 PPG which is 19th in the country. Gonzaga is 3rd in scoring on the road, and the combination of pace and shooting in this game will drive it over the high number once again.


No degenerates today.


Tiny Nick is 1047-895 ATS (+86.3 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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