Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 03/27

Locks

NBA (0.75 Unit) Minnesota Timberwolves/Sacramento Kings 1st Half Over 122.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 9:00 PM CT on Bally Sports North

This is a tough situational spot to gauge how these teams will play, especially after the defensive-oriented game from the Wolves last night. But I have to imagine them being on a back-to-back is going to make replicating that defense difficult, especially against the NBA’s most efficient offense.

The Wolves tend to get into higher-scoring affairs on no rest, going 7-5 to the over with the league’s 4th-highest plus/minus to the total. And they’re also one of the best over bets as a road underdog, going 16-9 to the over. So points should be expected here, but I want to concentrate on the earlier portion of this game where I think the scoring will be ramped up a little more.

Sacramento is 2nd in the league for first half scoring, both overall and at home, while Minnesota is 4th in first-half points scored on the road. An interesting stat from the three meetings between these teams on the season is that the second quarter of each game has been by far the highest-scoring. Add in the pace that both teams tend to play early in games, and I think there are plenty of points on the board by halftime tonight.

 

NBA (0.75 Unit) Phoenix Suns -2 First Quarter @ Utah Jazz (-110; Odds via Caesars): 8:00 PM CT on SportsNet RM

I spent last week fading the Phoenix Suns in their road games, so this is a strange reversal on my part. But one thing I’ve noticed during those games is how good the Suns looked at the start. In their three road games last week that resulted in ATS and straight-up losses, the Suns held a lead after the first quarter. They also led after the first quarter on Saturday when they finally snapped the losing streak against a mostly-healthy Sixers team.

It’s a function of their starters being a somewhat competent group, and that first unit will get a boost tonight with the expected return of Deandre Ayton. That should help quite a bit against a Jazz team that’s very shorthanded themselves. Utah is just 21st in average first-quarter margin this season, and that mark is inflated by their surprising start to the year. Against a Suns squad that’s bouncing back and getting reinforcements, I think the first quarter will belong to the visitors tonight.

 

NBA (0.5 Unit) New Orleans Pelicans -10.5 @ Portland Trail Blazers (-110; Odds via Caesars): 9:00 PM CT on Bally Sports NO

This number is on the rise, but I think we see another blowout handed down by New Orleans tonight. The Pelicans are finally relatively healthy and figuring things out, resulting in four straight double-digit wins where they’ve crushed the spread by a plus-16 point margin.

Compare that to the Blazers being about as thin as it gets, going 5-8 ATS this month which includes two blowout losses to the Pelicans. Portland has actually managed to send more starters to the injured list since those double-digit defeats, and this team seems content with just tanking out the string.

It can be dangerous to auto-fade teams in Portland’s situation down the stretch because the lines can get a little out of control. But we saw this from the Blazers last season, and they routinely failed to cover gigantic spreads to close the year. With the way the Pelicans are playing, plus Portland’s thin roster being on no rest here, this looks like a spot for New Orleans to roll once again.

Degenerates

No degenerates today.

 

Tiny Nick is 1175-1017 ATS (+76.2 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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