Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 03/28


NBA (0.5 Unit) Cleveland Cavaliers/Atlanta Hawks Over 238.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 6:30 PM CT on Bally Sports SE

The steam that Hawks totals keep catching to the over is getting remarkable, and has driven this number up considerably once again. Even with the Cavaliers in town who own the NBA’s best statistical defense, the market expects plenty of points and I do too. It’s not as if Cleveland lacks scoring talent, so they’ll be very capable of exploiting an Atlanta team that’s giving minimal effort on defense.

These teams met in the first game of the post-Nate McMillan era for Atlanta, combining for 255 points as the Hawks lit it up from outside. With key defensive piece Jarrett Allen injured for Cleveland, there should be opportunity for the Hawks to score both inside and out tonight. But the bottom line here is Atlanta has a 12-4 record over this total since the All-Star break, and the four unders came against opponents without the shooting to take advantage of their defense. I think the Cavs can and will, so expect another shootout here.


NIT Tournament (0.25 Unit) Wisconsin/North Texas 1st Half Under 53.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 6:00 PM CT on ESPN

A total this low is almost too ridiculous, and there are high school teams that would eclipse it by themselves. But these schools would only recruit the kids on those high school teams who can’t actually shoot, and that gives us the brick fest I’m expecting in this one. Wisconsin enters this game 316th in shooting percentage on the season, and North Texas is not appreciably better at 234th nationally.

Both the Badgers and Mean Green are extremely slow-paced, ranked 342nd and dead last, respectively, in adjusted tempo, so it will be a crawling brick fest. That’s a good explanation for why Wisconsin is 316th in first-half scoring, while North Texas is 305th. But defense will be the theme here, with UNT best in the country for first-half points allowed, while Wisconsin is 20th. This game overall might be a first team to 50 wins kind of affair, and that should make for an extremely low-scoring first half.


NIT Tournament (0.25 Unit) Utah Valley/UAB Over 151.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 8:30 PM CT on ESPN2

Now for something completely different. The other NIT semifinal should be worlds different than the first, as these are two fast-paced and high-powered offenses. UAB is 10th in scoring this season, helping them to one of the better over records in the country at 22-11. Behind Jelly Walker, they’ll be a challenge for a Utah Valley team that has stepped up defensively in the NIT.

But the Wolverines were 30th this season in possessions per game, so their preferred style is up-tempo. And they’re one of the better shooting teams in the country as well, with a 55.1% effective field goal rate in the NIT that would put them 14th nationally over a full season. Utah Valley played their conference tournament in this very building, so they’ll have familiarity with the sightlines as well. This should also be a close game, with fouls and free throws to pad scoring down the stretch, but excellent offenses should be enough to carry it over the total.



No degenerates today.


Tiny Nick is 1177-1018 ATS (+76.6 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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Locks MLB (0.25 Unit) Philadelphia Phillies/Atlanta Braves under 9 (-110): 6 PM CT on ESPN 2 words, Spencer Strider. Strider has been magnificent to start the season […]

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