NBA (1 Unit) NY Knicks/Charlotte Hornets Over 227.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 6:00 PM CT on MSG
You just don’t see totals this low when the Wizards and their style of play are involved. Despite a big contrast in styles between the Knicks and Wizards, this is a spot where I have to jump on the number itself since the past 5 Washington games have seen an average closing total of 237.4 points.
The Knicks are the polar opposite of the Wizards when it comes to pace of play, but they have shown the tendency to get into high-scoring affairs with the worst defenses in the league. Their games against those terrible defensive teams have averaged 231.6 points, and with the Wizards not caring one bit about defense, the same style and result should unfold here.
NCAA Basketball (0.75 Unit) Long Beach St/Michigan Over 158.5 (-110; Odds via DraftKings): 6:00 PM CT on Big10+
This is a deservedly high total as two teams that love to score in transition meet up. Michigan’s contribution to the total is going to be most important, and we saw on Monday what happens when a fast-paced team speeds them up. The Wolverines have an extremely efficient offense, ranked 17th by KenPom’s adjusted numbers, and have been shooting the lights out this year.
Long Beach is going to dial that tempo and efficiency combination to the max, as they’re playing at the 7th-fastest pace in the country. Interim Michigan coach Phil Martelli has no problem getting into track meets with anyone much less inferior opponents, so look for a high-octane game that cashes the over.
NCAA Basketball (0.75 Unit) Arkansas State/Iowa First Half Over 83.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 7:00 PM CT on Big10+
This Iowa offense is still a rocket ship, and they’ll have another chance to show it off in a big way tonight. The Hawkeyes are 11th in scoring and 7th in adjusted offensive efficiency this season, and are actually scoring more points in first halves than second halves. All three of Iowa’s games this season have gone over this number at halftime, with 86.7 points on average.
After suffering their first loss of the season at Creighton, the Hawkeyes will be looking to take it out on someone, and Arkansas State should be the perfect victim. The Red Wolves can’t stop anything, ranked 290th in adjusted defensive efficiency. They’ve already visited a Big10 team this season, finding themselves down 56-41 at halftime to Wisconsin. They’ll see a vastly superior offense tonight that will be in top gear from the opening tip.
NCAA Basketball (0.75 Unit) Tennessee State/Oregon Under 151.5 (-110; Odds via BetMGM): 8:00 PM CT on PAC12 Network
In order to reach this total, Oregon will need to actively crush Tennessee State and do the bulk of the scoring themselves. That’s just not who the Ducks are under Dana Altman, preferring to get solid but methodical wins over their outmatched non-conference opponents. It happens year after year no matter how strong a team Oregon is, and has already happened this season with a 75-61 win over Montana last week. Neither of these teams is particularly up-tempo, and Oregon happens to be one of the better defensive teams in the country. Tennessee State has also shown some strong defense, especially in taking down Portland on Wednesday, so this should be much more of a grind that the total implies.
NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) San Francisco vs Grand Canyon -2 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 8:00 PM CT on CBSSN
These are two very strong programs, and teams that we’ll probably hear from come March, especially Grand Canyon given their conference. I’m a big fan of the Lopes though, especially in non-conference games and when they have their big home-court advantage. While this is a neutral site, it’s down the road for GCU and becomes more of a home game for them.
I think that’s a key advantage, as is their defensive strength against a San Francisco offense that doesn’t appear to travel well. And as long as GCU has Ray Harrison, they can score with anyone. The Lopes are looking to truly prove themselves this season after putting a scare into Gonzaga in the first round back in March. This is a great opportunity on national TV, and I think their talent and slight home court makes the difference tonight.
NCAA Basketball (0.75 Unit) Belmont/Arizona Over 169.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 10:00 PM CT on PAC12 Network
I think this is the highest total I’ve seen so far this year, and I don’t think it will be much of a problem at all. Arizona wants to run and score as much as possible under Tommy Lloyd, they have the players to do it to perfection, and now they have the perfect opponent. While the Wildcats can run on anyone, it always helps to face a team like Belmont who’s playing at a top-20 pace this season.
The Bruins have been in complete track meets to start the year, giving up 93.0 PPG to two mid-major opponents. That should have Arizona licking their chops, especially as they look to bounce back from a slow start in Monday’s game. It’s really just a case of two teams that are not going to shy away from their hair-on-fire style, and that should allow the scoring to totally erupt.
No degenerates today.
Tiny Nick is 1645-1461 ATS (+83.1 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.