Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 02/22

Locks

NBA (1 Unit Each) Luka Doncic Over 31.5 Points & Devin Booker Over 27.5 Points (-110; Odds via DraftKings): 6:30 PM CT on TNT

These guys just don’t like each other, they want to make statements every time they face off, and I don’t think either of them will be stopped tonight. Doncic has put up 34 and 50 in the two meetings with Phoenix this season, so expect him to continue to shred that lackadaisical defense. Booker meanwhile dropped 46 and 20 in those games, but with no Bradley Beal tonight I’d expect him to shoulder more of the scoring load. The actual total in the game is sky-high, and I think these stars do their part to try to get it there.

 

NBA (0.5 Unit) LA Lakers/Golden State Warriors Over 243 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 9:00 PM CT on TNT

This total is rising rapidly on the news that LeBron James will be out tonight, and I definitely agree with the line movement. The Lakers without LeBron are far more efficient offensively, far more up-tempo, and far worse defensively. While it took overtime to get the first meeting of these teams over the total, that was a higher number and a game that LeBron played in. Both teams were playing some pretty high-scoring games entering the break, so I think this one keeps it going and justifies LA’s ownership of the best road over record.

 

NCAA Basketball (0.75 Unit) Ohio State @ Minnesota -3.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 7:00 PM CT on BTN

This is a tough situational spot for Ohio State, and I think the Gophers can capitalize. The Buckeyes are off an enormous win, upsetting Purdue in the first game after Chris Holtmann was fired.

Now they have to travel to a team that’s been waiting to exact revenge for months, as Minnesota lost at Ohio State in their first conference game. The Buckeyes also have to go visit the best ATS team in the country with the Gophers just continuing to cover numbers, especially at The Barn where they’re 11-1 ATS as a favorite.

Ohio State was very lucky in that upset win that Purdue barely shot from the outside, only going 3 of 9 from deep. The Gophers have really been increasing their three-point looks and effectiveness lately, and it’s Ohio State’s weakness at 298th in three-point defense. With those shots dropping for the Gophers, they’ll extend Ohio State’s 0-7 Big10 road record while continuing to cover numbers.

 

NCAA Basketball (0.75 Unit) Rutgers/Purdue Over 138.5 (-110; Odds via Fanduel): 6:00 PM CT on FS1

One way you can take advantage of metrics in college basketball and how they determine the lines, is finding where they haven’t priced in big changes. That’s what we have with Rutgers here, as one of the country’s most futile shooting offenses is back in action. The Scarlet Knights have been much better with Jeremiah Williams back from injury though, and that’s something that hasn’t had a big impact on their season-long metrics yet.

So the result is a fairly low total that I think is ripe for the taking, especially since sharp line movement is going against the metrics gurus’ projections. Add in that this is a game where Purdue is looking to bounce back from an ugly loss, and there’s plenty of potential for points from an angry Boilermakers squad. The games after their two other losses have seen 155 and 173 points, albeit against much worse defenses, but I believe new-look Rutgers can score enough to help reach this total.

 

NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Washington State/Arizona Over 150.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 10:00 PM CT on FS1

This is my favorite game of the night, but I was surprised to see the total not move up when Arizona became bigger favorites. I think we see some high-level shot making in this game, as both teams are playing their best basketball of the season right now. That means different things, as Arizona does it on offense while Washington State does it defensively, but both can fill it up.

With Arizona dictating tempo on their own floor and looking to avenge a loss to the Cougars, don’t expect them to take their foot off the gas if they get out in front. But this might be a bigger test for the Wildcats than most are expecting, as Wazzu is quietly on fire and a tough matchup for Arizona. So whether it’s a runaway or a tight one, I think there are plenty of paths to getting over this total.

 

NCAA Basketball (0.75 Unit) Oregon/Stanford Over 150.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 10:00 PM CT on ESPN2

Stanford went ice cold up in Washington for their weekend road trip, so they should be glad to get back home where their offense is much more effective. The Cardinal are extremely reliant on three-point shooting, ranking 34th nationally in the percentage of their points they get from deep. While they’re the 9th-best team by percentage, the home/road splits are extreme as they shoot 9.8 percentage points better at home.

Oregon tends to struggle against good three-point shooting teams, especially on the road, so expect Stanford to fill it up here. But the Ducks can get red hot offensively as well, and a Stanford defense that’s been exposed in recent games should be in trouble again. With a close contest also expected, look for foul-game points to pad the scoring in what should be a fast-paced and high-scoring game.

 

Degenerates

No degenerates today.

 

 

Tiny Nick is 2064-1866 ATS (+101.2 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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