Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 02/28

Locks

NBA (1 Unit) Minnesota Timberwolves Team Total Over 111 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 7:00 PM CT on Bally Sports North

The Wolves didn’t need Karl-Anthony Towns last night to get an easy win or to clear this team total. I’m hoping he’s indeed back tonight so the Wolves can do what they usually do to Memphis. That would be run away with the game and easily get over this number, as they’ve scored 118, 119, and 127 in three comfortable victories over the Grizzlies. This number is actually fair when you consider the Wolves average just 112.1 PPG at Target Center, but the Memphis defense takes a big step back on the road and Minnesota simply has their number.

 

NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) Minnesota/Illinois Over 154.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 8:00 PM CT on BTN

The Gophers fell on their collective faces in Nebraska on Sunday, especially on offense, but I refuse to believe that’s anything other than an outlier result. Minnesota shot just 34.2% on two’s in what became an ugly game for both teams in long stretches. There should be significant positive regression for the Gophers here since they’re 37th nationally for two-point percentage at 54.5% on the year.

It will also help to go against an Illinois defense that allows the 6th-highest percentage of opponent points to come via the two. This Illini team has a much higher-rated defense than what the results indicate, and have allowed 82.2 PPG the past 5 games. But their offense is elite at 4th in adjusted efficiency, and when the Gophers have seen high-efficiency offenses this season the result has been very high-scoring games, so this should be another.

 

NCAA Basketball (0.5 Unit) DePaul/Xavier First Half Over 74 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 6:00 PM CT on FS2

Xavier is in the final stretches of a lost season, especially with four straight losses erasing any hope of getting a ticket to the dance. So if I’m them, I’d be looking to take out some frustrations while getting out and running for a game. The perfect cupcake opponent for that happens to be coming to town, as DePaul will let you do whatever you want to them.

DePaul is now 358th in first half points allowed, and already had the Musketeers run them out earlier this year in a game that saw 80 points at halftime. But the Blue Demons can shoot it a little bit, especially from deep, so with Xavier likely to speed this game up right away I think there’s plenty of scoring early on.

 

NCAA Basketball (1 Unit) Oklahoma @ Iowa State -5.5 First Half (-110; Odds via Caesars): 7:00 PM CT on ESPN+

I think this is a good situational spot for my Cyclones to flex their first-half muscles again. All they do is dominate first halves at Hilton, even though things sometimes get dicey later in the game. That definitely happened on Saturday as a bad West Virginia team crept back in to make it a game down the stretch. But ISU should come back focused tonight after that scare, and they’ll have revenge on their minds after losing at Oklahoma in early January.

That should give them all the motivation they need to show off their 4th-best first half scoring defense and 2nd-best average first half margin in home games. Oklahoma has struggled when visiting quality Big12 opponents, especially in the turnover department where the Cyclones are elite. The Sooners are also off an overtime buzzer-beating win against in-state rival Oklahoma State on Saturday, putting them in an emotional let-down spot. I see the Clones pouncing early like they usually do and taking another solid lead into halftime.

 

NCAA Basketball (0.75 Unit) Alabama/Ole Miss Over 166.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 8:00 PM CT on ESPN2

I had a gut feeling of loving the over in Alabama’s game at Kentucky despite the sky-high total, but was a moron and didn’t bet more on it. I’m not making that mistake again, especially on a much lower number.

No, Ole Miss is not in the same league as Kentucky offensively, but their style does make the over attractive. The Rebels love three’s and shoot them at the 18th-best percentage in the country. But they went just 3-16 in their last game so are due for positive regression tonight.

With Alabama playing at a breakneck pace and really struggling defensively on the road, the Rebels will have more opportunities and more makes as a result. The Tide’s offense is a rocket ship though, and Ole Miss has not been able to slow down the elite offenses of the SEC, allowing 84.6 PPG to those teams. The metrics sites project this at closer to 170 points, so I’m on Alabama overs until further notice.

 

Degenerates

No degenerates today.

 

 

Tiny Nick is 2084-1883 ATS (+102.5 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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