Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 05/21

Locks

NBA (1 Unit) Indiana Pacers Team Total Over 105.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 7:00 PM CT on ESPN

The meetings between these teams during the regular season had some incredibly varied results, including an epic 50-point beatdown from Boston early in the year. But that game had no Tyrese Haliburton, and the other dud from Indiana was by a roster much different than how they’re constructed today. These teams haven’t met since the end of January, so a lot has changed for Indiana which is why I’m looking to their current form for this bet. The Pacers have averaged 114.2 PPG in the postseason, and I fully believe they can continue that here.

Despite their defensive statistics, I’ve always seen the Celtics as a team that doesn’t take defense seriously unless they have to, and Game 1 of a series against a team like Indiana doesn’t seem like that kind of situation. Don’t let Boston’s record of 8-2 holding teams under this total in the playoffs fool you, as they’ve skated by against two offensively challenged opponents. This explosive Pacers offense will be a tough challenge for a Celtics team that’s had a lot of time off and might not be taking their opponent seriously.

Bonus Bet (0.75 Unit): Boston Celtics First Half Team Total Over 59.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars)

This is a bet I’ve been riding all playoffs, and I’m sticking with it despite the number getting significantly higher. Ironically, this number is exactly what Boston has averaged in first halves during the playoffs, but that came against two teams that slow the pace and try hard on defense.

Far different story with Indiana in that regard, which is part of the reason why the Celtics averaged 67.4 first half points in the regular season meetings. The ramped-up pace and lack of defense should create a fast start tonight, so look for Boston to pour it on early.

 

WNBA (0.5 Unit) Phoenix Mercury +14.5 @ Las Vegas Aces (-110; Odds via Caesars): 9:00 PM CT on AZFamily

The Las Vegas Aces keep getting lined like the defending champs and odds-on favorites to hang another banner, but they aren’t playing like it. That’s two close calls now for the Aces who have had to scrap for single-digit wins against two below-average teams. That includes the opener against this Mercury team, that put up a fight despite still being without Brittney Griner. The bottom line here is that Las Vegas is seeing massively inflated lines against opponents who bring their best effort against the champs, and until they start blowing teams out, I’ll be taking the large amounts of points like tonight.

 

MLB (0.5 Unit) Seattle Mariners/NY Yankees First 5 Innings Under 4 (+100; Odds via Caesars): 6:05 PM CT on YES

This is an excellent pitching matchup, and despite the Yankees finding some offensive pop in recent games I think this one is in for a slow start. With Bryan Woo going for Seattle, you get a young pitcher with truly filthy stuff who the Yankees have never seen before. That should keep their offense off balance early on, much like they were last night against another good starter.

And I don’t think the Mariners do much if anything at the plate against Clarke Schmidt, who has been New York’s best pitcher with Gerrit Cole sidelined. Schmidt has allowed only 4 total runs in the first 5 innings of his past 6 starts combined, which works out to a 1.20 ERA in that stretch. With only the starters factoring into this handicap, I’ll trust that they’re strong enough to keep this game low-scoring early on.

 

Degenerates

MLB Rafael Devers Over 0.5 Home Runs (+260; Odds via DraftKings): 5:50 PM CT on NESN

This is getting a little ridiculous for Devers, who has now gone yard in 6 straight games. Betting home run props is generally a fool’s errand and this number has gotten laughably short, but I’m still taking a shot just for fun. Interestingly enough, the Red Sox face Zach Littell tonight, and Devers is 1 for 3 lifetime against the Rays righty with that lone hit being a home run. Insert eyeballs emoji here.

 

 

Tiny Nick is 2288-2110 ATS (+83.8 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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