Tiny Nick’s Playing Picks: 1/20

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Locks

NBA – D’Angelo Russell Over 23.5 Points (-120):

22, 21, 21, 22… that’s how many shots D’Angelo Russell has taken in each of his last four games, and I expect him to keep firing tonight on a Minnesota Timberwolves team that doesn’t have very many scoring options. He should sail well over this number once again tonight.

Malik Beasley also has a lot better scoring stats at home than on the road so he’s another guy to make a small play on.

NBA – Trail Blazers/Grizzlies Over 223 (-110):

CJ McCollum being out for the Portland Trail Blazers definitely brought this total down a bit, but I love this over if Ja Morant plays. Enes Kanter is horrible on defense and can score almost as well as Jusuf Nurkic so he’s an over’s best friend in this case. The Blazers are allowing 116 PPG against them this year, which is ridiculously bad.

I think this game heads into the 230’s so I’m rolling with the over barring any other stars (Damian Lillard, Ja Morant) being ruled out in this Wednesday night matchup.

NCAA Basketball – Furman/VMI Over 157.5 (-110)

What an incredible offensive and defensive efficiency mismatch we have in this game. Furman is 10th in the country in offensive efficiency and is also 4th in effective field goal percentage. Bad news for the VMI Keydets who check in at 324th in defensive efficiency, 289th in opponent effective field goal percentage, and have allowed 87.6 PPG in SoCon play.

Simply put, Furman is going to get whatever they want in this game. The Paladins are already a strong over play this year, going 9-1 to the over and blowing out the other bad defenses they’ve faced. These SoCon totals are very exploitable when one of the academy teams like VMI is playing and this number should be 8-10 points higher than it is, so grab the over.

Degenerates

NCAA Basketball – Fresno State @ Boise State -14 (-110): 

This is another spot where I’m looking to get in front of the zig-zag factor that has impacted both of these teams as they start a doubleheader. It has affected Boise State more, as the Broncos perform an average of 12.3 points better in the first leg of their doubleheader spots this season and have won those games by an average margin of 29.5 points.

Additionally, they are a perfect 4-0 ATS in those games as opposed to 2-2 ATS in the second doubleheader leg. The zig-zag trend isn’t quite as distinct for Fresno State, although it does exist — the Bulldogs are 6.5 points worse on average in their first-leg games. Boise has been feasting on the cupcakes of the Mountain West so far this season, and I expect another wide margin in this one so lay the points.

NCAA Basketball – Auburn (+6.5 and +220 Moneyline) @ Arkansas (-110):

I still don’t think the oddsmakers, market, or public perception have adjusted enough to what this Auburn team can be with Sharife Cooper now in the lineup. In their three games with him playing, the Tigers are 2-1 both ATS and straight up, with the lone loss coming by only 4 points against an Alabama team tearing everyone apart.

This is also a revenge spot for Auburn, they lost to Arkansas three weeks ago. The Razorbacks have gone 1-4 since that win, and even with a 30-point win over miserable Georgia, their average margin has been minus-7 over this stretch.

In their last 3 games, Arkansas has seen their offensive efficiency drop by 15 percentage points and they are 280th in defensive efficiency. These are just two teams headed in opposite directions in my opinion. For those reasons I’m willing to take a shot at the +220 buyback on Auburn straight up, but for the more conservative bettors out there, I’ll definitely recommend taking 6.5 points with the Tigers.

Tiny Nick is 110-58 ATS (+51.4 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.