Tiny Nicks Playing Picks: 2/19

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Castles

NBA Wolves / Raptors over 226 (-110): 7:00 p.m. CT on FSN

The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Toronto Raptors 116-112 less than a week ago, so this one is pretty easy for me. I say it a lot, but the Wolves fight immensely on the defensive while keeping a pretty good pace on the offensive as well.

Somehow the Raptors only scored 112 and shot 30% out of three while losing to a missed layup by Pascal Siakam. The game was still over and I don't see this game slowing down in any way.

Karl-Anthony-Cities over 22.5 points (ALSO):

I know this sounds like a Homer election, but if you look back on my track record, the wolves have been a huge part of my success. Towns is officially back and ready for another big show after playing 30 against the Los Angeles Lakers last time around.

Play with KAT in a game Minnesota has to show up in if they want any chance of beating Toronto another one.

Degenerate

NCAA Basketball – Toledo / Buffalo Via 163 (-110): 8:00 p.m. CT on ESPN2

This is a very large sum, but there is reason to like the game to get over that large number. This should depend mostly on possessions that meet efficiency, as Buffalo has the ninth highest possession per game, adding possessions for Toledo (1,113 points per possession, # 9 in the country).

I also look at a Buffalo team that makes the 30th most fouls in college basketball, and Toledo's 14th best free-throw percentage will give both rating and total ownership another boost. This Bulls team is fun to watch and they can score against anyone. Earlier this season it lost 87 points in Syracuse. I want the end of a fast-paced game that is likely to be close.

And despite this high number, the early sharp action was exclusively over, so I'm glad to be on the smart money side here.

NCAA Basketball – South Dakota St. @ North Dakota St. (PK): 7:30 p.m. CT on ESPN3

There are a few reasons I think this is a problem for the jackrabbits here. It starts with the loss of Noah Freidel, 2nd in the standings and 3rd in the assists of this team, which decided for the rest of the season.

It becomes difficult for a perimeter offense that is the fifth in 3 point shooting to lose 26% of its production from outside the arc. South Dakota State also fights in first leg games, only 2-2 directly at these points. Meanwhile, North Dakota State are 6-0 and 4-2 ATS in first leg games.

I think NDSU will be able to slow this game down to the pace of its preferred snail (317th in the country) as SDSU adjusts to the loss of Freidel. The matchup at the beginning of the season was a 2-point win by Jackrabbits with Freidel in the line-up. I think the bison came out on top in another close match this time around.

NBA – Thunder +10.5 @ Bucks (-110): 6:00 p.m. CT

The Milwaukee Bucks were miserable this year without Jrue Holiday. In their last match against Oklahoma City Thunder they lost without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who, unlike Holiday, will be back tonight.

Despite their record, the Thunder are also on the road with 11-4 ATS. Milwaukee suffered a heavy loss last night that they may want to avenge or I would have this in the locks category but roll the points with OKC.

NCAA Basketball – Cal Baptist +10 @ Grand Canyon (-110): 8:00 p.m. on ESPN3

This is strictly a game with the zigzag trend affecting these teams in opposite ways. Grand Canyon are definitely the best team in the WAC, but they don't play like that in these double-headed first legs. While they are 3-0 at these points, it was all single-digit wins for the antelopes, which gives this double-digit spread a lot of value.

Their second leg games, however, were all double digit wins with an average improvement of 14.7 points. The opposite trend applies to Cal Baptist, with the Lancers 4-1 in the first leg, 4-1 in the rematch and the average margin shift being 9.8 points. It also seems that hard money figured out this trend and backs the Lancers here, so I'll be backing that pattern in this game and be at the Grand Canyon rematch tomorrow at a hopefully discounted price.

Tiny Nick has had ATS 165-98 (+62.8 units) on his locks since joining Zone Coverage.

Every day he offers his locks and degenerate picks. Castles are the games he relies on. Degenerate are fun, but riskier tips.