Tiny Nick’s Playing Picks: 1/26

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Locks

NCAA Basketball – Georgia Tech +6.5 @ Duke (-110):

This game is headlining ESPN’s college slate today, which is funny because both of these teams are not great.

It’s unreal that Duke is laying points to anyone right now, especially to a Georgia Tech team that’s better than most people realize. The Yellow Jackets have four starters who shoot 40% or better from deep, forward Moses Wright is becoming unstoppable in the pick-and-roll, and this team is hot over the past week. They destroyed Clemson and almost knocking off Virginia on the road.

Meanwhile, Duke is the drug public bettors just can’t quit, and it’s been costly. The Blue Devils have the worst ATS record of any team who’s played multiple games and are missing the number by 9.3 points, the 4th worst margin in the country. It’s craziness in my opinion to lay two full possessions worth of points with the team that is 104th in offensive efficiency and 214th in defensive efficiency, so don’t let the Duke brand name fool you here.

NCAA Basketball – Oklahoma @ Texas -4 (-110):

I know this might seem confusing after I took Oklahoma against KU (and the public) a couple of days ago, but that was at home and I’m sold that this Texas team is for real. If not for Mac McClung‘s ridiculous game-winning three, the Longhorns would really be rolling.

This is a road game for Oklahoma so I don’t expect them to be as comfortable as they were against a disappointing KU team, and I trust Texas to take care of business at home. Even if this one is close, as long as Texas wins, the foul game should help them cover this small number at the end.

NCAA Basketball – Kentucky @ Alabama -6 (-110):

Early action on this spread drove the opening number of -8.5 to here, and I think that has created a better buying opportunity on Alabama. When they missed the cover on Saturday by two points – which I think can be partially explained by them looking ahead to this game – the Tide ended an 8-0 ATS run.

That included a 20 point road beat down of this Kentucky team even without point guard and assists leader Jahvon Quinerly. I think this Alabama team is for real and the previous matchup was no fluke. Coach Nate Oats’ pro-style offense that relies on 3-point volume will continue to thrive against a Kentucky team that’s 113th in opponent threes made per game.

With this number coming down early and Kentucky likely being a trendy public underdog, watch for more value to materialize in this number. But at the end of the day, I think we see another double-digit Alabama win. This game is on ESPN so a little added fun being that we can all actually watch it.

NBA – Knicks/Jazz Over 211 (-110):

117, 116, 109, 118, 129, 127… Those are the numbers the Utah Jazz have put up in their last six games, and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. Their spread was a little too big for me to take today, but I love the way this team has been playing. I expect them to take care of the New York Knicks en route to clipping the over in this one as long as the Knicks can near the century mark themselves.

Degenerates

NCAA Basketball – North Carolina/Pitt Over 146 (-110): 

For much of the season, both of these teams were strong under plays, with UNC even going 9-2 to the under in their first 11 games. But two weeks ago that trend flipped, and I’m going to keep riding the new trend here. These teams have seen a significant rise in points per possession both allowed and scored over their past three games, coinciding with the past three going over the total for Pitt and the past four going over for UNC.

For the Panthers, it all starts with the return of a healthy Justin Champagnie after a month away, which has ignited their offense. For the Heels, they’ve seen a huge rise over the past three games in their effective field goal percentage of 5.7 percentage points, coupled with an increase in possessions per game. With these two hot offenses going at it and season-long trends holding this total down slightly, I’m jumping on the over.

Tiny Nick is 118-66 ATS (+49.6 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.