Tiny Nick’s Gambling Picks: 1/2 – Zone Coverage

Locks

NCAA Football – Texas A&M -7 vs North Carolina (-110): 

I really think the Tar Heels are in trouble. Two of the most important factors in handicapping bowl matchups, especially this year, are opt-outs and motivation. Texas A&M has the advantage in both as they come into this game with a chip on their shoulders over being left out of the CFP. Plus, UNC is the team dealing with absences as their RB duo of Michael Carter and Javonte Williams will miss this game.

We saw what a ball-control offense and great defense can do to UNC when they were handled by Notre Dame. You have to go back to 1994 for the last Aggie season with less than two losses, a fact that Jimbo Fisher is well aware of, and I think he wants to roll in this game. I love A&M here.

NCAA Basketball – St. John’s/DePaul Over 156 (-110):

Defense will be optional in this Big East matchup. St. John’s is 304th nationally in points allowed per game at 80.3, but not to be outdone DePaul checks in at 315th, even allowing 82 to a very slow UConn team. DePaul shoots really well, 47th best in field goal percentage and 29th best from behind the arc.

When you put a good shooting team up against a team like St. John’s that plays at the 19th fastest pace in the country, it invariably leads to a shootout. Red Storm games against power conference opponents are 4-1 over against this particular total, and I expect another with a team of DePaul’s style on the other side.

NCAA Basketball – Alabama @ Tennessee -9 (-110):

The Volunteers are extremely impressive to me, and I think they’ll continue dominating the SEC. They’re best in the country in points allowed, 7th in field goal percentage defense, and have five wins in a row by 20 or more points. The last one was the most impressive, a 73-53 win at a really good Missouri team. I’m also still really skeptical of this Alabama team that relies on their fast pace to win games.

But they haven’t been able to control tempo against quality defenses, and Tennessee should be able to play this game on their terms. The Tide’s poor shooting will show up in a big way here, and a grinding Tennessee defense will generate another double-digit win.

NCAA Basketball – Boise State -26 @ San Jose State (-110):

Back to the well on this play after cashing with the Broncos on New Year’s eve. Boise beat that spread by 30 points in a 106-54 win, but this number only adjusted up by 4 as a result. Rematch games have had big swings back towards the loser of the first game this year, but that’s mostly between teams that aren’t as severely mismatched as these two.

Let’s also consider San Jose’s other rematch games this year where they lost by 45 and then 33 to Utah St., failing to cover in both. And Boise actually improved their margin of victory in the rematch spot for them last week against New Mexico. I’m going to keep fading the Spartans this season until they prove me wrong, they’re just that bad.

NCAA Basketball – Missouri/Arkansas Over 146.5 (-110):

Arkansas is a fun team to watch, as they play at one of the fastest paces in the country and take a lot of 3s. As a result, the Razorbacks boast the 8th best offensive rating in the country. Coach Eric Musselman has installed his up-tempo style very well, yet Arkansas isn’t garnering the respect they deserve.

They ran it up against Auburn to start SEC play, and I expect them to do that here as well. Missouri plays a slower tempo, but they keep giving up 70-plus to good offenses. This is just a really moderate total with the 10th highest scoring team involved, so I’m confident that two good teams can get over the number.

NCAA Basketball – Baylor -15 @ Iowa State (-110):

It pains me as an Iowa State grad to pick against the ‘Clones, but we suck this year. And Baylor looks like it does whatever it wants against every team it plays. The Bears have played some cupcakes recently, but their wins against power conference opponents have been by an average of 26 points.

It’s the Baylor offense that I still don’t think has been fully accounted for in the market, shooting an incredible 52.1% from the field. We already saw the Cyclones get run out by 28 against the elite Iowa offense, and I see a similar result brewing here. And in case you missed ISU’s opening Big 12 game, it was a 74-65 home loss to a Kansas St. team that Baylor beat by 31. This could get ugly.

Degenerates

No degenerates today.

Tiny Nick is 86-38 ATS (+47.2 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.