Tiny Nicks Playing Picks: 1/28



NBA Blazers / Rockets over 229:

Call four of your least athletic friends, set up a game with the Portland Trail Blazers, and I guarantee you can score a few on layups.

Every time I see this Portland team, I am amazed at the number of simple glances the other team receives from within. No wonder, since Enes Kanter is getting more and more minutes out of trouble. Only four teams drop more points per game than the Blazers, and with a thin line-up, I don't see much opposition to those redesigned Houston Rockets who have been able to score at will against the other poor defenses.

Both teams are good at getting on the line too, and they both fouled a lot, making it possible for the opponent to make the fourth and seventh most frequent free throws – a vital part of any NBA. Victor Oladipo and John Wall are also very quick in transition and like to accelerate the pace, so that should help too.

Since defense is optional in a national TV game, I expect a lot of points.

NCAA Basketball – UAB -10 @ Middle Tennessee (-110):

This is a point where I want to be ahead of a potential zig zag target, but I'm also very high on this UAB team and I think this is a good matchup for them. It's all about the defense of the blazers as they rank 2nd in terms of defensive efficiency, 3rd in terms of points allowed per game and 14th in terms of the percentage of enemy shots.

Something tells me that a Middle Tennessee team that ranks 340th for offensive efficiency and 336th for points per game will have a hard time doing anything about these elite UAB defenses, entirely not to mention that it's only ATS 2-9 in the season. I would also like to use the zigzag factor that affects both teams: UAB has an average of 15 points better lead in the first leg, while MTU is an average of 16 points worse in the first leg.

The Blue Raiders are only outdone here, so drop the points at UAB now ahead of Sunday's rematch.

NCAA Basketball – New Mexico @ Fresno State -6.5 (-110):

Mountain West's soil this season has been poor historically, and one could argue that New Mexico are actually a worse side than the state of San Jose because they only lost 12 points to them in their last game. This is a really terrible loss, and something I don't think is reflected enough on this line.

Fresno State has three players 7 feet or taller who like to peek inside, which should be easy against a Lobos team who are 275 in 2 percent percent allowance, let alone 292nd in the overall defensive efficiency. The Bulldogs had Boise on the ropes in their last game and should try to clear some frustration here.

All three Fresno home wins were down 15 points or more and I think we're seeing another double digit win this game.


NCAA Basketball – TCU @ Kansas -14 (-110):

I'll admit the Jayhawks have a little brand name bias here, but wonder if you'd like to become a TCU in this game. After a 16-day COVID hiatus, you've rusted. The three pre-break games have been an average of 27.7 point losses, averaging below 50 PPG, and your first stop is Allen Fieldhouse facing an angry Kansas team that has already knocked you down this month 29 points.

There seems to be a tee shot lately for the Jayhawks as they dropped three single-digit Big 12 Road games in a row to tournament caliber teams, which isn't too surprising given the strength of the conference. The good news for KU is that last time they were dominant against this TCU squad, a game where they could get whatever they wanted indoors. Sometimes you have to join in what a game feels like and that feels like it's the place for Kansas.

Tiny Nick has had ATS 125-70 (+52.5 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.