Tiny Nick’s Play Picks: 5/23

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Locks

NBA – Lakers / Suns over 213 (-110): 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC

I know, I know, this is playoff basketball where everything changes and the scores are lower. While this is true more often than not, I take a close look at how these teams have played along the regular season and their series of the season.

The Phoenix Suns started off as a great sub-team, but thanks to a 15-5 pass to close the season, they finished second-best in the league. They also know how to score points against that excellent Los Angeles Lakers defense, averaging 111.7 PPG in the season series, which is five points above the Lakers’ average points allowed.

It’s also important to note that in the 3-game season streak, LeBron James and Anthony Davis played once, and not in the same game, but the streak was 2-1 at the end. I don’t believe James and AD are at full strength, and that would hamper them the most defensively against this hot Suns attack.

The three regular season totals were in the range of 216, so with that reduction and the team’s tendencies, I’m taking over from a pretty low total.

NBA – Grizzlies / Jazz over 217 (-110): 8:30 p.m. CT on TNT

The Utah Jazz swept the season series against the Memphis Grizzlies and managed a 3-0 sweep against that particular total, averaging 228.3 PPG. They only went 2-1 to the overs for those games, however, and whoever stayed under had one key difference – Donovan Mitchell didn’t play.

In case you haven’t heard, Spider is back for the playoffs and I see the score improving as a result. Utah were the 3rd best team in offensive efficiency before Mitchell’s injury, and they certainly know how to score against the Grizzlies – a team that struggles to defend elite guard play. Memphis has also been a great bet when they’re on the road this season at 62.2%, and it drops to 63.6% when they’re also in the away-from-home underdog role.

Of all the games in the opening round, this is the only one to see a significant upward line movement, telling me the sharps see the same. With Mitchell on the cusp of making a resounding comeback and these teams knowing how to score on top of each other, I’m going to be rolling with the smart money here on top.

Degenerate

No generates today.

Tiny Nick has been 261-170 ATS (+80.3 units) on his locks since joining zone coverage.

Each day, it will offer its locks and its degenerate choices. Locks are the games he trusts. Degenerates are fun choices but riskier ones.



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