Tiny Nick’s Play Picks: 5/5

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Locks

NBA – Suns / Hawks over 228 (-110): 7:00 p.m. CT on Bally Sports SE

This Phoenix Suns team must be exhausted. Playing your fourth game in six nights isn’t helping, nor is it going back-to-back after needing extra time last night in Cleveland.

Having been known for his defense for much of the season, Phoenix has now recorded seven of his last nine games and is on the 5th best record in the NBA. Now they face the Atlanta Hawks, a team that likes to exploit restless teams – they’re 9-5 for the top when they have the advantage of the rest.

Atlanta erupted from an offensive crisis against an equally tired Portland Trail Blazers team in their last game, and I expect them to continue that momentum here. But their defense, 22nd in the defensive standings, will battle an offense from the Suns who will score 1,232 points per possession in their last three games.

The metrics and the fatigue factor on defense indicate that we’ll be seeing a lot of points in this one, and I’m taking over accordingly.

NBA – Kings / Pacers over 239 (-110): 7:00 p.m. CT on Bally Sports IN

Public Service Announcement: There really isn’t too high a total for a game involving the Indiana Pacers at this time.

As the best team in the NBA, they eclipsed just one of the season’s highest 50-point totals on Monday, which doesn’t matter. Whether it’s their terrible defense, searing offense, or both contributing overall, Indiana has recorded five straight assists as at least one team has scored over 130 points in all five games.

Indiana’s insanely high pace of play was the biggest factor in all of the scores, and there aren’t many teams more willing to play fast paced and poor defense than the Sacramento Kings. They have the worst defensive efficiency rating in NBA history and are also in the second leg of a back-to-back, the perfect team and situation for the Pacers to exploit.

Over the past week, those two teams had 154 points in settlement, which I’m not sure has happened before – especially as Indiana hung 152 in a separate game. I see no reason for this style of play to end here, so get the upper hand and enjoy the scoring frenzy in this one.

NBA – Knicks / Nuggets on 214 (-110): 8:00 p.m. CT on Altitude Sports

The books didn’t learn their lesson from Monday when I pointed out the offensive strength of the New York Knicks and they took a plus, so let’s get back to that right now.

One trend that seems to be keeping that total down is that the Denver Nuggets have just 3-7 points in their last 10 games. However, if you dig deeper, you will see that they are actually 7-2-1 on that particular total. Meanwhile, the Knicks are 8-2 in their last 10 games and eclipsed the 110-point mark on Monday for the 13th time in 16 games.

But now they’re traveling at altitude, a tough task to play good defense, and the style shift in how Denver uses Nikola Jokic should create a lot of points against a Knicks defense not designed to defend a stretching center. After being capped at 89 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, I would expect the Nuggets’ offense to rebound, and combined with the recent high efficiency of the New York offense, I like their chances of exceed this low total.

Bonus bet: Injuries abound in this game, as Monday’s game saw PJ Dozier added to the Nuggets injured roster and Jokic himself suffering from foot injuries. While the Knicks have frontcourt injuries, they’re certainly the healthiest team overall, plus they’re a cover machine on a crazy 15-1 ATS run. Denver has struggled to cover the numbers since losing Jamal Murray and this may be the hottest team they’ve faced, so I’m going to take +3.5 with New York.

Degenerate

MLB – ML Cardinals vs. Mets (+105): 7:15 p.m. CT

In Game 2 of a doubles game today, I drew my attention to how I can get the home St. Louis Cardinals team without paying juice against an underperforming New York Mets team. . On top of that, the Mets send the unproven Miguel Castro who currently wears a WHIP of over 1.30.

The Cards send their own young man to Johan Oviedo who pitched the ball well and will be at his baseball stadium for this Wednesday night game. Look for the St. Louis roster to keep them in the winning column tonight, especially if they lose Game 1 of their double title today.

Tiny Nick is 242-156 ATS (+76.6 ATS) 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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