Tiny Nick’s game pick: 6/8

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Locks

NBA – 76ers Team Total out of 114 (-110): 6.30 p.m. CT on TNT

One thing that surprised me about these playoffs is seeing the Philadelphia 76ers rely more on a fast, high-scoring offense rather than excellent defense. It’s one thing to average 124 points against the Washington Wizards defense in a first-round series. It’s a whole different thing to put in 124 to open the second round against a much better defense from the Atlanta Hawks, even despite a nightmarish first half.

That averages 117.8 PPG against Atlanta this season for the Sixers, who are 3-1 on that number, including 3-0 with a 125.7 PPG average in Philadelphia. That number represents the floor of Philly’s offensive production so far in the playoffs, and I think whatever the outcome of the game is easily achievable for the Sixers. So in a game with a high tally that’s on the rise, I see another offensive explosion from the Sixers as they try to make a statement by tying this streak in one game each.

NBA – Clippers / Jazz on 220.5 (-110): 9:00 p.m. CT on TNT

It is really difficult to know how the totals will form in this series due to many conflicting data points.

The regular season streak was 1-2 against this particular total with those lineup and schedule variety factors playing a big part, although the solo was probably the most similar to the lineup and style we’ll see this. evening. It’s telling that bettors saw a season-long streak average of 107.3 PPG between the teams with the 4th and 7th best defensive scores, but snagged such a high total.

I think I am taking into account the same as them which is 3 point shooting. Neither team has shot anywhere near their average percentage from the ground in all three regular season games, which is critically important for two teams who are 1st and 4th in 3-point percentage. If this game sees a significant average reversion in this category, those teams who like to let it fly long distance will easily close the points gap.

The opening games of the second round were more marked than I expected, so I’ll be rolling with another here.

Bonus bet: We’ve all seen the Jazz go nuclear against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, averaging 127 PPG once. Donovan mitchell returned. It was against a Grizzlies team ranked 8th in defensive efficiency and 11th in opposing shots percentage, both of which are better than the Clippers. The Jazz averaged 110.7 points per game against the Clips in the regular season, but watching them shred Memphis and anticipate a hot and motivated start to the second round makes me love their team’s total topped 112 points.

MLB – Diamondbacks @ Athletics Run Line -1.5 (+100): 8:40 p.m. CT on NBC Sports-CA

I don’t usually like to draw the racing line with a home team, especially one that recently burned me like the Oakland Athletics. I also usually don’t like the racing line with a game that doesn’t match because usually you are forced to lay juice.

That said, this is a plummeting Arizona Diamondbacks team, and the tie prize caught my eye. Arizona has completely collapsed, 3-22 in its last 25 games with 15 of those losses by more than 2 points. The starter for the D’Backs tonight, Jon Duplantier, has a 9.35 ERA in two short starts against teams that are not known for their good shots. Conversely, the starter of A Chris Bassitt has been a great bet, Oakland covering the running line in its last three starts and already beating Arizona 9-5 earlier this season.

And when Oakland wins, they tend to cover, with 24 of their 35 wins this season from over 2 races, including their last nine straight wins. I would have preferred a higher price tag, but even the money will be good enough given the horror of Arizona and Oakland’s tendency to win comfortably.

Degenerate

NBA – Clippers @ Jazz -2 First half (-110): 9:00 p.m. CT on TNT

It is difficult to glean much information about the series of seasons between these teams due to the variety of rosters and the situations they have played in. One important thing to note though is that the only game played in Salt Lake City saw the Jazz jump on the Clippers early to lead by 9 points at halftime. It’s part of a larger trend for the Jazz as they were the best team in the NBA by first-half scoring differential, both at home and overall.

Once Mitchell came back for them in the first round, the Jazz torched the Grizzlies by averaging 15 points in the first half and 22 points in both home games. I just don’t trust the Playoff P’s and the Clippers, who come off a much tougher streak than they should be, travel high and take on a relaxed jazz team.

Injury issues for Mike Conley are of concern in a broader sense for the series, but I don’t think it matters so much in this more isolated scenario where the Jazz should be motivated and full blast early on.

Tiny Nick has 279-184 ATS (+83 units) on his locks since joining Zone Coverage.

Every day, he will offer his hooks and his degenerate choices. Locks are the games he trusts. Degenerates are fun choices, but riskier ones.



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