Locks

NBA (0.75 units) Cleveland Cavaliers -3.5 @ San Antonio Spurs (-110): 7:30 p.m. CT on Bally Sports OH

Fresh off a 20-point demolition of the Jazz on Wednesday, this Cavaliers team has what I consider another favorable game. It hasn’t been good for San Antonio lately, and I see their misfortunes continuing tonight.

The Spurs have won just 2 of their last 10 games and are coming off an ugly home loss to Houston on Wednesday. It’s probably a bad time to see a Cavaliers team that’s great at defending the way Spurs want to play. San Antonio lives inside the arc, generating the most production from two points in the league and taking the second under three. This large formation employed by the Cavs is perfect for defending this, and Cleveland is 3rd in two-point defense percentage this season.

The Cavaliers are still the best ATS team in the league and also have the best over/under to road game count. I see Cleveland extending that here against a down Spurs team that will struggle with this excellent defense.

Basketball NCAA (0.25 units) Nebraska/Purdue Over 155 (-110): 5:30 p.m. CT on FS1

Nebraska is expected to pick up power guard Trey McGowens for this game, which should speed up an already fast-paced Cornhuskers team even more. Purdue has no trouble scoring points, which should make for a very high-scoring affair here.

The Cornhuskers are playing at the 37th-fastest pace in the nation, and that’s with McGowens who’s been on the shelf for two months now. He should add some much-needed offense for Nebraska, but won’t help their poor defense much, especially against the Purdue juggernaut. Nebraska pushing the pace and creating more possessions will maximize the score against the nation’s top-rated offense. That’s especially true with the Cornhuskers ranked 245th in defensive efficiency and allowing a whopping 1,168 points per possession over the last 3 games.

I’m looking for Nebraska to continue their paced style, especially given the game nightmares Purdue presents in the half court. But giving an offense like Purdue more of a chance will inevitably lead to points, and that should lead to this game going over the total.

NCAA basketball (0.25 unit) Monmouth/St. Peter’s Over 135 (-110): 6:00 p.m. CT on ESPN3

The handicap here lies in going against the market perception of these teams and betting on an overlooked angle. Both of these teams have played mostly under this season, going 7-14 under combined. Much of this can be attributed to the style of the opponent, as these teams tend to face weak teams in the non-conference slate. But they’re actually both faster than average, and I see them going out and racing tonight.

Both teams have just come out of long COVID breaks, and when they have before, we see these teams just wanting to get back on the field and run. This tends to create games with higher scores, and this total is very accessible in this kind of style. Also, despite these teams’ metrics profiles indicating poor offense, the total has been bet since the open of 133, so sharp bettors see the same thing. These schools’ previous 4 meetings have averaged 146.8 points, and I see another high-scoring game tonight.

degenerate

NBA Golden State Warriors @ Chicago Bulls -3.5 (-110): 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN

The place here couldn’t be worse for a sick and stumbling Warriors team. Their resounding loss last night at Milwaukee was about as ugly as it gets, and they also lost Gary Payton II to injury in that game. Golden State is already without Draymond Green, they will rest Klay Thompson here and play their 4th game in 6 nights with a trip between them.

It gives the Bulls a prime opportunity to avenge a blowout early season loss to the Warriors, especially with the sting of being crushed by Brooklyn on Wednesday still fresh. The Bulls are 9-4 ATS with an advantage at rest, while Golden State is just 5-7-1 ATS with a disadvantage at rest. That fatigue factor should define this game, and it may even be one the Warriors are willing to throw away given their big disadvantages.

NBA Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat -4.5 (-110): 7:00 p.m. CT on Bally Sports SE

This is one of those original NBA programming spots where we just saw this game two nights ago in Atlanta, with the Heat rolling 24 points. Does that make Miami’s 7-point swing being 2.5-point dogs to lay 4.5 right here? I think it is if Jimmy Butler returns tonight, as some reports have indicated.

It’s a bad game overall for Atlanta, as their poor defense and difficulty defending the 3-pointer comes up against the 2nd best shooting team from deep. And with the Hawks missing Clint Capela and possibly Kevin Huerter, Miami’s excellent wing defenders can focus on locking down Trae Young. Be sure to monitor Butler’s status because with him in the lineup, this could turn into another runaway for the Heat.

Tiny Nick has a record of 520-409 ATS (+81.6 units) on his locks since joining Zone Coverage.

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