NBA – Pelicans @ Timberwolves +4 (-11): 7:00 PM CT on Bally Sports North
Maybe Ricky Rubio is right and this Minnesota Timberwolves team has finally figured something out. Whatever that something might be, there’s very little reason for a team like the New Orleans Pelicans to be giving them this many points at Target Center, a place where Minnesota is 7-3 straight up and ATS in their last 10 games.
New Orleans isn’t used to laying points on the road, but when they do, they’re just 6-7 ATS. The only wins they’ve had in their last 10 road contests have come against the very worst of the NBA’s tanking teams. Let’s also remember that Minnesota has dominated the season series, winning outright by double digits in both games as 8-point underdogs. This number is certainly an adjustment from those outcomes but not enough, as I have the Wolves winning this game and will gladly take 4 points of insurance.
Bonus Bet: The defense has really ramped up for both these teams recently, especially New Orleans as they’re 2nd in defensive efficiency over their last 3 games, while Minnesota is 8th. That’s led to seven unders in these teams’ last eight games combined, and 11 of the last 12 for the Pelicans have gone under this total. The steam up to 238.5 is based on the season-long perception of these squads, and while the margin is narrow I do see this game staying under.
NBA – Raptors @ Jazz -6.5 (-110): 9:00 PM CT on SportsNet RM
This is all about the Utah Jazz and their wild pendulum swings of late. I see it swinging back to their home dominance (best ATS home record at 20-10) after their game in Phoenix last night was over in the first quarter. That game came two days after dropping 154 points, which itself appeared to be the Jazz venting some frustration after losing two straight to Minnesota.
It seems every time Utah has a subpar performance they take it out on someone, and Toronto appears to be the next victim. The Toronto Raptors come into this one having lost 3 of 4, all by double digits to contending teams, and will be resting star Kyle Lowry. And if your concern is no rest for the Jazz, they’re 8-4 ATS with the 2nd best margin of victory in the NBA in those spots. Utah will be able to reclaim the top seed with a win, and I smell a blowout on top of it.
No degenerates today.
Tiny Nick is 238-153 ATS (+75.9 Units) on his Locks since joining Zone Coverage.
Every day he will offer his Locks and Degenerate picks. Locks are the games he’s confident in. Degenerates are entertaining but riskier picks.