NBA (0.5 Unit) Golden State Warriors/Boston Celtics 1st Quarter Over 54 (-110): 8:00 PM CT on ABC
These teams have been starting fast in every game of these NBA Finals so far. Books are trying to catch up, but I just don’t think they’ve made a big enough adjustment. With the over cashing in every first quarter so far, we’ve seen the total tick up a couple of points from Game 1. These fast starts are counterintuitive to the metrics, which show that both teams are in the bottom half of the league for first-quarter scoring.
The Celtics and Warriors are also known for their excellent first-quarter defense, particularly Boston who allows the fewest first-quarter points in the league. But I simply can’t ignore first quarters of 60, 61, and 55 points, or the pace and shooting that have fueled those starts. These teams are playing a different brand of basketball early compared to late, so I’ll look for another fast start tonight.
Bonus Bet (0.25 Unit): Warriors/Celtics Under 214.5 (-110)
As I mentioned, these teams are playing a totally different style later in the game, and it’s been causing scoring to fall off a cliff. That’s most noticeable in Golden State’s awful fourth quarters of 16 and 11 points, as well as Boston’s relative third-quarter struggles. I also expect the Warriors to have a different and more desperate approach defensively tonight with their backs somewhat against the wall, plus Steph Curry’s injury issues. All that should add up to less scoring than expected in this one.
Extra Bonus Bet (0.25 Unit): Draymond Green Over 20.5 Points+Assists+Rebounds (-110)
Everyone is talking about Draymond’s awful Game 3 and supposed podcast distraction, and I’m sure one of the most prideful players in the NBA is using that as fuel. In the five games leading up to that ugly Game 3 stat line, Green was averaging 23 on this prop and never had less than 20. Let’s be honest, Day-Day probably won’t score his way over this number. But the effort stats of rebounds and assists are right in his wheelhouse if he brings a next-level focus and intensity to this crucial game.
MLB (0.75 Unit) Toronto Blue Jays/Detroit Tigers Over 9 (-110): 6:10 PM CT on Bally Sports Detroit
I’m really counting primarily on Toronto to do most of the work here, and this is a backing of their current run of 10-3-2 over tonight’s total. The Blue Jay bats are a solid bet, averaging 6.6 runs per game in that stretch, and I’m pretty confident they can meet or exceed that production against Detroit starter Elvin Rodriguez tonight. The young Tiger righty has faced three teams with strong lineups this season, accumulating a 13.50 ERA in those starts.
If Toronto can hammer Rodriguez it’s quite possible they get to this total on their own, but they might not need to given their own starter’s issues. Jose Berrios has been extremely up-and-down this season, but had an awful May where he accumulated a 7.01 ERA. Most importantly, he’s really struggled on the road, running up a 7.28 ERA and .313 opponent on-base average. If those problems continue at all, we’ll see the Tigers chip in enough runs to get this game over the total.
MLB (0.5 Unit) Baltimore Orioles/KC Royals Over 9.5 (-110): 7:10 PM CT on Bally Sports KC
Last night’s 12-run game between these teams reinforced my bad team/bad pitcher theory enough to go back to the well today. While the starting pitchers aren’t as universally awful as last night, there are still plenty of reasons to believe more runs are coming in this one. It begins with Baltimore starter Bruce Zimmerman who has been getting crushed recently. His past four outings have seen him accumulate an 8.57 ERA in games that have averaged 12.8 runs.
Royals starter Jonathan Heasley has actually been one of the better pitchers for KC lately, never allowing more than three runs but consistently getting let down by their awful bullpen. He’s also comically bad against left-handed hitters, allowing a 1.108 OPS, and Baltimore’s two most dangerous power bats have an opportunity to tee off from that side of the plate. But once again it should be pointed out that these teams consistently allow a ton of runs, and I expect that to continue to be the case tonight.
MLB LA Dodgers/SF Giants Over 9 (-110): 9:15 PM CT on ESPN+
With two relatively strong pitchers – and one of them having serious brand-name recognition – I didn’t expect books to hang a total this high. The fact they did shows a recognition of the struggles for Walker Buehler lately, who has had several uncharacteristic struggles over his past five starts. Those games have gone 4-1 over this total, combining his issues with the elite Dodger hitting.
Those bats for LA seemed to wake up yesterday after a long stretch of relative struggles, so I’m hoping they’ve found something to carry into this game. The Dodgers have an extremely limited history against Giants starter Jakob Junis but are obviously dangerous enough to go off against anyone. There’s also a strong wind blowing out of Oracle Park tonight, so the conditions might be right for getting this game over the total.
Tiny Nick is 760-629 ATS (+79.9 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.