NBA – Suns/Clippers Under 215 (-110): 8:00 PM CT on ESPN
I refuse to believe that Game 5, which snuck over this total in the final minute, should be treated as anything but an outlier for this series. Both teams combined to shoot 33.9% from 3-point range, low by their standards but consistent with how the series has gone. However, the Los Angeles Clippers got basically anything they wanted on offense otherwise, shooting 66.7% from inside the arc which boosted the game over the total.
This game should see the Phoenix Suns make defensive adjustments to counter that interior and mid-range scoring, and a natural drop-off from the Clippers’ torrid 1.162 points per possession. I’d also note that the two games of this series played in Los Angeles have averaged 38.7 fewer points than the three played in Phoenix.
While that’s a bit of an extreme number, it makes some sense because the Suns are trending as a home over team during the regular season, while the Clippers were a home under team. This is another elimination scenario with all the accompanying defensive intensity. With the way this series has gone, for the most part, I’m making another under play here.
Bonus Lock – Suns -1 (-110):
I don’t have much reasoning for this other than being stubborn. The Suns are so much better than this scrappy Clippers team, and with Chris Paul and Devin Booker struggling lately, I fully expect them to explode randomly tonight and end this series once and for all. 1 point is too small for the superior team, even if it’s on the road.
MLB – Astros Team Total Over 5.5 (-110): 7:10 PM CT on Sports Net SW
If ever a team was due for an offensive eruption, you’d have to think it would be the Houston Astros in this game tonight. After consecutive ugly losses to the bottom-feeding Baltimore Orioles, I’m sure it will be a welcome sight for Astros hitters to see Matt Harvey taking the mound.
Opposing teams have cleared this team total in 8 of the last 10 games that Harvey has started. He should really struggle against the core of the Astros lineup, which has a lot of right-handed hitters. Harvey has allowed a .358 average and .985 OPS to righties this season.
The Astros have cleared this total six times in their last eight home games, and they are averaging 6.4 runs per game in that stretch, taking advantage of the smaller Minute Maid Park, which should further torment a fly-ball pitcher like Harvey. Yesterday’s game was a bullpen game for the Orioles, meaning Harvey may have to pitch deeper into this one than he has recently. That’s good news for Astros hitters ready to tee off and avoid a home sweep, so I’ll count on them to get over this total in the process.
MLB – Rangers @ Athletics -1.5 (+105): 8:40 PM CT on NBC Sports-CA
The Oakland A’s can be an infuriating team to bet on, but this spot looks favorable to them and carries a plus-juice return.
Perhaps the most consistent angle to bet on with the A’s is when Chris Bassitt takes the mound, as he’s been a cash machine with Oakland going 12-2 over his last 14 starts. The past six wins they’ve recorded in his starts have covered the run line, including the last three at home.
We also just saw this pitching matchup last Thursday when Bassitt and the A’s took care of Kolby Allard and the Texas Rangers 5-1 in Arlington. And while the Rangers have somewhat broken out of their month-plus slump, when they lose they do so spectacularly – 36 of their 48 losses have been by two-plus runs with an average margin of defeat of 3.2 runs.
This game’s moneyline is moving heavily towards Oakland. With plenty of reason to believe the A’s will win this game, I’ll take the short plus-juice return on Bassitt handing the Rangers another lopsided defeat.
MLB – Angels Moneyline (+120) @ Yankees: 6:05 PM CT on YES
Basically this boils down to how I just don’t trust the New York Yankees, and the fact that I’m getting a plus price on the favorite to win the AL MVP award.
Shohei Ohtani has already shown out in the Bronx through the first two games of this series with three home runs, and now it’s time to see what he can do from the mound. The recent results have been excellent, as Ohtani has a 2.35 ERA over his last four starts, and the Los Angeles Angels have won three of them.
A big issue for the Angels win/loss record in Ohtani’s starts has been lack of run support, but facing Domingo German and his 10.95 ERA over his last three starts could be just what they need. The Yankees are also just 2-4 in German’s last six starts, plus they have a lineup dominated by right-handed hitters, exactly who Ohtani has owned this season with a .141 batting average against and just .489 OPS.
With the numbers stacking up well and the Yankees not as fearsome on the field as on paper, I’ll take a shot with this plus-juice return that Ohtani can boost his MVP campaign in a big way tonight.
Tiny Nick is 313-212 ATS (+85.7 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.