Tiny Nick’s Playing Picks: 2/4



NCAA Basketball Colorado St./Wyoming Under 153 (-110): 8 p.m. CST

The last time we saw the state of Colorado we redeemed a ticket against Boise.

For this point I mentioned the zigzag effect on totals in Rams games, and this is another opportunity to take advantage of this, but vice versa. All six first legs of the Colorado double heads averaged 13 points fewer points than the second. The Rams are actually 43rd on the defensive, and the high scoring games they play in the second leg have fueled the false perception that they are an over-team (in fact, they are 7-7 total with a slight plus / minus – advantage of 2.5 points down).

Against a Wyoming team that is offensively inconsistent at best, I want the CSU defense to do another good job and continue their zigzag trend. Early action recognized this is too many points and hit the bottom too. So hold your nose and cheer for the defense.


NCAA Basketball – BYU-19 @ Portland (-110): 6 p.m. CST

This Portland team is almost a little sorry for it because it’s really bad. The pilots have a miserable defensive efficiency ranking (326th), an offensive efficiency ranking (309th) and only one cover in the conference game when they lost 116 points to Gonzaga but only lost 28 points.

Included in that futility is another 28 point defeat for this BYU team, a game where the normally defensive minded Cougars achieved their best offensive performance of the season. After BYU missed the cover in the last two games, they need a bounceback spot, and Portland should be an easy choice here.

The Cougars covered the distribution of 23 points in the first matchup, and I don’t think Portland will score four points for a line by the time it’s home in an empty gym. So this is a BYU buying opportunity for me.

NCAA Basketball – Minnesota / Rutgers Under 141 (-110): 8 p.m. CST on FS1

Another bet isn’t much fun, but it’s impossible to ignore the offensive futility and slow pace of these teams.

In their last 16 combined games, the one is under 13-3, including 10-6 under that particular number. No wonder when you look at stats like Rutgers, who are 187th at a pace and only allow 0.79 points per possession in the last three games, the ninth-best of all teams in the country.

It gets really ugly with the Gophers’ offense. They fell to 293rd in the field goal and 303rd behind the arch, so it’s no wonder they only averaged 62.8 points in street games. This Rutgers team is prone to long shooting dips, and their strong central defense fits well with a Minnesota team that has no choice but to try to score inside – and create the perfect recipe for an under.

NCAA Basketball – Murray St. @ Morehead St. +3 (-110): 6 p.m. CST on ESPN +

I am completely confused by this number when it opened with Morehead State. A 1 point favorite and has moved this far. Morehead were the much better team in the Ohio Valley after winning nine straight wins, seven straight wins, and beating Murray State as an underdog with 13 points on the road a month ago – one of five straight wins you’ve been to the outsider.

The Eagles are a cover machine with an ATS 13-4 record, including 9-2 as an underdog, while Murray State has fought as a favorite at this point, only 4-8 when he scores. Morehead plays a great defense, giving up the 29th fewest points per game, and has a defensive efficiency rating in the last three games that ranks 7th in the country with 0.777 points per possession.

I think the defense will keep them in this game and within the number, but if the line moves through zero be sure to watch out for injury / COVID news that could fuel the momentum.

Little Nick has ATS 144-85 (+55.1 units) on his locks since joining Zone Coverage.

Every day he offers his locks and degenerate picks. Castles are the games he is sure of. Degenerate are fun but riskier picks.