Tiny Nick Game Pick: 5/20

Locks

NBA (0.5 Unit) Dallas Mavericks @ Golden State Warriors -6 (-110): 8:00 p.m. CT on TNT

It looks like the same Dallas team that got knocked out in Games 1 and 2 against Phoenix, which likely means this will turn into a close series. But I don’t see it that way tonight because Golden State should roll here again. Road woes for Dallas are picking a bad place to run again, especially since the Warriors are 7-0 at home in the playoffs by an average margin of more than 16 points.

There are also rumors of Luka Doncic deal with both injury and illness ahead of tonight’s game, which would be the nightmare scenario for Dallas here. But even with a perfectly healthy Doncic, what the Warriors did in Dallas in Game 1, constantly changing their defensive looks, should continue here. It helped bring the 3-point shooting regression that was due to the Mavericks, a team that is mediocre at best in road shooting this season. As long as the Warriors avoid one of their focus lapses, they should once again dominate at home and take a 2-0 series lead.

Bonus bet (0.75 unit): Jalen Brunson More than 18.5 points (-110)

Let’s hope Brunson doesn’t get called back to his other job of helping with chocolate factory tours, which might be the only thing keeping him under that number tonight. Although he hasn’t looked like he has in the first round lately, he’s still averaging 22.3 ppg in the playoffs and is 9-5 above that. number.

If you believe everyone else’s theory, Brunson has alternated under and over that number over the last 7 games, with two of the under numbers landing on 18 points. I see him improving on a bad shooting night in Game 1 to come back to that number here.

MLB (0.5 Unit) St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 @ Pittsburgh Pirates (+110): 5:35 p.m. CT on Apple TV+

The Cardinals should be much bigger favorites here, and the fact that there is a plus-money return on the running line is too good to pass up. Pittsburgh has been a big fade on the running line all season, as 18 of their 21 losses have come via multiple runs. We already saw St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright dominate the Pirates this season in a 9-0 win to start the season, and the Buccos have really only gotten worse.

Wainwright also has a dominant history against Pittsburgh. Their current roster has a career average of .112 against the Cardinals right-hander. St. Louis batters should be ready to burst here too after being held mostly in check by the Mets’ excellent rotation. pirate launcher Zach Thompson is notorious for his control issues, which is bad news against a patient and powerful Cardinals lineup.

And if you think the Cardinals are going to win, they’re probably going to cover the rush line, because 15 of their 20 wins have come by more than 2 runs. I see this as an easy task for St. Louis, and I love the recovery plus the money for them to sail here again.

MLB (1 Unit) Team LA Dodgers Total Over 4.5 (-110): 6:05 p.m. CT on ESPN+

Recovery is a… well, you know. That’s what I see for the Phillies tonight after beating the Dodgers in their series a week ago. Philadelphia scoring 33 points over all 4 games was very impressive, but their offense has fallen off a cliff since then. To only score 3 total points in a 3 game series against San Diego this week is the product of absences for Bryce Harper and Jean Seguraboth expected tonight.

It scared me the whole game here, but I still like to isolate the team for the Dodgers. They will be highly motivated to return the favor and rack up some points against the Phillies in this series. That team total shouldn’t be a problem for the most successful team in baseball with a stacked roster, especially since they’re 24-13 on that number this season. Los Angeles has also erased that total in 8 of its last 10 games and 5 in a row.

You also shouldn’t overlook the fact that Philadelphia will miss Harper and Segura’s defense in addition to their bats. So I see this mighty Dodgers team fighting their way to retribution and another tonight.

MLB (1 unit) Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 @ Baltimore Orioles (+120): 6:05 p.m. CT on MASN

Death, taxes and the Rays beating the Orioles. Tampa went 18-1 against Baltimore last season, with 15 of those wins by the rush line. It’s happening again this year, with the Rays opening the season with a sweep of the Orioles and a plus-11 total differential. Tonight’s starter for the Orioles, Tyler Wells, was responsible for the most unbalanced of these games. He allowed 4 runs before being retired in the second inning.

Wells showed improvement in places, but 5 of his 7 starts resulted in multiple losses for Baltimore, as did 17 of the team’s 24 losses overall. I can also wipe out Baltimore after an emotional win yesterday that snapped a 6-game losing streak and likely kept that number from spiraling out of control. But the bottom line here is that Tampa just dominates this team incredibly consistently. And getting a return on your investment again by taking out one of baseball’s slums is too good to pass up.

MLB (1 unit) Minnesota Twins (-120) @ Kansas City Royals: 7:10 p.m. CT on Bally Sports North

Let’s hope the offense the Twins uncovered Wednesday in Oakland lasts a little longer this time around, as inconsistent bats have made this team a tough bet. This inconsistency was on full display in their first series against Kansas City this season, scoring just 4 points overall over the 3 games. But the positive signs are there, and getting Carlos Correa getting back into the lineup means a ton for this team.

That should help propel them against the Royals starter Daniel Lynch, which stopped them in this previous series. But as a southpaw, he should be vulnerable to Minnesota bats, who have been much better against left-handed pitchers this season. Devin Smelzer should also do his usual magic act of batting confusion, especially with the current Royals having very little experience against him and Salvador Perez always out of their composition. So relax, crack a hard Smeltzer and enjoy this Twins win as they take advantage of a weak Royals squad.

degenerate

No degenerate today.

Tiny Nick has a record of 725-598 ATS (+79.9 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.


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