Castles

NBA – Wolves / Clippers Over 223 (-110): 7:00 p.m. CT on FSN

Well, we’ve all seen the Minnesota Timberwolves last game play out in a game that topped the 250 mark, so I’m rolling with the game again in this game. Karl-Anthony Towns will likely still be out, taking away any central defense that the Wolves barely had to start with.

Malik Beasley has shown he’s a capable goalscorer and the pace of that game should be enough to break the 223 mark when an explosive Los Angeles Clippers team hits town.

NBA – Hawks / Mavs over 232.5 (-110): 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN

I know the Atlanta Hawks don’t have a great track record, but some of that is being blamed on public fare because they expect Trae Young to make them shine for this young team. Although he had his moments, Atlanta was still a good team for the under.

But this Dallas Mavericks team has played little to no defense for the past four competitions, averaging over 250 PPG. Just a few days ago, these teams in Atlanta scored 238 points. Because of this, I think this team has a good chance of getting back over 240 at the same time with Kristaps Porzingis, Luka Doncic and Trae Young.

NCAA Basketball – SE Louisiana @ Sam Houston St. -11.5 (-110): 6:00 p.m. CT on ESPN +

This game is about the fact that SE Louisiana can’t keep up with Sam Houston. In one of the worst crimes in the country (281th points per game and 317th points per possession), Lions simply cannot score enough to keep up with the bearkats, who are playing at the ninth fastest pace in the country.

Sam Houston State also scores a lot of shots from the depths, 36th in the country, and should find plenty of opportunity against the 250th team in 3-point field goal defense. Again, the odds makers misunderstand the Southland conference as SE Louisiana’s three games against the top teams in the league lost an average of 24 points, including 18 against Sam Houston a month ago.

I’ve ridden the Bearkats all season and won’t stop there. This line should be closer to 20 points.

NCAA Basketball – Houston -11 @ South Florida (-110): 6:00 p.m. CT on ESPNU

Would you like to be in South Florida shoes now? I would not. The cops wrote “sacrificial lamb” everywhere. They face a team from Houston that was embarrassed by East Carolina, did not let their starters play Lady of The Lake and was labeled soft for not accepting a potential matchup for Gonzaga. Plus, South Florida has been on a COVID hiatus for a month now, and teams seem to have consistently struggled in their first games after these layoffs.

I also still believe in the Cougars as a whole, especially considering they had covered six double-digit spreads in a row up until the East Carolina debacle. Their last consecutive defeat was followed by a 14-point win at SMU so this team knows how to react. It boils down to an emotional game for me, and given the space for both teams, I like it when Houston rolls here.

NCAA Basketball – San Jose St. @ San Diego St. -29 (-110): 10:00 p.m. CT on the CBS Sports Network

Because why not? Yes, it’s a lot of points, but we may have to accept that the state of San Diego is currently only 30 or more points better than teams from the lower half of Mountain West. They showed it against the Spartans on Monday night, even though they actually didn’t play very well.

San Diego State needed their defense this game because they shot nine percentage points below their season average, including 16 points less from a distance. They had canceled two games in New Mexico so there seemed to be a rust factor. Against the 265th team in the effective percentage field goal defense, I expect the Aztecs to improve on the offensive.

Scoring a better goal for a team that just scored 85 points on a 31-point win is a scary business. So I’ll be playing with the Aztecs again as they seem to be blowing out teams.

Degenerate

NCAA Basketball – Rutgers +6.5 @ Iowa (-110): 6:30 p.m. CT on the Big Ten Network

Iowa has been on a remarkable decline, losing four of its last five games (0-5 ATS) in the final minutes of each defeat. This team has not clamped at all and has been shooting terribly in the second half of the games lately.

In their defense, they have been without CJ Fredrick in the last few games while battling plantar fasciitis. Keep an eye on his status as Fredrick may be Iowa’s best shooter and defender, and his ball safety is key to this team’s success. When he’s outside, it really hurts the Hawkeyes.

The fact that Iowa started the season as a seemingly surefire thing to be a 1-seed in the tournament and dropped to 15 in the leaderboard is a trend we cannot ignore. On the other hand, we have Rutgers, led by the efficiency of Myles Johnson and the conspicuousness of Ron Harper. The Knights have had a tear lately and they are definitely a team that no one wants to see in the Big Ten.

I honestly think Rutgers has a chance on the money line, but I’ll play it safe and get the 6.5 points against a struggling Iowa team.

Tiny Nick has ATS 152-90 (+57.6 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.