Tiny Nick's Gambling Picks: 11/20 – Zone Coverage

NCAA Football (1 Unit) Michigan St/Ohio St Over 68 (-110): 11:00 AM CT on ABC
Neither of these pass defenses has shown the ability to stop much of anything, so I see fireworks coming from strong offenses in this one.
An underrated storyline in this game is that it’s fairly obvious Ohio State is trying to get quarterback C.J. Stroud attention in a wide-open Heisman race. The best way to make that case is for Stroud and the nation’s top offense to face the nation’s bottom-ranked pass defense. Michigan State allows 329 passing yards per game, so Stroud and his prolific trio of wide receivers should light it up today.
But the Spartans and their excellent receivers should be able to do damage in catch-up mode, as the Buckeyes are just 108th in pass yards allowed. Coach Mel Tucker has been able to get Sparty rolling on offense late in the season, as he’s 6-1 to the over in games in November or later.
The Buckeyes should be looking to make a statement in this game, and when that’s happened previously this season they simply don’t let off the gas. Getting to 10 touchdowns here should be no problem.
NCAA Football (0.5 Unit) Florida State @ Boston College -2 (-110): 11:00 AM CT on ACC Network
Give credit to Florida State for somewhat turning things around after an embarrassing start to the season. But this is a bad situational spot for them, and I don’t think Boston College is getting the respect they deserve either.
The Seminoles are fresh off an incredible comeback win over in-state rival Miami last week. That would make this a let-down spot, but it’s more of a sandwich spot with FSU having in-state rival Florida on deck next week so I’m skeptical of FSU’s focus. It’s also important to note that traveling to Boston for temperatures in the 30s is uncomfortable for Florida teams, and creates an advantage for Boston College here.
The Eagles are also a little undervalued, as they’ve completely turned things around behind the return of quarterback Phil Jurkovec. The BC offense was ugly without Jurkovec, but he and star receiver Zay Flowers can certainly exploit a Seminoles defense that’s 89th in pass yards allowed. I see those advantages adding up to a good win for Boston College here.
NCAA Football (0.5 Unit) Florida Atlantic @ Western Kentucky -10.5 (-110): 11:00 AM CT on STADIUM
Western Kentucky has been tough to back in the favorite role this year because of the shootouts that their poor defense creates. But that unit has stepped it up, at least relatively enough for me to like them here against a struggling Florida Atlantic team.
The Hilltoppers have been excellent in conference play lately, winning 5 straight by an average 23.6 point margin. The offense is elite behind the best passing attack in the country, but the defense only allowing 18.8 PPG in that stretch has been the key. FAU has had no success against the quality C-USA teams, especially on the road, and just won’t be able to keep up with the high-flying WKU offense.
There’s some concern about this being a look-ahead spot for the Hilltoppers to next week at Marshall. But at the end of the day, I see the offensive disparity between these teams being enough for WKU to notch another comfortable conference win.
NCAA Football (1 Unit) SMU/Cincinnati Over 65 (-110): 2:30 PM CT on ESPN
Much has been made of the strong Cincinnati defense this season, but it hasn’t been great lately and struggles with the kind of matchup they have here.
Athletic and fast wide receivers have given the Bearcats trouble, evidenced by giving up 21 points to UCF and 28 to South Florida. Those teams have some decent offenses, but nothing close to the explosiveness of SMU. Behind quarterback Tanner Mordecai and his elite receiving duo of Danny Gray and Reggie Roberson, the Mustangs are a big play factory and the nation’s 8th-best passing attack.
SMU should be able to rack up the yards and points in this one, especially if they’re trying to keep pace with a Cincinnati team that needs to put on a show. This high of a total for a game with just a 10-point spread tells me Vegas is expecting a shootout. That’s what I see as well and would expect this game to be back-and-forth all day.
NCAA Football (1 Unit) UCLA -3 @ USC (-110): 3:00 PM CT on FOX
This is a big revenge game for UCLA in its cross-town rivalry, and they should be able to get it easily against an undermanned and understaffed USC team.
Not only are the Trojans operating with an interim coaching staff, but they’ve also lost their two best offensive weapons. Star receiver Drake London is out for the season, and starting quarterback Kedon Slovis will miss this game. USC is also very thin up front on defense, and have gotten pushed around by teams with good running games. That’s exactly what the Bruins bring to this game with elite runners at quarterback and running back, so I see them running wild in this one.
Last year’s meeting saw the Bruins choke to allow an improbable late win and cover by USC, a game that UCLA has been stewing over for a year. Plus that was pulled off by a much more capable and healthy Trojans team than today’s version. The rivalry game creates a shorter line here, but UCLA is the far better and healthier team, so I see a comfortable Bruins win.
NCAA Football (0.5 Unit) Vanderbilt/Ole Miss Under 64.5 (-110): 6:30 PM CT on SEC Network
It’s Ole Miss, so they’ll score at will and threaten this total on their own, right? While they certainly could, I don’t think the Rebels want to do that given their situation, and I don’t see Vanderbilt contributing many points of their own.
The Commodores bring in the nation’s 128th scoring offense at just 15.1 points per game, and their past 36 road games are 26-10 to the under. I don’t see them scoring much at all against a sneaky good Ole Miss defense allowing just 16.7 points their past 3 home games. While Ole Miss has elite offensive talent and explosiveness, 6 of their past 7 games have gone under this total, and they’re only scoring 27.6 PPG the past 5 weeks.
The Rebels have an elite run game that can chew up both yards and time off the clock, and I think they put it to good use here. They have a short week before their Egg Bowl rivalry on Thanksgiving and will want to be as fresh and healthy as possible. Look for Ole Miss to drain the clock in this one while limiting the feeble Vandy offense.
NCAA Football (1 Unit) Oklahoma State -10 @ Texas Tech (-110): 7:00 PM CT on FOX
Another week, another primetime spot on national TV for this Oklahoma State team. It should be another week and another cover for the Cowboys as well with them aiming to show off for the committee.
It’s easy to look at this game for Oklahoma State and consider it a look-ahead spot to Bedlam next week. But I don’t see it that way, and instead see a focused team, playing their best football, behind an absolutely elite defense. The Cowboys are 3rd in yards allowed and 8th in points allowed this season, so it’s really no surprise that they’re on an 8-0 ATS run. Defense also travels, particularly in college football, which is why the Cowboys have also covered 5 straight on the road.
The situational spot might actually point more to a letdown for Texas Tech here. The Red Raiders are off a week where they named a new coach and then won on a 62-yard field goal to gain bowl eligibility. Their defense has really struggled against the quality Big 12 teams, and I see Oklahoma State putting it on them here as the Cowboys try to make a CFP case.
NCAA Basketball (1 Unit) Purdue/North Carolina Over 153 (-110): 3:00 PM CT on ESPN News
There’s a neutral court discount on this total, with both teams being unfamiliar with playing in the Mohegan Sun Arena. But I don’t think that matters with these teams who have been offensive juggernauts to start the season.
Both the Boilermakers and Tar Heels are top-25 in field goal percentage, true shooting percentage, and Purdue is ranked 2nd in offensive rating. They should continue to be able to run it up against a UNC team that’s 276th in defensive rating and have allowed 79 PPG to a very mediocre schedule. The Tar Heels pace that’s 39th in the country should be a key factor in driving this game over the total when combined with the strong shooting.
These two squads are a combined 5-1 over this total on the season, and putting them together on the court should produce another high-scoring affair.
NCAA Football Iowa State +4 @ Oklahoma (-110): 11:00 AM CT on FOX
As an Iowa State alum, I’d prefer to think of this team as the one that started the season ranked 7th and holding CFP aspirations. Those dreams always hinged on beating Oklahoma in Norman this week, and I’m not ready to let go of that possibility. The spot really favors the Cyclones in all actuality, as the Sooners have to be deflated after having their own CFP hopes dashed last week, plus being in a look-ahead spot to Bedlam next week.
Plus you have to trust in Matt Campbell as an underdog, with ISU being 22-10 in those spots with him as head coach. They also bounce back extremely well, going 20-8 ATS under Campbell after a loss. Throw in that Lincoln Riley is just 1-4 ATS against Iowa State, and it all adds up to the Cyclones being a live dog in this one.
Tiny Nick is 447-347 ATS (+83.5 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.
Locks NBA (1 Unit) Charlotte Hornets/San Antonio Spurs Over 227.5 (-110): 7:30 PM CT on Bally Sports SE The dramatic trend of unders in the NBA has […]
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