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Inside the Paint - Thursday

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If you’re not interested in betting pro or college football tonight, then you should turn your attention to the Association on Thursday, which offers up three quality matchups. Most bettors will be following the TNT double-header, but the top game will take place from San Antonio when the Knicks (5-0 straight up, 5-0 against the spread) battle the Spurs (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS).

New York remains the only unbeaten team in the league and staying perfect won’t be easy tonight. The Knicks have dropped nine straight games in San Antonio, which is part of the reason the Spurs opened as five-point home favorites for tonight’s tilt.

Some pundits aren’t sold on the Knicks just yet but they have won all five of their games by double digits and they’re playing great on both ends of the court. The offense is averaging 103.4 points per game, plus the defense is giving up 87.8 PPG, which is ranked first in the league.

Defensively, San Antonio is no slouch either, allowing 92.6 points per game. On Tuesday, the Spurs defeated the Lakers 84-82 as Danny Green drilled a go-ahead 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds left.

Including the victory over Los Angeles, the Spurs finished up their four-game road trip with a 3-1 mark. The regular season is still less than three weeks old, but gamblers following the Lakers and their opponents have identified a perfect trend.

So far whoever has played the Lakers and won or lost, that team has lost their very next game.

Oct. 31 - Dallas lost 113-94 at Utah
Nov. 2 - Portland lost 106-92 at Oklahoma City
Nov. 3 - L.A. Clippers lost 114-110 vs. Golden State
Nov. 4 – Detroit lost 109-97 at Denver
Nov. 9 – Utah lost 104-84 at Denver
Nov. 10 – Golden State lost 107-101 at Denver
Nov. 13 – Sacramento lost 103-86 vs. Portland
Nov. 15 – San Antonio vs. New York (pending)

As you can see above, it’s 7-0. Six of the seven games were decided by 10 or more points, which show you that the majority of these teams had a major letdown and came out flat,

At home this season, San Antonio has gone 3-0 both SU and ATS, two of the victories coming by double digits. New York has played two road games, beating Philadelphia (110-88) and Orlando (99-89).

The total for tonight is hovering around 193 ½ points. New York (4-1) and San Antonio (5-3) have both leaned to the ‘under’ this season. The ‘over’ has cashed in two of the last three head-to-head meetings, including San Antonio’s 118-105 shootout win at home over New York in last year’s shortened season.

After the Spurs, New York will wrap up its three-game road trip tomorrow in Memphis, who’s won and covered six straight. San Antonio’s schedule doesn’t get easier either, with Western Conference contenders Denver and the L.A. Clippers visiting before next week’s holiday.

TNT Double-Header

Boston at Brooklyn: This is a tough game to handicap because you have two teams that are similar in talent but they both take nights off on occasion. Despite knowing that, oddsmakers made Brooklyn a three-point home favorite over Boston. After starting the season with two consecutive losses, Boston (5-3 SU, 2-5-1 ATS) has won four of five, including last night’s home win over Utah (98-93). During this span, three of the four wins for Boston have come on the road. Gamblers made good cash fading the Celtics in back-to-back spots last season, but that trend has faded this season. Boston is 2-0 SU and 1-1 ATS when playing the second game in two nights. The ‘under’ has gone 2-0 in these spots, which both occurred on the road.

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Similar to Boston, Brooklyn also started the season slow with a 1-2 mark in its first three games. Since then, the Nets have won three in a row albeit against some inferior teams in the Magic (twice) and Cavaliers. Boston won all three encounters against the Nets last season but both clubs have a lot of new faces, so you might want to tread lightly with those outcomes. We always try to urge people not to bet with their heart, rather their heads. With that being said, some bettors might expect Brooklyn to get extra-hyped for this matchup, since Boston is considered a contender in the Eastern Conference. Going back to the heart/head comment, make a note that the Nets are 0-2 both SU and ATS against winning clubs this season and they lost both games by double digits (Minnesota, Miami).

Miami at Denver: If you thought the first game on TNT was tough to handicap, this one is just as difficult. The Heat (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS) are coming off a 107-100 loss to the Clippers last night and now the defending champions are catching points at Denver (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS), who hasn’t exactly played spectacular this season. So why are the Nuggets laying three points to the Heat?

The answer is simple, homecourt. Denver has only played two home games and its 2-0 both SU and ATS in those affairs. Plus, most are expecting Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade (ankle) to possibly miss this game, especially with Miami playing two games in two nights. The Heat have gone 2-0 (1-1 ATS) in back-to-back spots this season, with one of the wins coming against Denver (119-116) at home on Nov. 3. The combined 235 points easily jumped ‘over’ the closing total of 199. Tonight’s ‘over/under’ is listed at 202 ½ and it certainly has the possibility to hit due to Denver’s up-tempo pace, plus both clubs shoot a lot of 3-pointers.

Including the aforementioned outcome, the home team has won six straight in this series. So does that give Denver the check here? That trend is solid, but Miami hasn’t lost two games in a row this season. After tonight, Miami wraps up their six-game road trip in Phoenix on Saturday. Unfortunately for Denver, it has to go back on the road for another three-game set which starts this weekend in San Antonio.

Chris David can be reached at cdavid@vegasinsider.com

  
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