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Inside the Paint - Thursday

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We touched on a total trend in last Thursday’s edition of “Inside the Paint” and it cashed. The same angle (see below) is in play again tonight and so is another great NBA betting system, which is real simple.

Play against home favorites off a road trip of three or more games

This particular look in the Association has been mentioned in betting circles for years and you’re basically expecting the home squad to have a letdown or layover after a long roadie. While the angle isn’t perfect, it’s very profitable if you pick your spots.

When I say that, I still believe you should start your handicapping with the opening number, then you can dissect the matchup, current form, injuries and head-to-head history for each club. From there, you can point to trends and angles which may lead you to press or pass all together.

For the above angle, it comes into play for both games on TNT this Thursday.

Oklahoma City (34-11 SU, 26-18 ATS) will host Memphis (29-15 SU, 26-18 ATS) and the defending Western Conference champions will be returning home from a six-game road trip. Truth be told, the Thunder just played nine of their last 10 on the road and they went 7-3 during that stretch.

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In the late-night affair, Golden State (28-17 SU, 26-18 ATS) will be playing Dallas (19-26 SU, 25-20 ATS) from the Bay Area after just completing a four-game swing against Eastern Conference foes. Since Golden State is dealing with a handful of key injuries, I wouldn’t advise picking the side on this matchup.

The Thunder opened as an eight-point home favorite and the number now sits at 8 1/2 after the Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay to Toronto as part of a three-team deal. In exchange, Memphis received Tashaun Prince and Austin Daye from Detroit, plus Ed Davis from the Raptors. The Grizzlies made the trade for salary-cap reasons and are building the team around big men Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.

These teams already squared off this season, meeting in the first month. In that contest, the Grizzlies beat the Thunder 107-97 as a 5 ½-point road underdog on Nov. 14. The game changed gears in the second quarter as Memphis outscored OKC by 21 points (36-15). The key factor for the Grizzlies was their bench, which outscored the Thunder’s reserves 31-13. Quincy Pondexter led Memphis with 13 of those 31 points but he won’t be action tonight, due to a knee injury. Also, this matchup almost had a nasty brawl at the end of the game when the Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph and Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins got into a heated argument, which carried over to the locker room.

Despite that loss to the Grizzlies, the Thunder has produced a 19-3 SU and 14-8 ATS record at home. The other losses came to the Hawks (95-104) and Nets (93-110).

As I mentioned above, you have to pick your spots with the above betting angle and break it down further, which I did with the help of VegasInsider.com handicapper Kevin Rogers. He dug up the numbers for me from his database and they’re eye-opening so far.

Home Favorites playoing off a five-game or more road trip
Date Home Away SU ATS
Nov. 17 Cleveland (-3) 95 Dallas 103 Loss Loss
Nov. 19 Utah (-6.5) 102 Houston 91 Win Win
Nov. 21 Miami (-9.5) 113 Milwaukee 106 Win Loss
Nov. 26 Chicago (-3.5) 92 Milwaukee 93 Loss Loss
Dec. 1 San Antonio (-6) 99 Memphis 95 Win Loss
Dec. 6 Phoenix (-4) 94 Dallas 97 Loss Loss
Dec. 8 Portland (-7) 80 Sacramento 99 Loss Loss
Dec. 14 Denver (-1) 99 Memphis 94 Win Win
Dec. 18 Golden State (-7.5) 103 New Orleans 96 Win Loss
Dec. 26 Utah (-4) 83 Golden State 96 Loss Loss
Jan. 8 Philadelphia (-1.5) 89 Brooklyn 109 Loss Loss
Jan. 23 Miami (-10) 123 Toronto 116 Win Loss
Jan. 25 Washington (-6) 114 Minnesota 101 Win Win
Jan. 31 Oklahoma City (-8) Memphis - -

Thirteen times this season, we’ve had teams listed as favorites in their first game back of a road trip of five games or more. The home team has gone 7-6 straight up but just 3-10 against the spread. Fading the favorite has produced a 77% mark and that’s with Memphis pending tonight.

The Grizzlies aren’t as good as last year’s squad and not even close to the one two seasons ago, but they play a defensive style that frustrates opponents. On the season, Memphis is a respectable 12-8 both SU and ATS on the road. Not having Gay in the lineup or any of the new players won't help the Grizzlies but teams always seem to rally when short-handed. Make a note that point guard Mike Conley (ankle) is 'questionable' tonight as well for the Grizzlies.

Dallas at Golden State: The Mavericks are 7-17 SU and 14-10 ATS on the road and that includes a gut-wrenching 106-104 loss to Portland on Tuesday. Despite the poor record away from home, the Mavericks are starting to play better. The Mavs are 6-4 SU and more importantly, 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games. The offense has busted 100-plus points nine times during this stretch, which has helped the ‘over’ produce an 8-2 record.

With that being said, should bettors expect another shootout tonight in Golden State?

2012-13 TNT Late-Night Games
Date Matchup Total Result
Nov. 1 Oklahoma City 84 San Antonio 86 204 Under
Nov. 8 L.A. Clippers 103 Portland 90 201.5 Under
Nov. 15 Miami 98 Denver 93 202.5 Under
Nov. 29 Denver 105 Golden State 106 199.5 Over
Dec. 6 Dallas 97 Phoenix 94 205 Under
Dec. 13 San Antonio 90 Portland 98 200.5 Under
Dec. 20 Miami 110 Dallas 95 203 Over
Dec. 27 Boston 77 L.A. Clippers 106 189.5 Under
Jan. 10 Miami 90 Portland 92 195 Under
Jan. 17 Miami 99 L.A. Lakers 90 207 Under
Jan. 24 L.A. Clippers 88 Phoenix 93 191 Under
Jan. 31 Dallas at Golden State - -

Looking at the above table, you can see the ‘under’ has gone 9-2 in the late-night game on TNT this season. Sooner or later, this should start to swing the other way and it could be tonight with the pace these teams play.

Even with a short-handed squad on Tuesday, Golden State put up 108 points albeit against the defenseless Cavaliers. In the last seven games, the Warriors have posted 100-plus points in six of them and not surprisingly, the ‘over’ has cashed in six of those contests.

These teams met in Dallas on Nov. 19 and Golden State earned a 105-101 victory while the combined 206 points went ‘over’ the closing number of 200.

Due to the injuries on Golden State, an overnight number wasn’t posted.

Chris David can be reached at cdavid@vegasinsider.com

  
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