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Inside the Paint - Wednesday
Tuesday’s Recap

Even though the underdogs were just 2-4 straight up yesterday, they did produce a 5-1 record against the spread and it easily could’ve been 6-0. Our apologies go out to any bettors who backed the Trail Blazers (+11) against the Heat. The score was 99-99 with five minutes left in the game and was setting up for a great finish. Then, LeBron James and company took over and closed the night with an 18-5 run, which led to a 117-104 home victory for Miami.

The Heat will close the first-half of the season on Thursday at Oklahoma City, who was caught looking ahead last night. The Thunder’s offense stalled and Utah captured a 109-94 win as a six-point home underdog yesterday.

Arguably the most impressive win on Tuesday came from Houston, who beat Golden State 116-107 on the road. A lot of our ‘cappers were chasing with the Warriors in the revenge spot but they apparently failed to recognize that Golden State has now dropped five in a row and the defense has surrendered 116 points or more in four of those setbacks.

Climb the Wall

John Wall was the No. 1 overall pick of the Washington Wizards in the 2010 NBA Draft. If you look at this entire class, it’s safe to say that the bottom tier is better than the players selected in the lottery. Wall certainly hasn’t lived up to the hype of the top selection yet, but you can see he’s improving. After missing the first 33 games of the season, Wall returned to the lineup on Jan. 12. Since he’s been on the court, Washington has gone 10-7. More importantly, the Wizards are 14-3 against the number.

Tonight, the club will look to extend their four-game winning streak when they close the first-half of the season at Detroit. The Pistons are listed as two-point home favorites at most betting outfits. These teams met in mid-December for a home-and-home set and Detroit won and covered both contests (100-68, 96-87). The ‘under’ cashed in both games.

Washington has gone 2-6 SU on the road with Wall but they’ve covered 75 percent (6-2) of those games. The Pistons have gone 14-15 SU and 13-16 ATS at The Palace of Auburn Hills this season. The team has gone 2-3 both SU and ATS since it acquired point guard Jose Calderon from Toronto and that includes a 0-2 record as a favorite.

Back-to-Back Spots

Six teams will be playing on no rest tonight and all of them will be on the road as well.
(B2B records listed in parenthesis)

Toronto (6-5 SU, 9-2 ATS 6-5 OU): The Raptors head to Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks for the first time this season. Despite losing two of three, New York opened as an 8 ½-point favorite.

Denver (4-7 SU, 7-4 ATS, 9-2 OU): Despite being short-handed last night, the Nuggets showed some fight in a 109-108 loss at Toronto. Injuries will be a factor but Denver has proven that it can play with anybody and tonight’s game at Brooklyn is certainly winnable.

Portland (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS, 6-6 OU): You wonder how much the Trail Blazers left on the court last night in Miami. The line tells you everything in this spot, with the Hornets laying five points to Portland. New Orleans is only 8-15 SU and 10-13 ATS at home. However, the Blazers are 8-19 SU and 10-17 ATS on the road.

Utah (5-8 SU, 5-8 ATS, 8-5 OU): Nice win for the Jazz last night over the Thunder. Heading to Minnesota will certainly be a letdown spot. The Timberwolves opened as two-point home favorites.

Sacramento (5-6 SU, 5-6 ATS, 6-5 OU): The Kings have looked competitive lately, going 2-2 SU and 4-0 ATS. They have dropped five straight on the road but getting 10 ½-points at Dallas seems tempting.

Houston (5-10 SU, 6-9 ATS, 7-8 OU): All-Star James Harden (ankle) is ‘doubtful’ for the Rockets and it would be surprising to see him play after the Rockets ran past the Warriors last night. The L.A. Clippers do return from a long road trip and we touch on that angle below.

Slumping Bucks

After winning eight of 11 games, the Bucks were starting to make a move in the Eastern Conference. Since that solid run, Milwaukee has dropped six of seven, including four straight. During that span, the team is 0-7 ATS and that includes a 0-4 mark at home. Tonight, Milwaukee will look to snap the skid when Philadelphia visits. Coincidentally, the 76ers haven’t been on the road since they played the Bucks on Jan. 22 and lost 110-102. Including that loss, Philadelphia is 2-8 in its last 10 road games.

Total Talk

The ‘under’ went 5-3 on Monday but the ‘over’ posted a 5-1 record last night. Will the pendulum swing the other way tonight?

-- Portland has seen the ‘over’ go 6-0 in its last six

-- Houston is on a 5-0 run to the ‘over’

-- New York has seen the ‘under’ go 5-1 in the last six and 10-3 in the last 13

-- Dallas has watched the ‘over’ go 16-7 (69%) at home.

Home Trap

A couple weeks ago, we talked about a particular NBA betting system and we’ll bring it up again tonight.

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

It’s not a guaranteed system by any means but it has proven to work more often than not. Again, you’re expecting the home team to have a letdown or layover after a long road trip.

Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State both returned home after road trips of seven and four games respectively. The Lakers captured a 91-85 win over Phoenix last night but was never close to covering the number (-9) and we already touched on the Warriors’ setback to Houston.

For Wednesday, you have two teams facing these situations – New Orleans and L.A. Clippers. As mentioned above, you have to pick your spots and these could definitely be classified as pass plays. This will be the last game of the first-half for the Hornets but the Clippers meet the Lakers tomorrow, which could create a look-ahead spot here.

Just keep the system in mind for the second-half of the season.

Chris David can be reached at

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