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Inside the Paint - Wednesday

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When will the next loss for the Miami Heat take place?

That particular question has been asked for the entire month of March and gamblers following the streak can back the club or go against it at Sportsbook.ag. The offshore outfit has odds available for their next loss in their NBA props section.

Wednesday, Mar. 27 at Chicago – 11/5
Friday, Mar. 29 at New Orleans – 13/2
Sunday, Mar. 31 at San Antonio – 7/5
Any Game in April – 3/1
No Losses the Rest of Regular Season - 10/1

If you believe the Bulls will knock off the Heat at home tonight, you can bet 11/5 (Bet $100 to win $220). It’s going to be a tough task for a banged-up Chicago club and anybody else for that matter. The Heat ran past the Bulls 86-67 on Feb. 21 as 3 ½-point road favorites. No overnight line was posted due to the status of Chicago center Joakim Noah, who missed the last game with a foot injury.

I believe New Orleans has the best value in the above prop bet and it will give Miami a better game in the sandwich spot between the Bulls and Spurs. This will be the season for the Hornets, who are already on the draft clock, plus they just snapped the Nuggets’ 15-game winning streak on Monday and the confidence is high. If it makes shots, New Orleans can hang and 13/2 odds (Bet $100 to win $650) is generous.

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The Spurs will be short ‘dogs at home and it’s hard to back a team when head coach Greg Popovich is behind the controls. San Antonio plays Denver tonight (see below) then the L.A. Clippers visit on Friday. After Miami on Sunday, they travel to Memphis on Monday for a battle on no rest. Knowing Popovich already yanked his starters when they meet earlier in the season for schedule reasons, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do it again here or at least rest players.

Any Game in April at 3/1 odds (Bet $100 to win $300) should win the above prop. After Miami breaks the Lakers’ 34-game winning streak, and let’s hope they do, you’ll see the team rest up for the playoffs.

In mid-January, Miami had 5/9 odds (Bet $180 to win $100) at Sportsbook.ag to win the Eastern Conference, which was a bargain. Now, they’re 1/5 (Bet $500 to win $100) and I’d be shocked to see them lose a best-of-seven battle barring any key injuries.

Along with the Bulls-Heat matchup, there are 13 other games to bet Wednesday and here’s are quick handicap.

Boston at Cleveland: Tough game to bet with both teams entering tonight’s matchup with five-game losing streaks. Celtics are banged up and playing on no rest but they are 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in their last four back-to-back spots.

Orlando at Charlotte: Looking at the season history between the pair, Orlando is the play tonight considering the road team has won and covered the first three encounters. I would lean ‘over’ as well since defense should be optional but both offenses have trouble scoring at times.  

Milwaukee at Philadelphia: Slight lean to the Bucks with Philadelphia playing in its first home game after a four-game (1-3) road trip on the West Coast. Milwaukee has won the first three against the 76ers this season. However, the 76ers are favored and the Bucks aren’t in great form so a pass might be the play.
 
Atlanta at Toronto: It looks like Rudy Gay (back) will sit out tonight for Toronto, who has dropped four in a row and seven of its last 10. Atlanta is a tough team to figure out but it still has a chance to earn homecourt in the playoffs, which means you should get a solid effort from the visitor.

Memphis at New York: Despite a ton of injuries, the Knicks have quietly won and covered five straight games. Memphis beat the Knicks (105-95) in mid-November at home and most books have the Grizzlies listed as short favorites (-1) tonight. Memphis won’t have Marc Gasol (abdominal) tonight and it’s hard to back a team that’s mired in a 3-4 SU and 1-6 ATS skid. New York has gone 7-6 both SU and ATS on no rest this season, which includes a 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS mark at MSG.

L.A. Clippers at New Orleans: The Clippers are off an overtime loss (103-109) to Dallas last night and face San Antonio on Friday, which creates the sandwich spot. L.A. has gone 3-1 both SU and ATS in its last four games on no rest and New Orleans could be in for a letdown after beating Denver on Monday, plus the Heat are coming Friday. It would be impressive to see the Hornets complete that gauntlet but the status of Eric Gordon (ankle) and Greivis Vasquez (ankle) is up in the air. The home team has won and covered seven of the last eight in this series.

L.A. Lakers at Minnesota: The Lakers have dropped three straight yet they’re laying 4 1/2-points on the road to Minnesota, who is playing better lately. The Wolves shot lights out last night in their win at Detroit and the team is playing hard down the stretch. Since Pau Gasol returned, the Lakers have allowed 103 and 109 points. With no Metta World Peace (knee) tonight, the defense could suffer again.

Indiana at Houston: Lots of injuries (David West, George Hill, Danny Granger) for the Pacers so tread lightly here. You should keep an eye on the ‘under’ in the Rockets. The once high-flying Rockets lost key components in a trade to the Kings that actually hurt the team’s chemistry and firepower. The ‘under’ has cashed in six straight and eight of the last nine.

Washington at Oklahoma City: I was really impressed with John Wall (47 points) and the Wizards on Monday as they beat Memphis at home and that victory came after a four-game road trip out West. Now the Wizards go back on the road to play OKC, who they beat 101-99 on Jan. 7 as 11 ½-point home ‘dogs. Hard to see a season sweep in this tough scheduling spot.

Denver at San Antonio: No overnight lines due to Ty Lawson’s (Achilles) status for Denver. While tonight’s game looks like an attractive matchup, these teams are ready for the postseason and appear to be playing out the string.

Phoenix at Utah: The Jazz need to pick up the pace if they want to reach the playoffs and a win over the Suns in mandatory. Tough to lay 11 points with a struggling club, but Phoenix has looked awful at times, especially on offense. Utah has won two of three against the Suns this season and all of the meetings have went ‘under’ the number.

Sacramento at Golden State: Oddsmakers are expecting a shootout here and hard to argue otherwise. The total is hovering around 213 points and the last time this pair met, Golden State beat Sacramento 87-83 on Mar. 6. Neither team could buy a shot and the ‘under’ was locked in at the break. Look for a completely different outcome tonight as the winner gets to 120.

Brooklyn at Portland: Another situation of a team playing their first home game after a long road trip and this has been a disaster for Portland. Check out the Game Log. The Trail Blazers are 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS in the first home game after a road trip of three or more games. It’s the last situation of the season and hard not to back Brooklyn, who has had a couple days off and it’s playing well. The Nets have started their seven-game road trip with a 3-1 mark. ESPN will televise this game at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Chris David can be reached at cdavid@vegasinsider.com
 
 
 
 
 
 

  
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