Inside the Paint
January 7, 2014
By Chris David
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After making a deep playoff run last season, Golden State put itself back on the national map but the club still wasn’t garnering the respect at the betting counter.
Oddsmakers at Sportsbook.ag listed Golden State as a 20/1 choice to win the NBA Finals in the preseason and that seemed to be a fair price considering the wealth of talent in the Western Conference.
The Warriors started 14-13 and were looking to be a middle of a road team in the conference but that was before their recent hot streak. The club has won nine straight and All-Star David Lee isn’t surprised by the run.
He said, “We're concerned if we are playing the right kind of ball right now. We're finding ways to get wins. And we've been looking for that consistency now since the start of the season. It seems like we've found it now and we've got to keep it going.”
What’s even more impressive about Golden State’s run is that six of the nine victories have come on the road. The Warriors have gone 6-3 against the spread during this run and the oddsmakers have certainly taken notice in their future prices.
Golden State now has 10/1 odds to win the NBA Finals and it’s an 11/2 (Bet $100 to win $550) choice to win the Western Conference.
On Tuesday, the Warriors will look to win their 10th straight victory when they continue their road trip at Milwaukee, who owns the worst record (7-26 SU, 12-21 ATS) in the league.
To no surprise, Golden State opened as an eight-point road favorite and the line has already jumped up to nine and could close even higher. The Bucks didn’t have a lot of talent to begin with and the club has been depleted with key injuries.
Milwaukee has gone 3-12 SU and 4-11 ATS at home, which tells you how bad the team has been because the Bradley Center is known as a tough venue to play at.
Golden State has gone 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS versus the Eastern Conference this season while the Bucks have gone 1-7 both SU and ATS against the Western Conference. Even though we have different faces on the court for both squads, the Bucks have gone 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings against the Warriors.
Along with the Warriors, two other teams are laying points on the road and they’re both from the Western Conference.
San Antonio at Memphis: The Spurs defeated the Grizzlies 102-96 on Nov. 22 as one-point road favorites. Including this win, San Antonio has won its last six meeting against Memphis, three away from home. The Spurs have gone 13-3 SU and 11-5 ATS on the road while Memphis has struggled at home with a 7-11 SU and 4-13-1 ATS mark. San Antonio is listed as a 5 ½-point road favorite for tonight’s matchup. Make a note that the Grizzlies are 1-5 both SU and ATS as home ‘dogs this season and that includes five straight setbacks.
Oklahoma City at Utah: The Thunder have won four straight against the Jazz, which includes a pair of wins this season. Oklahoma City captured a 22-point home win on Nov. 24 and a 101-98 road victory on Oct. 30. The ‘under’ has gone 3-1 during this span. Utah has gone 3-9 SU and 5-7 ATS as a home underdog this season.
Charlotte finished up a road trip 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS and will now face Washington at home tonight. The opening line is short (1 ½) and could have you leaning to the underdog. However, the Wizards have gone 0-3 both SU and ATS in their last three games. The Bobcats went 3-1 both SU and ATS in their four regular season meetings with the Wizards last season.
After losing getting embarrassed on the road at Toronto (100-115) on Dec. 28, the Knicks opened up 2014 with a three-game swing in the Lone Star State against the Spurs, Rockets and Mavericks. Despite being installed as healthy underdogs in every game, New York went 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS, the lone loss being a two-point decision to Houston, 102-100. Tonight, the Knicks host the Pistons and they’re listed as two-point favorites, which could be viewed as too low. I say that because Detroit is a mess lately, going 1-6 both SU and ATS in its last seven and five of those setbacks were by double digits.
Matchup to Watch
The Pacers and Raptors will meet for the third time this season tonight. Last Wednesday, Toronto knocked off Indiana 95-82 as a 5 ½-point home underdog. In early November, the Pacers defeated the Raptors 91-84 but failed to cover as 8 ½-point favorites. Indiana has gone 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in its last eight games and the lone loss during this run was the aforementioned setback to the Raptors. Toronto has been just as hot, going 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS in its last six games. Indiana opened as an 8 ½-point home favorite for Tuesday’s tip.
Portland and Detroit have both seen the ‘over’ go 25-9 (73%) in their games this season.
Central Division clubs, Indiana (21-12) and Chicago (20-12) have been the best ‘under’ clubs.
The 76ers-Cavaliers matchup had an opening total of 201 and the number has been bumped up to 204. Philadelphia can’t play any defense but Cleveland could be without Kyrie Irving (knee) and newly acquired Luol Deng isn’t expected to be in the lineup after the trade.
Betcha Didn’t Know
Since Rudy Gay was traded from the Raptors to the Kings, Sacramento has gone 4-8. Meanwhile, Toronto is 9-4 SU and more importantly 10-3 ATS.
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