Inside the Paint – Tuesday

Tuesday’s NBA card has four games on tap and even though two of the games are matchups between four of the worst teams in the league, you can still get bet on them.

Favorites went 7-1 straight up on Monday but the underdogs produced a slight profit at the betting counter with a 4-3-1 record against the spread. Total players watched the ‘over’ go 7-1 and the high side is 10-3 since Sunday.

Let’s break down the games.

Miami (22-17 SU, 16-21-2 ATS) at Toronto (28-10 SU, 22-16 ATS)

The Raptors extended their winning streak to five games last night with a 114-113 overtime win at Brooklyn but failed to cover as 7 ½-point road favorites. Toronto started this season 11-7 but has dominated opponents with a 17-3 winning mark (12-8 ATS) over its last 20 games. 

Toronto opened as a seven-point favorite over the Heat on Monday but it could be short-handed tonight with point guard Kyle Lowry (back) leaving last night’s game in the extra session. He’s listed as ‘doubtful’ and most books are now holding the Raptors as 4 ½-point favorites.

Beating Miami won’t be easy and the Heat are finally starting to come into their own with a 6-2 record over the last eight games. However, seven of those contests took place at home and Miami will now play 11 of its next 14 on the road. The Heat have gone 11-8 both SU and ATS away from home and they’ve won their last two games as visitors.

Winning at Toronto has been next to impossible for opponents this season. The Raptors are 14-1 SU and 9-6 ATS at the Air Canada Centre this season. That record has the potential to take a few losses this week with the Heat visiting tonight before Cleveland and Golden State come to town on Wednesday and Friday respectively.

Monday’s matchup will be the first showdown between the two teams and the Heat are hoping to improve on a 1-3 record against the Raptors last season. The Air Canada Centre hasn’t been kind to the Heat recently with the club going 1-8 in their last nine visits to Toronto and they only managed to cover two of the eight setbacks.

Toronto has only played on no rest five times this season it has gone 3-2 both SU and ATS with all of the games taking place on the road. The ‘over’ has also posted a 3-2 mark.

The ‘under’ went 4-0 in the regular season series last season and Tuesday’s total was sent out at 208 ½. Miami is only allowing 102.2 points per game this season, which is ranked seventh in the league and Toronto sits in 10th in scoring defense (104 PPG). The Heat enter this game on a 4-0 ‘over’ run but they’ve been an ‘under’ lean (22-15-2) this season and that includes a 12-6-1 (67%) mark on the road.

Portland (21-18 SU, 18-19-2 ATS) at Oklahoma City (22-18 SU, 15-24-1 ATS)

The Thunder have been installed as an 8 ½-point home favorite for this matchup and that number is high because Portland isn’t expected to have point guard Damian Lillard (calf) available. He’s been dealing with an injury for a couple weeks and has missed six games so far but Portland has managed to produce a 4-2 record in his absence.

Portland stopped Oklahoma City 103-99 on Nov. 5 as a three-point home underdog. Including that win, the Blazers have won three straight and six of the last eight meetings against the Thunder but they are just 1-2 in their last three trips to OKC.

The Thunder just wrapped up a three-game road trip where they went 2-1 but it ended Sunday with a 114-100 loss at the Suns. Oklahoma City remains one of the worst teams for bettors and the numbers haven’t been great at home (8-11-1 ATS) at home either.

This will be the first of four straight road games for Portland, who has gone 11-8 SU and 12-6-1 ATS as a visitor this season. The Trail Blazers will likely close as road ‘dogs in their next four and they’ve gone 8-3 ATS when catching points away from home.

The total on this game opened 204 ½ and jumped up quickly to 206 ½ and that’s a little surprising knowing the Blazers have been the best ‘under’ team (26-13) in the NBA. Oklahoma City (23-17) has also leaned to the ‘under’ but the Thunder have seen an uptick lately, averaging 115.3 PPG in their last six and that’s helped the ‘over’ go 4-2.

NBATV will provide national coverage of this game at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Orlando (12-28 SU, 15-25 ATS) at Dallas (13-28 SU, 20-20-1 ATS)

Even though both clubs have similar losing records, Dallas has been installed as a 6 ½-point home favorite for this game and it’s tough to make a case for either club. For starters, the Mavericks have dropped three straight games at home and that includes a 100-96 setback to the Knicks on Sunday as five-point home favorites and that’s been a glaring trend this season. When laying points, Dallas has gone 3-8 both SU and ATS.

While it could be tough to argue a wager on Dallas, Orlando enters this game in terrible form. The Magic have dropped four straight and are 1-13 in their last 14 games. More importantly, Orlando hasn’t been competitive in the losses. As an underdog, the Magic have gone 7-24 SU and 11-19-1 ATS which tells you that they’ve stayed within the number just five times. While I wouldn’t advise backing the Magic, they have gone 6-9 against teams with losing records and for whatever reason, Dallas is just 3-10 against teams below .500.

This will be the first meeting between the pair this season and the Mavericks should have confidence for this game knowing they’ve won 15 of the last 20 and eight of the past 10 encounters against the Magic. The pair have split the last two seasons with the home team going 4-0 both SU and ATS but Orlando hasn’t won in Dallas since the 2010-11 regular season when Dwight Howard was still with the club.

The total on this game opened at 212 ½ at [...] and it’s been steamed up to 214 as of Tuesday morning. I thought the number was a tad high knowing neither team has been a dominant ‘over’ bet. However, Orlando’s defense on the road (112.3 PPG) is near the bottom of the league and Dallas has watched the ‘over’ go 7-3 at home versus Eastern Conference foes.

Sacramento (13-26 SU, 16-20-3 ATS) at L.A. Lakers (12-27 SU, 18-21 ATS)

In another battle of losing clubs, Los Angeles opened as a 6 ½-point favorite over Sacramento. These teams met on Nov. 22 from Sacramento and the Kings captured a 113-102 decision over the Lakers as one-point home favorites. The ‘over’ (205.5) connected and that snapped a streak of six straight ‘under’ winners in this series.

The Kings will be facing the fatigue factor after dropping a 107-100 decision to San Antonio last night as 5 ½-point home underdogs. Sacramento collapsed the down stretch and fell to 2-11 on the season in games after a win. Sacramento lost its first five games on the season on zero days rest but have won their last two and covered three in a row heading into this matchup. The ‘under’ has gone 4-3 in the back-to-back spots.

When you look at Los Angeles, you could be wondering why it’s laying so many points. The Lakers just snapped a nine-game losing streak on Sunday with a 132-113 win over Atlanta as 3 ½-point favorites. Including that result, Los Angeles has gone 5-2 when scoring 120-plus points. The team might not have to put up that many on Tuesday knowing Sacramento enters with the worst offense (97.6 PPG) in the league.

The Lakers have gone 7-14 SU and 9-12 ATS at the Staples Center this season and that includes a record of 3-3 when laying points, which haven’t matter in these spots. So if you’re leaning Sacramento, the money-line (+215) could be a better look.

Los Angeles (22-17) is one of the few teams in the league that has produced more ‘over’ winners this season and that record has been helped with a 13-8 lean to the high side at home. The Lakers play at the fastest pace in the league with 89.8 shots attempted per game and their scoring defense is ranked 29th with 111.8 PPG allowed.

This game is expected to tip at 10:35 p.m. ET with NBATV providing ‘Players Only’ national coverage.

Chris David can be reached at