Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:06 AM

Inside the Paint - Monday

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday offers up 11 games in the NBA on Monday and six of them take place this afternoon, which includes an early double-header on NBA TV.

Charlotte (16-25 SU, 17-21-3 ATS) at Detroit (22-19 SU, 23-16-2 ATS)

The first game on the board in any sport usually gets the most action, especially when it’s nationally televised game (NBATV, 12:30 p.m. ET) and in most cases, the favorite receives extra attention and that often leads to a trap.

The Pistons opened as three-point home favorites over the Hornets with a total of 205 and I believe the number is begging for you to take Detroit. These teams met in their season opener on Oct. 18 and the Pistons captured a 102-90 win as 2 ½-point home favorites. Including this victory, the home team has won nine of the past 10 encounters in this series and seven of the wins were decided by double digits.

Toss in the fact that Detroit has been much better at home this season (13-5 SU, 10-7-1 ATS) and it makes you wonder why the line isn’t higher. Plus this is a Charlotte team that has only gone 5-13 SU and 6-9-3 ATS as a visitor. Make a note that the Hornets have won and covered three of their last four road games, which includes a win at Golden State.

I normally like to fade teams coming off a road trip of three-plus games or more and Detroit fits that situation. Another situational trend that sticks out for this game is Charlotte’s recent play off a loss. The Hornets have won four straight after a defeat and they come into this game off a 101-91 home loss to Oklahoma City on Saturday. 

Toronto (29-12 SU, 24-17 ATS) at Philadelphia (19-20 SU, 21-18 ATS)

No overnight line was sent out due to the ‘questionable’ status of Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry (back). He’s missed the last three games which were at home and the Raptors went 1-2 but the two losses to the Heat (90-89) last Tuesday and Warriors (127-125) on Saturday proved how good the team is even without him.

 This has been a one-sided series with Toronto winning 18 of the past 20 meetings against Philadelphia. The Raptors will be looking to sweep this year’s four-game set after taking the first three contests both SU and ATS while winning by double digits in all three. The Raptors have averaged 114.6 points per game against the 76ers this season and that’s helped the ‘over’ go 2-1 in those games.

This game is much more important for Philadelphia, who sits below .500 and it’s only 1-6 in the division. The 76ers haven’t played since Thursday when they collapsed in a loss to the Celtics (114-103) from the O2 Arena in London. Prior to the overseas trip, they had won and covered four straight.

Milwaukee (22-20 SU, 17-21-5 ATS) at Washington (25-18 SU, 19-24 ATS)

Quick rematch here as the teams just met recently in D.C. on Jan. 6 and the Bucks captured a 110-103 win over the Wizards as three-point road underdogs. The visitor has won three in a row between the pair and that includes Washington’s 99-88 win at Milwaukee on Nov. 20.

You could be hesitant to laying the points with Washington, who has dropped five straight games against the spread including four in a row at home. The Wizards have been awful for bettors at the Verizon Center, going 8-15 ATS despite a winning SU record (15-8).

Milwaukee has been inconsistent on the road (8-11 SU, 10-10-1 ATS) and it enters this game on a 0-4 ATS skid, which includes an embarrassing 97-79 loss at Miami on Sunday afternoon. The good thing for them is that the Bucks have gone 5-3 both SU and ATS when playing on no rest this season and the offense has averaged 109 PPG in these games which has helped the ‘over’ go 5-2-1. This game has one of the higher totals (214 ½) of the six afternoon contests.

New York (19-24 SU, 22-22 ATS) at Brooklyn (16-27 SU, 27-16 ATS)

One rule of thumb I often follow in handicapping is never back a team off a bad loss and New York enters this game off a devastating 123-118 overtime setback to New Orleans on Sunday. The Knicks led by as many as 19 points late in the third quarter and were outscored 41-22 in the fourth quarter and extra session. The Knicks have now dropped three in a row and 10 of their last 12 games and the two wins during this span came by a combined six points.

I’m aware that the Knicks have won and covered both meetings against the Nets this season, which includes a 111-104 win at the Barclays Center on Dec. 14. However, New York is still one of the worst road teams (4-15 SU, 7-12 ATS) and it’s struggled on no rest (2-6 SU, 3-5 ATS) but I wouldn’t put as much stock into that angle since it’s playing right around the corner.

Brooklyn is one of the top teams for bettors this season but a lot of the covers have come when the team was listed as an underdog. The Nets are short favorites (-2) for this game and they’ve dropped three of their last four in this role and remain barely positive (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS) on the season as a 'chalk.' 

San Antonio (29-15 SU, 24-19-1 ATS) at Atlanta (11-31 SU, 22-18-2 ATS)

The Spurs have been installed as healthy road favorites (-7 ½) for this game and the Hawks haven’t had much success against them, going 5-25 in the last 30 meetings. In the first matchup between the pair on Nov. 20, San Antonio posted a 96-85 win over Atlanta as a nine-point home favorite.

The Spurs have gone 13-6 SU and 10-8-1 ATS versus the East this season but most of their trouble has come on the road (4-5 SU, 3-6 ATS). The ‘under’ has gone 6-3 in those games. San Antonio enter this game off a 112-80 blowout win over Denver on Saturday as a 7 ½-point home favorite but it's only 0-4 both SU and ATS in its last four games off a victory.

Even though the Hawks own the worst record in the NBA, they’ve been competitive at home (7-12 SU and 10-9 ATS) and have won three in a row at Philips Arena as underdogs. Also, Atlanta has gone 5-11 SU and 10-5-1 ATS versus the West which includes a respectable 3-3 SU and 4-2 ATS mark at home. The ‘over’ has gone 4-2 in the non-conference games.

NBATV will concludes its early double-header coverage at 3:05 p.m. ET.

Miami (25-17 SU, 20-21-2 ATS) at Chicago (16-27 SU, 25-16-2 ATS)  

The last afternoon game on the board is another tricky matchup as the Bulls (-1 ½) and Heat square off from "The Windy City." Miami has been on fire of late, winning seven straight (5-2 ATS) and that includes a dominating 97-79 home win over Milwaukee on Sunday.

Yet, the Bulls are listed as short favorites. The oddsmakers have certainly changed their tune on Chicago and they should. Since a brutal 3-20 start, the Bulls have gone 13-7 in their last 20 games and that includes an 8-3 record at home.

The winning started when Nikola Mirotic returned to the lineup and his instant offense has helped the club win, plus he’s turned Chicago into a great ‘over’ bet. The high side is 16-4 in the last 20 games.

These teams played twice in November and the Heat won both games (100-93, 97-91) but failed to cover the spread as a heavy favorites in each matchup. Winning at Chicago hasn’t been an issue for Miami, who has come out a winner in five of its last six visits to the United Center.

The Heat started the season 1-3 (0-4 ATS) when playing on no rest and the offense struggled (87.5 PPG) and that led to a 4-0 ‘under’ mark. However, they’ve come away with wins in their last two back-to-back situations while scoring 117 and 114 points.

Chris David can be reached at [email protected]

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