Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:06 AM
Inside the Paint - Saturday
ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries
NBA bettors could be hesitant to pull the trigger on Saturday’s action after the favorites got knocked around on the hardwood last night. The ‘chalk’ went 2-5 straight up and 1-6 against the spread and total players riding the high side had to deal with a 5-2 ‘under’ record.
We’ve got nine contests slated for today and I’m going to bounce around the league with my quick handicap.
Game of the Night – Warriors at Rockets (ABC, 8:35 p.m. ET)
Golden State (37-9 SU, 21-24-1 ATS) will be looking to conclude its current five-game road trip with a perfect record on Saturday as it meets Houston (31-12 SU, 21-21-1 ATS) from the Toyota Center.
The Warriors opened as 4 ½-point road favorites and this will be tied for the second lowest point-spread that they’ve given this season. Golden State was a 3 ½-point road favorite at Charlotte in early December but they didn’t have Stephen Curry or Draymond Green available.
This will be the third meeting between the teams this season and the visitors have captured each of the first two contests. Houston surprised Golden State 122-121 on opening night as a 9 ½-point road underdog as it closed the game with a 34-20 run in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors avenged that setback recently on Jan. 4 with a 124-114 win at Houston as 4 ½-point road favorites. Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 57 points while Draymond Green (17-14-10) posted a triple-double.
Houston didn’t have James Harden or Chris Paul for that contest due to injuries but Golden State was also without Kevin Durant. All three will be in action on Saturday but the Rockets still won’t have Trevor Ariza or Gerald Green as they serve out their suspension.
The Rockets have gone 16-6 SU and 9-12-1 ATS at home this season and this will be the second time that they’re listed as underdogs. As a fact, they’ve only been ‘dogs at home three times in the last two seasons and they’ve gone 0-3 both SU and ATS with two of the losses coming to Golden State.
The latest future odds have Golden State listed as a 10/17 odds-on favorite (Bet $100 to win $58) to win the NBA Finals and you could argue that the odds should be even shorter.
It’s hard to see anybody beating them in a seven-game series yet alone on any given night. Golden State’s road numbers (21-3 SU, 12-12 ATS) have been off the charts and they enter this game with a 14-game winning streak as visitors. For our purposes, they’re a respectable 8-6 ATS during this span while laying healthy numbers.
I wouldn’t advise playing against the Warriors tonight but they’ve got three home games on deck (Knicks, Wolves, Celtics) that aren’t that easy and you should get a good price due to the inflated numbers on Golden State at home.
Tonight’s total is also jacked up a little too much, hovering between 233 and 234 as of Saturday morning.
Houston has been a solid ‘over’ bet at home (14-8) and that includes an 8-1 run to the high side heading into this game. Golden State has watched the ‘over’ go 13-11 on the road and bettors got clipped on high wagers in their two most recent games because the opponents (Cavaliers, Bulls) ran out of gas.
The first two meetings this season between the pair went ‘over’ but that was preceded with a 6-1 ‘under’ run.
Philadelphia (21-20 SU, 23-18 ATS) has been in great form again, winning and covering six of its last seven games. That record would be perfect if it wasn’t for a loss to the Celtics (114-103) at the O2 Arena from London on Jan. 11.
On Saturday, Milwaukee (23-21 SU, 18-21-5 ATS) pays a visit and seeing the 76ers open as 6 ½-point home favorites set off the alarms for me. I thought the line was too high and whenever I see that, I usually lean with the opinion of the oddsmakers. However, the Bucks won't have Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) active and most books went to -7 quickly.
Coupled with Philadelphia’s hot run, you can’t ignore the fact that Milwaukee hasn’t been great on the road (9-12 SU, 11-9-1 ATS) and it hasn’t been in great form. The Bucks are 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS in their last six games and one of the wins came against Orlando.
Last season, this series watched the visitor win and cover all four games. However, the home teams pulled off a three-game sweep in the 2015-16 campaign. Perhaps it will revert back to that trend tonight.
The betting public is starting to catch up with Chicago (17-28 SU, 27-16-12 ATS) as a formidable team and wager after a dismal 3-20 start. The club has gone 14-8 since that rough patch and it’s churned out an impressive 17-5 ATS mark while the ‘over’ has also gone 17-5.
It does make you wonder why a surging Chicago team is listed as a short underdog (+1 ½) to one of the worst teams in the league on Saturday. Despite the losing record, Atlanta (13-31 SU, 24-18-2 ATS) has been competitive on the hardwood and profitable for bettors, which is what matters to us.
The Hawks have gone 9-12 SU and 12-9 ATS at home, which includes a recent 5-1 record over their last six games. The one loss came to Brooklyn (110-105) with the Hawks closing as three-point favorites.
These teams played on Oct. 26 and Chicago capture a 91-86 win over Atlanta from the United Center as a two-point favorite.
This game tips off a little earlier on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. ET.
Four clubs will be playing on no rest Saturday and listed below are their records when facing back-to-back spots and notable trends as well. Three of the four will be on the road while the Jazz are playing two in a row from Salt Lake City, which is very rare.
Toronto (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS, 3-3 O/U) at Minnesota: The Raptors have gone 12-7 versus the Western Conference this season but six of the losses came on the road. This will be the first meeting between the pair this season and the home team has won the last four encounters while the 'over' has gone 4-0 too.
Memphis (3-5 SU, 4-5 ATS, 5-2-1 O/U) at New Orleans: The Grizzlies have won their last two games on no rest and will be searching for a season-high fourth straight win in this matchup. Memphis has won and covered both meetings against New Orleans this season.
Miami (3-4 SU, 2-5 ATS, 3-4 O/U) at Charlotte: The Heat have scored 117, 114 and 111 in its last three games on no rest, which has resulted in a 3-0 ‘over’ mark. Miami lost to Brooklyn last night and it has gone 5-0 both SU and ATS in its last five after a loss.
Utah (5-4 SU, 7-2 ATS, 4-5 O/U) vs. L.A. Clippers: The Jazz have gone 4-0 both SU and ATS at home on no rest. These teams split the first two regular season encounters, both games taking place at the Staples Center from Los Angeles. The Clippers aren’t expected to have center DeAndre Jordan (ankle) but you could be hard pressed to back the Jazz, who have lost three straight and four of their last five at home.
Chris David can be reached at [email protected]