Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:06 AM

Inside the Paint - Tuesday

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

Tuesday’s NBA card has five games on tap and all of them are non-conference matchups, which will be the focus of tonight’s piece. Let’s handicap the games.

(Straight Up and Against the Spread)

Sacramento (13-33 SU, 18-25-3 ATS) at Orlando (14-32 SU, 20-26 ATS)

The first game on the board isn’t the easiest to handicap considering both of these teams will be jockeying for the No. 1 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.

Orlando opened as a six-point favorite and was pushed up to -7 as of Tuesday morning.

Despite going 2-3 in their last five games, the Magic have covered five straight and they enter this game off a 103-95 win at Boston on Sunday as a 10 ½-point road underdog. Backing Orlando to win two straight is a tough sell since it hasn’t done so since Nov. 10. Seeing the Magic favored is another rarity but the team has gone 5-4 SU and 4-5 ATS as a favorite this season.

Sacramento dropped its eighth straight game last night, a 112-107 decision at Charlotte. The Kings managed to get a late cover (+10 ½) but is just 2-6 ATS during the skid. Not surprisingly, the club has struggled on no rest this season, going 2-7 SU and 3-5-1 ATS.

Orlando is 6-12 SU and 8-9-1 ATS versus the West this season and it just snapped a seven-game non-conference slide last week in a 108-102 home win over Minnesota. Prior to that victory, it lost the seven previous games. Total bettors should note that the ‘under’ is on a 7-0 run in Orlando’s last seven matchups versus teams from the West. Sacramento has gone 4-14 SU and 7-10-2 ATS versus the Eastern Conference this season.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams with the pair splitting both encounters last season. The home team won and covered each contest and the total was split as well.

The total (214 ½) on this game seems a little inflated, especially with Sacramento's offense ranked last in scoring (97.9 PPPG). Knowing Orlando is on a 9-3 ‘under’ run could have you leaning that way tonight.

Brooklyn (18-29 SU, 29-17-1 ATS) at Oklahoma City (26-20 SU, 18-27-1 ATS)

As of Tuesday morning, the Thunder have been listed as a 10-point home favorite over the Nets. Oklahoma City is starting to come into its own, winning four straight and 16 of its last 20 games. The Thunder just dropped a season-high 148 points on Cleveland this past Saturday and are expected to keep the winning streak rolling along tonight. As double-digit home favorites, the Thunder have gone 6-0 SU and 4-2 ATS.

OKC will be looking for revenge in this game as Brooklyn rallied for a 100-95 win on Dec. 7 as a seven-point underdog in a game played at Mexico City as the ‘under’ (215 ½) connected easily. OKC was cruising at halftime (58-49) but got outscored 51-37 by the Nets in the second-half.

The Nets have been one of the best teams to back at the betting counter this season and they enter this game off back-to-back wins. However, they haven’t won three straight all season.

The Nets have gone 7-12 SU and 11-6-2 ATS versus the West but they’ve dropped four of their last five. OKC is 11-7 SU and 10-8 ATS versus the East and that includes a 5-4 record at home.

Cleveland (27-18 SU, 12-32-1 ATS) at San Antonio (30-18 SU, 25-21-2 ATS)

Even though both of these clubs are still considered contenders to win the NBA Finals, I wouldn’t bet on either squad in this matchup. The Spurs are listed as short favorites (-1 ½) over the Cavaliers and neither team has played well in 2018. Since the New Year began, the Spurs (5-6 SU, 6-4-1 ATS) and Cavaliers (3-6 SU, 1-8 ATS) have been very shaky.

Cleveland’s defense is ranked 26th in the league, allowing 109.5 points per game and that includes last Saturday’s embarrassing 148-124 home loss to Oklahoma City. That loss was preceded by a tight win over Orlando (104-103) and another double-digit loss at home to Golden State (118-108).

Including the aforementioned losses to the Warriors and Thunder, the Cavaliers have gone 7-8 SU and 3-12 ATS versus the West. On the road, Cleveland is just 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS in non-conference tilts.

If you bet against the Cavaliers this season blindly, you would be up $1,880 based on one-unit ($100) plays.

San Antonio’s issue this season has been on the road (11-15), which is something Gregg Popovich’s team always did well. At home, the Spurs have dominated this season with a 19-3 SU and 15-6 ATS mark which includes Sunday’s 94-86 loss to Indiana as a six-point favorite. The Spurs defense has played well of late but the offense has been sputtering and that combination has led to a 6-0 ‘under’ run.

The Spurs have gone 14-9 SU and 11-10-2 ATS against the East this season yet they enter this game 1-4 in their last five non-conference games.

San Antonio swept the regular season series against Cleveland last season, which included a 103-74 win at home as a five-point favorite.

The Spurs will be short-handed for this game and ESPN is reporting a rift in San Antonio between the team, players and All-Star Kawhi Leonard. We also heard reports coming out this morning circled around Cleveland's Kevin Love, who is supposedly in the doghouse with his teammates.

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

New York (21-26 SU, 24-23 ATS) at Golden State (37-10 SU, 21-25-1 ATS)

New York’s “Grammys” road trip continues Tuesday as the club faces a daunting task as a double-digit underdog (+14) to Golden State. The Warriors have won six straight and eight of the last nine in this series and they’ve covered five of those victories. In the last three games played in the Bay Area, Golden State went 2-1 ATS despite being favored by some big numbers (-17, -15, -19 ½). With the line being a tad shorter, perhaps the Knicks can view this season as progress.  

The Knicks have gone 11-10 SU and 12-9 ATS versus the Western Conference with most of the trouble (3-6 SU, 4-5 ATS) coming on the road. New York surprised Utah 117-115 last Friday but was run by the Lakers 127-107 two nights later from Los Angeles. The ‘over’ has gone 6-3 in their non-conference road games.

New York remains one of the worst road teams (6-17 SU, 9-14 ATS) in the league. Surprisingly, Golden State has been better on the road (21-4) than at home this season (16-6).

The Warriors are coming off a 116-108 loss at the Rockets this past Saturday as three-point road favorites. Golden State hasn’t dropped back-to-back games this season, going 9-0 SU and 5-4 ATS after a setback.

The Warriors have gone 17-3 SU and 9-11 ATS versus the East and they were laying double digits in 11 of those games. At home, they’ve gone 8-2 SU and 4-5-1 ATS with the straight up losses coming to the Hornets and Pistons.

Boston (34-13 SU, 27-18-2 ATS) at L.A. Lakers (17-29 SU, 23-23 ATS)

The late-night tip on TNT (10:35 p.m. ET) will have Boston (-4 ½) trying to snap a three-game losing streak when it meets the Lakers at the Staples Center. Make a note that head coach Brad Stevens and the C’s haven’t dropped four in a row in nearly two seasons.

Prior to the slide, Boston had won seven straight and was doing so with its second-ranked scoring defense (98 PPG). Sunday’s 103-95 home loss to Orlando was a poor effort from the start and it looked like the Celtics were more concerned with the Patriots playing in the AFC title game.

Fortunately for the Celtics, they should have confidence in this spot. Boston ran past Los Angeles 107-96 earlier this season on Nov. 8 as a 6 ½-point favorite from TD Garden. This was the fourth straight win for the Celtics in this series and the ‘under’ also cashed in every game during this span.

This is a much different Los Angeles team suiting up on Tuesday. The Lakers have quietly won and covered two straight and six of their last eight games after suffering a nine-game losing streak. Four of the recent wins did come against losing clubs but recent victories over the Pacers and Spurs can’t be dismissed.

Boston has gone 12-3 SU and 9-5-1 ATS versus the West this season, plus it’s very solid against teams with losing records (18-5). As road favorites, the Celtics have gone 12-3 SU and 9-6 ATS.

The Lakers are a respectable 9-8 SU and 10-7 ATS against the East and that includes a run of three straight wins. Los Angeles has also won its last five games at home, and three of those victories came as a home underdog.

Chris David can be reached at [email protected]

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