Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

Inside the Paint - Thursday

Odds per [...]

(Straight Up – SU, Against the Spread – ATS)

San Antonio (37-27 SU, 32-30-2 ATS) at Golden State (50-14 SU, 28-35-1 ATS)
Opening Odds: Warriors -12, Total 222

It’s rare to see the Spurs listed as double-digit underdogs but certainly not uncommon in this series. Golden State has given 10-plus points to San Antonio in five of their previous eight meetings and the Warriors have gone 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS during this span.

Those results include two double-digit wins posted by the Warriors this season, the most recent coming on Feb. 10 from Oracle Arena as Golden State posted a 122-105 win over San Antonio.

If you’re handicapping this game on form, it’s hard to make an argument for the Spurs. While they snapped a four-game losing streak at home on Monday, San Antonio (-12 ½) looked anything but impressive as it squeaked past an inferior Memphis squad with a 100-98 win.

The upcoming schedule for San Antonio is brutal and reaching 50 wins in an 82-game regular season for the 19th consecutive season looks doubtful. The club needs to win 13 of its final 18 games and that’s asking a lot, especially for a team that has dropped eight of its last 11. Plus, they haven’t been able to find success on the road (14-19 SU, 15-17-1 ATS) and that’s been a staple of San Antonio.

Along with the streak, the team could miss the postseason as well and the last time that happened was in the 1996-97 season when they finished 20-62. It was also the same season Gregg Popovich took over the coaching duties for Bob Hill.

The Spurs are still waiting on the return of Kawhi Leonard, who could make it back by the end of March. Veteran Pau Gasol (shoulder) was injured in Monday’s win and has been ruled ‘out’ for tonight.

Since the All-Star break, Golden State has coasted to a 6-0 record but it’s only managed to go 2-4 ATS while laying double digits in five of the contests. Overall, the Warriors have gone 29-5 SU and 16-17-1 ATS when listed as 10-point favorites or higher and one of the wins and covers came against San Antonio.

For those of you believing San Antonio can get right tonight and pull off a shocker on the road, make a note that the oddsmakers have had a solid pulse on the Spurs. When listed as underdogs this season, San Antonio has gone 5-14 SU and 9-9-1 ATS. It has covered two straight in this role and that includes a 110-94 victory at Cleveland on Feb. 25. Coincidentally, two of its five wins as ‘dogs have come against the Cavaliers but they’re 0-4 versus other contenders in the Rockets and Warriors.

TNT will provide national coverage of this game at 10:35 p.m. ET.

South Florida Rematch

For the second time in just over a week, the 76ers (35-28 SU, 35-27-1 ATS) and Heat (34-31 SU, 32-28-5 ATS) will meet at American Airlines Arena. The teams played on Feb. 27 and the Heat captured a 102-101 victory on a Dwyane Wade with 5.9 second left. The veteran scored 15 of Miami's final 17 points, finished with a season-high 27. The 76ers had a chance to win but a wide-open 3-pointer from JJ Redick didn’t connect.

Similar to Thursday’s odds, the 76ers opened as short road favorites (-1) but closed as the underdog (+1) to Miami. Philadelphia built an early lead in the game and led by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter before Wade took over. As much as people believe D-Wade has reenergized the Heat, he was a minus-16 in the victory.

Wade had a chance to be a hero again this past Tuesday but his floater bounced out and Miami dropped a 117-113 loss at Washington. The club is now 5-5 since he was acquired from that Cavs and that includes a 2-4 record against teams above .500.

The issue with Philadelphia lately has been its inconsistent play on the road. Including the aforementioned loss at Miami, the 76ers are 4-8 in their last 12 away games. They just ran Charlotte 128-114 out of the building on Tuesday but the defense clearly has had numerous lapses. In the last 12 away games, they’ve given up 100-plus to 10 teams and six have posted 109 or more.

This will be the fourth and final meeting between the pair this regular season and the first three games were decided by six points or less with Philadelphia taking two of them. Similar to the three previous encounters, this matchup should have a playoff feel to it. Knowing the 76ers hold a two-game lead over the Heat for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and they have two extra games to play, the sense of urgency clearly lies with Miami to avoid losing the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The ‘under’ has gone 2-1 but all of the results were tight and could’ve gone the other way. Right after the All-Star break, I dug up the seasonal total trend on the 76ers as road favorites and it continues to cash. When listed as a road favorite, Philadelphia has watched the ‘over’ go 11-1 in its last 12 spots.

Fearless Predictions

Brooklyn +6 ½ over Charlotte

The Hornets opened the second-half with four straight wins, which began with a 111-96 dominating win over Brooklyn as eight-point favorites. The line is a tad lower for the rematch and while the Hornets (0-4 SU, 0-4 ATS) are in poor form, the Nets have covered four of their last five games despite going 1-4 SU and the offense has showed some flashes again. Even though Charlotte has been solid as a bully at home and the Nets live by the outside shot, I’m going to side with the ‘dog in the rematch.

Minnesota +2 over Boston

Tough to go against Boston, who is 16-4 SU and 13-7 ATS as a road favorite this season and three of the four losses were a tad surprising (Lakers, Knicks, Bulls). However, the Timberwolves have been a tough out at home (25-7 SU, 16-15-1 ATS) this season and they’ve gone 3-1 this season as home ‘dogs. While those stats are solid, I’m backing Minnesota on a seasonal trend. They enter this game off back-to-back losses and along with Golden State, they are the only two teams in the league not to lose three straight this season. In the previous eight instances, the Wolves have gone 8-0 while averaging 114.2 points per game and that number could have me leaning ‘over’ in Minnesota’s team total (107) as well.

Under Phoenix-Oklahoma City 228

This is a quick rematch as the Thunder rallied for a 124-116 road win over the Suns last Friday and the ‘over’ (227 ½) connected. Despite the shootout, we’re staring at a similar total and I’m expecting a drop-off. Oklahoma City’s defense hasn’t been great lately due to injuries but it has been better at home this season and that’s helped the ‘under’ go 17-15 at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Make a note that OKC has had four totals listed in the 220s at home this season and the ‘under’ has gone 3-1 in those games.  

Chris David can be reached at [email protected]

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