Inside the Paint – Thursday

Since the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament will be taking center stage over the next four days, will be focusing on the 48 games played in that event.

If you’re like myself and you don’t enjoy wagering on the kids, then be sure to check out my NBA pieces for the next four days. We’ve got 30 games to handicap and rather than break down the entire card, I’m going to provide my quick handicap, top selections and leans.

Fearless Predictions

Since the All-Star break, I started posting these selections and they’ve gone 8-6 (57%) which includes a 0-1 mark last Saturday. However, my slight lean plays did manage to go 4-1 but who’s counting. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Over 217 Philadelphia-New York, Philadelphia Team Total Over 113

It’s hard to trust the 76ers as road favorites (7-6 SU, 6-7 ATS) this season which is why I’m looking at the total in this game. When laying points as visitors, the ‘over’ has gone 11-2 in those games and I expect more points in this matchup. Philadelphia’s defense (108 PPG) has been much weaker on the road and the defense of the Knicks has allowed 117.1 PPG since Kristaps Porzingis went down to an injury. The 76ers also enter this game off a 101-98 loss on Tuesday to Indiana and they’re responded well lately off setbacks, scoring 128 and 120 in their last two situations.

Detroit +8 over Denver

It’s hard to make a case for the Pistons, who have lost eight of their last 10 and the Blake Griffin experiment has taken them from a possible playoff spot to a date in the upcoming draft lottery. Despite the poor form, this selection is based off the opening number. I felt the Nuggets should’ve been listed higher than -7 ½ and the early wagers have been placed on the home team. Denver came out flat in a 112-103 loss against the Lakers on Tuesday and it has had a knack of losing two straight this season (10 times). For what it’s worth, Detroit is 1-1 in its last two trips to Denver and the loss was by three points. I’m expecting another tight game and the points are too hard to pass up.

Under 212 ½ Phoenix-Utah

It’s hard to bet an ‘under’ with the Suns since their defense (113.7 PPG) is absolutely atrocious but Utah isn’t exactly a juggernaut (102.9 PPG) on offense and you can’t ignore what the Jazz have been doing defensively lately. They’re ranked second in points per game allowed (100 PPG) and during their recent run (19-2 SU), the Jazz have surrendered triple digits four times. Lastly, the Jazz have gone 4-0 SU and 2-2 ATS this season as a double-digit favorite this season and the ‘under’ has cashed in all four games. Barring a lights out shooting display by the Suns, I’d be surprised to see them get into the nineties.

Other Leans and Projections

These selections were on my radar and I guess you could call them my "First Four Out." 

Charlotte (ML -200)

L.A. Clippers +11 
½ over Houston

Under 212 ½ Chicago-Memphis

Under 219 ½ New Orleans-San Antonio

Cleveland (ML +170)

Thursday, Mar. 15
Rotation Teams Projection
701 Toronto 108
702 Indiana 100
703 Charlotte 115
704 Atlanta 113
705 Philadelphia 125
706 New York 116
707 L.A. Clippers 108
708 Houston 116
709 Chicago 99
710 Memphis 100
711 New Orleans 102
712 San Antonio 108
713 Phoenix 88
714 Utah 100
715 Detroit 111
716 Denver 113
717 Cleveland 110
718 Portland 108

Chris David can be reached at