Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

Inside the Paint - Tuesday

Tuesday’s NBA slate has seven games on tap with the marquee matchup taking place from the Moda Center between the Rockets and Trail Blazers.

Odds per [...]

Straight Up – SU, Against the Spread - ATS

Houston (56-14 SU, 37-32-1 ATS) at Portland (44-26 SU, 39-28-3 ATS)

Opening Odds: Rockets -4, Total 214 ½ 

The Trail Blazers opened as home underdogs in this game even though they’ve won 13 straight games and they’ve also produced an eye-opening 12-1 ATS mark for bettors too. The overnight line clearly has nothing to do with Portland’s winning streak, rather its opponent and the number has actually moved to -5 as of Tuesday morning.

While Portland has been hot, Houston owns the best record in the league this season and it’s been on fire all season. The Rockets enter this game having won 22 of their last 23 games and All-Star James Harden appears to be on his way to winning the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.

A lot of the success for the Rockets has come on the road, with the team going 29-8 SU and 24-13 ATS.

On Sunday, the Rockets scored 77 points in the first-half against Minnesota and held on for a 129-120 win as seven-point favorites. Including that win, Houston is 13-1 SU and 11-3 ATS in its last 14 away games and it’s been favored in all of them.

Winning at Portland won’t be easy knowing the Trail Blazers are 18-1 SU and 16-2-1 ATS since late December at home. The club has definitely feasted on some inferior opponents but 10 of those wins came against playoff teams including a pair over the Warriors. During the 19-game span, the Blazers have only been listed as home ‘dogs twice and they won both of those games.

Portland’s 122-109 win at the Clippers on Sunday was very impressive since the team was playing on the road with no rest. This matchup versus Houston will be their third game in four nights.

Another reason why Houston is favored in this matchup is due to its recent dominance in this series. The Rockets have won five of the last six encounters (4-2 ATS) which includes both meetings this season.

In early December, Portland collapsed in a 124-117 loss to Houston at home as it was outscored 40-19 by the Rockets in the fourth quarter. The Blazers were listed as 8 ½-point underdogs then, so tonight’s line clearly shows the gap they’ve made up in the oddsmakers’ power ratings.

Including that win, Houston has won three straight visits at Portland while averaging 124.3 points per game. The ‘over’ has cased in five of the last six meetings between the pair. While leaning to the high side again tonight seems obvious, the total only opened at 216 before being bet up to 217 ½ this morning. 

Make a note that both Houston (39-30-1) and Portland (41-29) have both produced solid ‘under’ marks this season and also be aware that Portland (103 PPG, No. 4) and Houston (104.7 PPG, No. 11) have both stepped up their defensive games this season, compared to the 2017 campaign when both teams allowed 109 PPG.

These teams will meet one more time this season on Apr. 5 from Houston.

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

Handicapping Out Loud

Including the Rockets, Tuesday’s card has three other teams listed as road favorites including the Raptors, Thunder and Pistons.

Toronto (-10) heads to Orlando and the Raptors have gone 18-8 SU and 15-11 ATS as road favorites this season. The pair just met in late February and Toronto captured a 117-104 road win as a nine-point ‘chalk.’ Possible look-ahead spot for Toronto, who travels to Cleveland tomorrow and it might want to make a statement in that game with the playoffs looming. 

Boston (+4) is playing short-handed with All-Star Kyrie Irving still dealing with a knee injury and he's listed as 'out' tonight. For what it's worth, the Celtics have gone 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS as home ‘dogs this season.

Detroit cashed as a road favorite last night as it ran past Sacramento 106-90 and the Pistons (-6) are right back in that role tonight when they meet the Suns in the desert. Despite last night’s win, Stan Van Gundy’s team is 4-6 both SU and ATS as a road ‘chalk’ this season. Keep in mind that the Pistons are 0-4 in their last four games on no rest, losing by an average of 17.5 PPG.

Utah (-13) laying a big price at home tonight to Atlanta and the Jazz have gone 6-0 SU and 3-3 ATS when listed as a double-digit favorite this season, while the ‘under’ has gone 5-1 in those games.

Fearless Predictions

We turned out a nice profit over the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament and will look to keep the momentum going the rest of the season in these pieces. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Over 207 Atlanta-Utah
Utah Team Total Over 110

I rode the ‘over’ in the Jazz game on Saturday while going against their seasonal angle of playing the ‘under’ when listed as a double-digit favorite (see above). Tonight, I’m going back to the well and playing the high side again. Utah has gone 21-3 in its last 24 games and one of those losses came at Atlanta (104-90) in late January. Based on what we’ve seen from Atlanta’s defense recently in their last four games (129, 119, 129, 122), I don’t believe Utah will score less than 100 again in this spot.

Other Leans

L.A. Clippers +3
Houston -5

Chris David can be reached at [email protected]

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