Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM
Inside the Paint - Thursday
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(Straight Up – SU, Against the Spread – ATS)
The NBA trade deadline takes place today at 3:00 p.m. ET and handicapping the card on this day is never easy, especially with 12 teams in action. I’d tread lightly with early wagers, knowing that anything can happen throughout the day. Let’s handicap the card.
East hosts West
Minnesota (25-28 SU, 26-27 ATS) at Orlando (22-32 SU, 27-26-1 ATS): The Timberwolves blasted the Magic 120-103 on Jan. 4 as four-point home favorites and the ‘over’ (214) connected. Including that win, Minnesota has won four of the last five against the Orlando and the high side has cashed in all of the victories. The T-Wolves have gone both 10-7 SU and 10-7 ATS versus the Eastern Conference this season, which includes a 4-3 SU and 5-2 ATS record on the road. The ‘over’ has cashed in nine straight games vs. the East for Minnesota.
This is a tough spot for Orlando, who is coming off a 132-122 loss at Oklahoma City on Tuesday as a nine-point road underdog. After this game, they had back on the road for three more games. The Magic have won two straight at home and against solid opponents (Pacers, Nets) as well but they have haven’t fared well in non-conference games this season (6-17 SU, 9-14 ATS). At home, the club has gone 3-7 both SU and ATS while the ‘over’ is 7-3.
Orlando opened as a one-point favorite and was quickly pushed to -2. As a home favorite, the Magic are just 6-6 this season, 5-7 ATS and that includes the two recent wins mentioned above versus Indiana and Brooklyn.
L.A. Clippers (30-25 SU, 29-25-1 ATS) at Indiana (35-19 SU, 26-27-1 ATS): Tough game to handicap as the Clippers were involved in a trade on Wednesday morning, which sent Tobias Harris and a couple reserves to Philadelphia. L.A. improved to 2-1 on its current six-game road trip this past Tuesday with a 117-115 win at Charlotte as a three-point road underdog. Including that win, the Clippers have gone 11-8 both SU and ATS versus the East. Make a note that Los Angeles has gone 7-3 both SU and ATS on the road in non-conference games but the absence of Harris changes everything.
After dropping its first four games without Victor Oladipo, the Pacers have won rebounded with three straight wins. Indiana has gone 10-9 SU and 9-10 ATS this season versus the Western Conference and that includes a 6-4 both SU and ATS mark at home. One of those wins came on Tuesday, a 136-94 blowout decision over the L.A. Lakers.
This will be the first meeting between the pair this season. Indiana has won and covered four straight games in this series. The Pacers opened as four-point home favorites and now sit at -6 as of late this morning.
Barring any major trades, these games will likely have the largest spreads on Thursday and we could be looking at easy ‘chalk’ winners if recent head-to-head history holds.
Toronto (39-16 SU, 24-30-1 ATS) at Atlanta (18-35 SU, 24-29 ATS): The Raptors have won six straight against the Hawks and they’ve covered five of those games. The pair met in Canada on Jan. 8 and Atlanta put forth a great effort but still fell to Toronto 104-101 as a 13 ½-point road underdog. The ‘under’ has gone 5-1 in the last six encounters. The Raptors as 10-point road favorites but the early money moved the line to Atlanta +9. The Hawks are coming off a solid road trip (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS) but the first game back at home is never easy and they’ve been better away this season than at home (8-113 SU, 7-14 ATS).
Memphis (22-33 SU, 24-30-1 ATS) at Oklahoma City (34-19 SU, 30-23 ATS): The Thunder have captured seven straight and nine of their last 10 meetings with the Grizzlies. Oklahoma City has gone 7-3 ATS during this span. Total bettors should note that the ‘over’ is on a 9-2 run in this series. Memphis is expected to be short-handed with center Marc Gasol resting and possibly other players involved in trades. The Thunder have gone 5-3 SU and 3-5 ATS when listed as a double-digit home favorite this season.
L.A. Lakers (27-27 SU, 23-29-2 ATS) at Boston (35-19 SU, 27-26-1 ATS): Both of these teams have been featured in trade speculation for the past week, more so the Lakers and their hopes of acquiring Anthony Davis from the Pelicans. Los Angeles was embarrassed 136-94 at Indiana on Tuesday and is now 1-2 since LeBron James returned to action and they currently sit on the outside of the playoffs.
While the Lakers aren’t connecting, Boston has quietly won five straight and 10 of its last 11 games. The Celtics have gone 5-5-1 ATS during this run. At TD Garden, Boston has gone 17-3 SU and 14-6 ATS in its last 20 at home and the offense is averaging 119 points per game during this span, which has helped the ‘over’ go 13-7.
Boston opened -7 ½ and the number was pushed to -9. The assumption is that the Lakers will likely pull off a major deal and be short-handed for this game.
The Celtics (10-9 SU, 8-11 ATS) versus the West, 5-3 SU and 4-4 ATS at home. While Boston has been pedestrian in non-conference matchups, L.A. has been awful for bettors versus the East, going 8-9 SU and 4-12-1 ATS. Outside of the Staples Center, the Lakers have gone 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS.
Boston owns a 4-1 record in the last five games of this series, but Los Angeles has gone 3-2 ATS during this span while the ‘under’ is 4-1 during this span.
This game is set to tip at 8:05 p.m. ET nationally on TNT.
San Antonio (32-23 SU, 31-23-1 ATS) at Portland (32-21 SU, 29-24 ATS): The “Rodeo Road Trip” for the Spurs hasn’t started out well as the team was blasted by the Kings on Monday (127-112) before getting hammered 141-102 at Golden State last night. Even though the Spurs are facing a back-to-back spot on Thursday, they shouldn’t be too fatigued as they rested DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge in last night’s loss. After dropping its first six games of the season on no rest, San Antonio has won its last three games in this situation but two of them took place at home. The ‘over’ has gone 8-1 for the Spurs on no rest this season.
Portland is coming off a rare 118-108 home loss on Tuesday to Miami, which dropped their record to 22-8 SU and 19-11 ATS at the Moda Center. Prior to that setback, the Trail Blazers had won eight straight (7-1 ATS) at home. Make a note that Portland hasn’t lost two straight at home this season and the early money moved the Blazers from 4 to 5 ½-point favorites for this game.
Sticking with the home theme, the host has won and covered the last three meetings in this series, which includes both matchups this season and all three were decided by double digits. Portland captured a 121-108 win at the Moda Center on Oct. 20 before San Antonio avenged that loss with a 131-118 victory on Dec. 2.
Total bettors should note that the ‘over’ is on an 8-2 run in this series and that includes four straight tickets to the high side.
TNT will provide national coverage of this game at 10:35 p.m. ET.
Chris David can be reached at [email protected]