Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM

Inside the Paint - Tuesday

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The NBA has seven games on tap for Tuesday, which includes a double-header on TNT. Favorites went 4-2 both straight up and against the spread last night but for the second straight day, we saw a big underdog connect. Cleveland cashed a 7/2 money-line ticket (Bet $100 to win $350) with a 126-101 outright win over Toronto at home. One night earlier, bettors saw the Suns stun the Warriors 115-111 as 17-point underdogs and some lucky bettors hit money-line tickets as high as 13/1 odds. More upsets are possible tonight as four of the games have point-spreads listed at nine points or higher.

Let’s break down the card.

New York (13-54 SU, 28-37-2 ATS) at Indiana (42-25 SU, 33-33-1 ATS)

The first game on the board looks like a mismatch on paper and the oddsmakers agree, opening Indiana as an 11 ½-point home favorite over New York. The Pacers have won five straight (3-1-1 ATS) against the Knicks, which includes a 3-0 mark (1-1-1 ATS) this season. Bettors could be hesitant to back the ‘chalk’ knowing the Pacers are 4-5 both SU and ATS in the second-half of the season and they’ve dropped three of their last four. After winning back-to-back games against the Spurs and Magic at home in late February, New York has dropped six straight (1-5 ATS) games and four of the setbacks came on the road. This is certainly a ‘get-right’ game for Indiana, who has racked up a 30-9 record against losing teams. As a double-digit home favorite, the Pacers have gone 6-1 SU and 3-3 ATS while the ‘under’ has gone 5-2 in those games.

Cleveland (17-50 SU, 31-35-1 ATS) at Philadelphia (42-25 SU, 32-35 ATS)

Another chalky matchup here as the 76ers are laying double digits (-15) to the Cavaliers, who are coming off a surprising 126-101 victory over Toronto last night as 8 ½-point home underdogs. Cleveland has only won back-to-back games three times this season and it’s struggled to a 3-9 mark on no rest but they’ve turned a profit for bettors with a 7-5 ATS mark. Cleveland did win its last game in a back-to-back spot, which was a 107-93 win over Orlando on Mar. 3 as a six-point home ‘dog. Make a note that all three wins in these situations came at home. The Cavaliers did surprise the 76ers on Nov. 23 as they captured a 121-112 win as 13-point road underdogs. Philadelphia avenged that loss less than a month later with a 128-106 blowout win at Cleveland.

Milwaukee (50-17 SU, 39-26-2 ATS) at New Orleans (30-39 SU, 34-34-1 ATS)

Tough game to handicap here as Jrue Holiday (abdominal) and E’Twaun Moore (quad) remain ‘out’ for the Pelicans while Anthony Davis continues to play limited minutes. The Bucks won the first matchup between the pair on Dec. 19, taking a 123-115 decision at home. Shootouts have been a common theme in this series and the ‘over’ has cashed in five straight and eight of the last 10. The total on this game opened 237 ½. Milwaukee is off a loss and just lost two games in a row for the first time last week, falling to the Jazz and Suns. The Pelicans started off the second-half with a 4-3 SU and 6-1 ATS record but they’ve dropped three straight entering this game.

L.A. Lakers (30-36 SU, 25-39-2 ATS) at Chicago (19-49 SU, 30-36-2 ATS)

If there was a ‘pass’ game on the board Tuesday, then this is it. The Lakers have gone 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS since the All-Star break and they enter this game on a five-game losing streak. Meanwhile, Chicago has gone 1-4 both SU and ATS its last five games. The Bulls won’t have their top player Zach Lavine (knee) and the Lakers have been playing short-handed for a while now, with Brandon Ingram (shoulder) becoming the latest to join the injured list. Kyle Kuzma (ankle) is ‘questionable’ for Los Angeles tonight. The pair met on Jan. 15 from Los Angeles and the Lakers captured a 107-100 win over the Bulls as seven-point home favorites.

San Antonio (38-29 SU, 36-30-1 ATS) at Dallas (27-39 SU, 37-28-1 ATS)

The Spurs (-5) will look to improve to 3-0 versus the Mavericks this season when they tip off the TNT double-header tonight at 8:05 p.m. ET. San Antonio is starting to roll again, winners in five straight games and that run was much-needed as they began the All-Star break with three consecutive losses. Dallas was competitive in a 94-93 loss to Houston on Sunday as an 8 ½-point underdog but that was the fifth straight setback for the club. The Mavericks certainly don’t have the same talent as the Spurs but it’s hard to dismiss their record as home underdogs (9-6 SU, 12-3 ATS) this season.  The total on this game is listed at 218 and the Spurs have been a solid ‘over’ bet this season (39-27-1) especially on the road (23-10-1).

Minnesota (32-25 SU, 34-33 ATS) at Denver (43-22 SU, 35-30 ATS)

The Nuggets (-10) are laying a big price and the line will likely go up if Minnesota doesn’t have Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) or Andrew Wiggins (quad) in the lineup, both listed as ‘questionable’ as of this morning. Bettors could be hesitant to lay the wood knowing Denver has dropped four of its last five games, which includes a humbling 122-105 loss at Golden State last Friday. Even though Denver has been one of the best home teams this season (27-6 SU, 22-11 ATS), it’s suffered two straight at the Pepsi Center and they were laying big prices (-7.5, -13.5). The T-Wolves have won three of their last four games, but all of those wins came at the Target Center. Make a note that Minnesota has been terrible on the road, dropping nine of its last 10 away games. The defense (122.1 PPG) has been a mess during this span and that’s helped the ‘over’ go 8-2. While that could have you running to back the ‘over’ tonight, make a note that Denver is on an 8-0 ‘under’ run heading into this matchup. TNT will provide coverage of this game at 10:35 p.m. ET.

Portland (40-26 SU, 37-29 ATS) at L.A. Clippers (39-29 SU, 39-28-1 ATS)

The other late-night game on Tuesday has Portland listed as a short road favorite over the L.A. Clippers. Head coach Doc Rivers has done a great job with this Los Angeles squad and many pundits thought they were throwing away the season after trading Tobias Harris to the 76ers on Feb. 5. Since that move, the Clippers have gone 9-4 SU and 10-3 ATS the spread. They’re clearly the best basketball team in Los Angeles this season and based on its young core and upcoming cap space, it could be a for a while.

For this matchup, my lean would be to the visitor. The Clippers are coming off a big 140-115 win over Boston last night and they couldn’t miss a shot, connecting on 61 percent from the field. On no rest this season, Los Angeles has been hit or miss (6-7 SU, 7-5 ATS). However, they’ve struggled to a 1-3 record at home in these spots and the ‘over’ is 4-0 in those games as the Clippers have surrendered 120 PPG.

After dropping two straight games, Portland got back on track last Saturday with a 127-120 win over Phoenix but it failed to cover as a heavy favorite (-12). The Trail Blazers have failed to cover in three straight games after starting the second-half with six straight covers and all of those wins came on the road. Total players should note that Portland has watched the ‘over’ cash in five straight and the high side is 7-2 since the All-Star break.

Portland has won five of its last six encounters against Los Angeles and that includes three straight wins at the Staples Center. The Trail Blazers were listed as road underdogs in their first trip to L.A. on Dec. 17 as they captured a 131-127 win. For this matchup, Portland is laying two points as of this morning and while Los Angeles defeated Boston last night at a similar price (+1 ½), bettors should note that the Clippers are 2-6 in their previous eight games this season as home ‘dogs.

Chris David can be reached at [email protected]

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