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The Daily Sweat: Kevin Durant, Steph Curry square off in Nets-Warriors showdown

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For just the second time this season, the Golden State Warriors are underdogs.

The Warriors have the NBA’s best record at 11-2 and haven’t been an underdog since their season-opening win over the Los Angeles Lakers. That win set the tone for what has been a sizzling start — a start that has also been good to bettors. The Warriors are 8-4-1 against the spread so far this season, one of the league’s best marks.

On Tuesday night, though, the Warriors underdogs on the road against the Brooklyn Nets. The point spread at BetMGM is Nets -3.5 with the total listed at 221.5. Before losing in Charlotte on Sunday night, the Warriors had won seven consecutive games. It was their longest winning streak since the 2018-19 season when Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were still together in a Warriors uniform.

It’s a different team these days. Curry, of course, is still around and has topped 40 points in two of Golden State’s last four games. Thompson has missed the last two seasons due to injury and is nearing a return.

Durant, meanwhile, will be on the other bench in a Nets uniform alongside James Harden. The Nets are 10-4 overall and winners of eight of their last nine games but just 7-7 against the spread. Durant has been leading the way, averaging a league-leading 29.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. Only Curry, at 29.6 points per game, is averaging more.

The Nets will be short-handed in this one as Joe Harris and Paul Millsap have already been ruled out. 

Without Harris, one of the best outside shooters in the NBA, will the Nets be able to keep up with the Warriors and their outside shooting? Or are you getting the Nets at a discount? Brooklyn has been favored in all of its games, but this is the smallest point spread of all the team’s home games. The Nets are just 3-3 ATS at home this season.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry against the Chicago Bulls during an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry against the Chicago Bulls during an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Here’s a look at the rest of the betting slate for Tuesday:

Let’s make some MACtion money

Midweek MACtion is back with three games on tap. Here is a brief look at each game.

Toledo (-7) at Ohio | Total: 56

Toledo opened the season as one of the favorites to win the MAC but has been hampered by injuries and sits at just 5-5 overall and 3-3 in conference play. Ohio started the year 1-7 but has won its last two games.

Two weeks ago, Ohio beat Miami (Ohio) 35-33 as a 7-point home underdog. Last week, the Bobcats beat Eastern Michigan 34-26 as a 6-point dog. Ohio has covered the spread in five of its last six games and is 4-3 ATS this year as a home underdog. Toledo is 4-4 ATS as a favorite and is 3-1 as a road favorite.

Western Michigan (-5.5) at Eastern Michigan | Total: 66

These in-state rivals have identical records: 6-4 overall and 3-3 in MAC play. Western Michigan has one of the better offenses in the MAC and registered an upset victory over Pitt earlier this year. Eastern Michigan actually leads the MAC in scoring but ranks eighth in both yards per game and yards per play.

WMU is 4-5-1 ATS this season but is just 1-4-1 ATS in MAC play. Additionally, the over is 4-2 in WMU’s conference games. EMU is 4-6 ATS on the year but 3-3 ATS in MAC games.

Bowling Green at Miami, Ohio (-17) | Total: 51.5

Bowling Green (3-7 overall, 1-5 MAC) has been much more competitive in its third season under Scot Loeffler, but is still one of the least-talented teams in the MAC. BGSU actually covered the spread in its first five games of the year but is 3-3 ATS in MAC play. Additionally, the over is 5-1 in BGSU’s six conference games.

Miami is 5-5 overall but is in first place in the MAC West thanks to a 4-2 conference record. The RedHawks have won three of their last four, including a 45-18 blowout over Buffalo last week. With a win in this one, Miami will become bowl eligible. The RedHawks are 1-4 ATS this season as a favorite.

Miami (Oh) Redhawks quarterback Brett Gabbert (5) during an NCAA football game against the Ball State Cardinals on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 in Oxford, Ohio. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)
Miami (Oh) Redhawks quarterback Brett Gabbert (5) during an NCAA football game against the Ball State Cardinals on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 in Oxford, Ohio. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)

Some fun college basketball games

Early-season college basketball can be a bit of a crapshoot from a betting perspective, but there are three fun matchups worth monitoring.

No. 15 Houston hosts Virginia and is favored by 5.5 points with the total set at a pretty low number: 118.5. Virginia lost its opener to Navy but bounced back with a blowout win over Radford. UH is 2-0 with wins over Hofstra and Rice.

Elsewhere, No. 4 Michigan is set to host Seton Hall out of the Big East. Michigan is an 8.5-point favorite with the total set at 137.5. Both of these teams have started the year 2-0. Michigan knocked off Buffalo and Prairie View A&M while Seton Hall has wins over Fairleigh Dickinson and Yale. Clearly, this is a big jump in competition for both sides.

Another game to keep an eye on is BYU’s trip to Eugene to face No. 12 Oregon. The Ducks are just 4.5-point favorites at home with the total listed at 141.5. BYU has played two close games against quality opponents this year, beating Cleveland State by 10 and San Diego State by six. Oregon is also 2-0 with wins over Texas Southern and SMU.

What’s the best bet?

I’m a college football guy so I’ll stick with some MACtion.

Other than its 17-point win over Akron, the other five conference games Ohio has played have been decided by eight points or fewer. The three MAC games Ohio lost were decided by seven points or fewer, so why not hop on the Bobcats again as a home dog? I’ll go with Ohio +7 and see if I can get that +7.5. It’s been moving in that direction.

And for fun, my leans in the other two games are the under 66 in Western Michigan vs. Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green +17 at Miami. 

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